If you’ve been following tech news you know that Apple recently announced the coming iOS 15 updates. Much like the iOS14.5 update earlier this year, the new update coming later this summer will have far reaching implications on email marketing and your business.
Before we dive into how to navigate the Apple iOS 15 update, let’s first establish how this update will specifically impact email marketing going forward.
Like iOS 14.5, this update will be a challenge for the industry, but as always marketers will adjust and establish new benchmarks and strategies. One thing we can be certain of, email is NOT dead!
Email marketing's impact and relevance in growing your eCommerce business will not diminish. If anything, email will be more important than ever in nurturing existing customers and establishing loyalty and trust with your customers and contacts.
Let’s take a look at what exactly this means in terms of your email marketing strategy?
There are three main components to the Apple iOS 15 update that will impact email marketing for your business.
1. Mail Privacy Protection
Regardless of the ESP (email service provider) your business uses for email marketing, that ESP uses pixels that fire when a user opens your email. This is how the OPR (Open Rate) metric is calculated by your provider. With the iOS 15 update, websites and 3rd party tools such as your ESP will no longer be able to track your direct actions with pixels. Apple will now mask your IP Address, hiding this information and preventing ESP’s from tracking if/when you open emails.
2. Private Relay
This will essentially operate as Apple’s own VPN, encrypting a user’s device so websites and other tools such as ESP’s can no longer track your digital footprint across the web. Apple will now only share general location information as opposed to specific locations of users. ISP’s and Advertisers will no longer know if you opened an email or engaged with a Facebook ad due to this decentralization of information.
3. Hide My Email
Hide My Email isn’t necessarily a new feature, but it will be much more prominently displayed going forward. Essentially this feature protects a user's privacy by generating a generic email address that will act as a “middle man” between your real email address and the internet.
While these are certainly challenging updates that need to be addressed within any organization, these are also opportunities to improve and refine your email marketing. It's an opportunity to address issues that potentially have been holding your business back but weren’t at the forefront and this is an opportunity to evolve and get better.
This all leads up to the question, what tactics can you implement now to prepare for the Apple iOS 15 update when it goes live later this summer?
To help you navigate these challenges, here are 6 tactics to help your business prepare for the Apple ios 15 update.
1. Know Your New Key Metrics
Relying on OPR as a key metric will no longer be reliable as ESP’s lose the ability to accurately track who opens your emails. Focusing on more actionable and downstream metrics such as click rate and other engagement metrics will be critical.
Begin gathering your click rate data now if you don’t have a good handle on this metric. Monitor and track the emails, messages, offers and products that are generating the most clicks and double down on those of campaigns and flows.
2. Broaden Your Engagement Segmentation
With an ESP such as Klaviyo, there are an infinite number of ways you can segment your contacts, and segmenting pays huge dividends. With OPR being much more difficult to track, you’ll need to redefine and broaden your engagement segments based on recency, frequency and monetary.
Recency: How recent an action was taken, signing up to a list, opening an email, clicking an email, visiting a product page, etc.
Frequency: How often someone clicked, visited, viewed or purchased.
Monetary: How recently did someone purchase or start checkout.
By going beyond OPR, you'll ensure you’re still sending emails to your most engaged contacts and eliminating unengaged subscribers. Refining and redefining these segments now will mitigate the impact on your resend campaigns, sunsetting list, and more before the update hits.
3. Testing Creative
While you should always be testing creative, you’ll need to pivot the metrics and how you’re measuring successful creatives.
With a much higher emphasis on click rate, test your email creative based on click rate and opposed to open rate, to determine what delivers the best results for your business. Test longer emails versus shorter, mostly image-based versus text based emails, etc. What are the messages, offers and creatives that drive your recipients to click.
But, know your click rates and which creatives are working best to get your subscribers to click.
SMS is an incredibly powerful marketing channel, so it makes sense to develop a strategy now. SMS delivers strong ROI and engagement rates, and the channel already does not track open rates. SMS tracks clicks and replies, so much of the data and learnings from SMS can be applied to email going forward.
We’ve always believed that OPR is such an important metric, and it can be, but if SMS is thriving without this critical method then we know it can be done.
Setting up a strong SMS strategy will only lead to higher conversion, more engagement and ultimately revenue. Implementing an SMS strategy now will also better prepare your store to minimize the impact of the iOS 15 update.
5. List Cleansing
Utilize Klaviyo’s sunsetting features now to determine the contacts that need to be sunsetted. Get your lists as clean as possible before the new updates take effect so you’re working with the cleanest possible version of your contact list. This will help you keep things clean and organized as we head into this new challenge.
6. Flow Triggers
For those businesses that already utilize email automation, check your flow triggers now. Identify and flows that use OPR as a trigger metric. Look for new ways beyond opens to trigger those engagement flows.
If you’re just looking into email automation for your business, get started before these updates take place. Get your flows established and set up properly now.
By understanding the Apple iOS 15 update and what it means ahead of time, your business will be prepared. You’ll the impact of these updates and you’ll be a part of establishing the new path forward for email marketing and your business, as opposed to simply reacting too late.