The Threadgill Agency | The Impact of iOS15 on Email Marketing | The Threadgill Agency
Apple’s iOS 15 update impacts email marketers in a major way. How can your business adapt and continue to successfully reach customers’ inboxes?
Apple iOS 15 update and email marketing
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iOS 15 And The Impact To Your Email Marketing

iOS 15 And The Impact To Your Email Marketing

Will the iOS 15 Update Destroy Email Marketing? No, but Pivoting Can Save It

Tech companies continue to release privacy protections that’s causing some nail biting among digital marketers. Businesses rely on data not just from search hits or social media, but via email marketing. Does Apple’s iOS 15 update signal the end of email marketing straight to the customer’s inbox? 

“Marketers are always finding ways to adapt to new technologies, and the Apple update is no different,” says Mat Threadgill of The Threadgill Agency. “The answer isn’t abandoning email, but pivoting to offer more value and using other channels to reach customers.”


The Impact of Apple’s iOS 15 Update

Since the iOS 15 update launched in late September, you might’ve noticed some changes in your email reports and a perceived “drop” in open rates. Two features on the latest update impact email marketing:

Mail Privacy Protection keeps businesses from tracking consumers’ IP address, location, open rates and open dates/times.

The impact: Marketing emails can no longer be targeted based on the above data, making it difficult to optimize sending time, test subject lines and offer personalization.

Hide My Email is an option that allows Apple to create a randomized iCloud email address for users when filling out online forms and subscriptions in order to keep personal email addresses private. These alternate email addresses then forward emails onto the customer’s real email inbox. You might’ve seen an uptick of iCloud email addresses in your list, which are legit emails but aren’t a direct line to your subscriber.

The impact: Apple users can delete the randomized iCloud email address at any time, meaning if that email is the only contact for that customer on your marketing list, it will not forward once it’s deleted. Consumers don’t have to take time to unsubscribe, they simply have to delete the alternate email address.

Apple iPhone users account for 47 percent of email clients, so these new changes are significant. Coupled with last year’s iOS 14 update impacting Facebook marketing in a major way, the latest update takes it a step further causing skewed or nonexistent email data for Apple users.


Making Email Marketing Work + More

You don’t need to fully abandon email marketing, but you need to change how you approach it. Remember, half of your subscribers are non-Apple users and you can still reach (and keep) your iphone customers with some strategic creativity. 

Experts agree these three changes can help you successfully navigate the iOS 15 update:

  • Provide value every time. Valuable, relevant email content is king. Don’t just send a Friday email and phone-in the body text. Build trust through a thoughtful subject line, body text and layout that makes subscribers want to click through to your website, whether it’s a special sale, a timely educational video, or an on-brand humorous social media post. You can still include a CTA, but ensure you are offering something worthwhile.
  • Streamline data collection and beef up first-party data. Instead of relying solely upon open rates, track email success by site traffic or click-through rates. Gather first-party data as much as possible. Read these tips for building a first-party data structure. Also, adjust your expectations for open rates under this new iOS update because you aren’t getting a fully accurate reading. 
  • Diversify your ad spend and channels. With roadblocks in social media and email data collection, diversifying advertising resources has never been more important. Invest in quality website content, paid and unpaid ad channels, utilizing influencers and branching out via text messaging. Of note: consumers are getting more familiar with SMS texts from businesses, which have a 98 percent open rate.


Have 3 ½ minutes? Watch this YouTube video for a quick, entertaining rundown: How to Save Your Email Marketing Campaign from Apple’s iOS 15.


Contact The Threadgill Agency today to help you navigate these privacy changes and optimize your email marketing efforts.