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IOS 15 update

Read this article to learn how IOS 15 will impact email marketing

Ira avatar
Written by Ira
Updated over a week ago

If you haven't heard about the upcoming IOS updates yet, you can read about them here. As you probably already know, in the latest update, Apple has attacked cookies and provided an option to disable tracking for all the downloaded apps. In the upcoming update, Apple is taking their customers' privacy protection to a whole new level, and this time, they are aiming at email specifically. So, in this article, we'll discuss how IOS 15 will impact email marketing and what you can do to adjust your strategy to cope without open metrics.

The information in this user guide is based on the IOS 15 update, which happened on 20 Sep 2021.

Before you start

You can start from the video recording to get answers to the most common questions.

As a quick recap, Apple’s iOS 15 update will have three major components that affect email marketing:

  • The ability to turn off open tracking

  • The ability to block your IP address

  • The ability to hide your email address

What Omnisend features will be impacted by iOS 15?

Segmentation by open rates

First of all, segmentation by open rates won't be reliable anymore, as you won't be able to identify if your customers who use the Apple Mail App have opened the email himself/herself or the iPhone system has made it for him/her.

Campaign booster

This feature is based on open rate and sends a campaign booster to those who didn’t open an initial campaign. With iOS 15 Campaign booster will no longer send emails to Apple Mail clients. That is because all Apple Mail clients have their emails opened automatically and there’s no way to tell whether the customer or a bot has opened the email. This is how we make sure you don’t over-communicate and your clients receive relevant messages.

Split by the open rates in the automation

The split block itself will work just fine. However, it won't be effective to split by open rates in automation anymore. For example, if you've been sending follow-up emails to everybody who has opened the first email in the automation assuming that they're interested in your content, you won't be able to do that now, because it might be the iPhone system opening the email for the client and not the recipient himself opening the email you've sent to him.

Subject line, Sender's name, and Sender's email address A/B Test Campaigns

We aren’t going to remove the option to A/B test by open rate. However, we advise using click rate to determine the winner unless you’re sure that most of your customers aren’t using Apple devices. We recommend utilizing our Email A/B testing capabilities and try experimenting with different email content more, than subject lines.

What alternatives in segmentation do I have if opens are dead?

The email marketing world might be losing open rates, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the only way to determine whether a customer is interested in your content or not. The power of segmentation isn’t entirely based on the open rates, and there are many other ways to figure out which customers are engaged with your content. Here’s just a couple of ideas:

  1. Click rate is definitely what most of us have thought of right after hearing how an update will impact the open rate. The good news is that IOS 15 update isn’t affecting the click rate. So, you can keep using this metric to determine those who have interacted with your email;

  2. Recent studies reveal that, on average, 65% of store revenue is generated from existing customers! This means that customers who have placed orders recently are likely to be interested in your content, and good offers may encourage recent buyers to buy again. We advise you to consider using the ‘placed order in the last 30-90 days’ rule to create a segment of active customers. Also, Omnisend offers an option to segment by lifecycle stages that are based on order history and overall store statistics.

  3. If a customer has subscribed to your newsletter in the last 30-90 days, they’re definitely expecting to get emails from you. Make sure to use ‘date added’ and ‘email opt-in’ rules in your ‘active subscribers’ segment.

  4. Collect more info from your customer using email preferences to send relevant content to people who are interested, instead of sending an email campaign to everybody in your audience. For example, if you're selling apparel&accessories, you can ask if your customers are interested in products for men or women. This way you won't promote men's clothes to women and vice versa. Feel free to play around with different custom properties (e.g. favorite color, pet, etc.).

You can use these rules separately or combine them using the OR rule.

Email marketing isn't the only option out there

Email marketing might lose some points due to the IOS 15 update, but it'll be easy to get those back using other channels for your marketing.

SMS channel

Everybody says that opens are dead, and this is the end of email marketing. What if we say that the SMS channel has never had open rates and still brings massive value to everyone who uses it? Everyone has a phone nowadays. A considerable part of emails is opened from mobile devices. So, if you haven't used the SMS channel just yet, we believe it's an excellent opportunity to start now and grow your sales with SMS marketing.

Idea 💡 One of the strategies you can use is sending an email campaign to your email subscribers first. Then a day later, send an SMS campaign to those who haven't clicked any links in your email campaign and haven't placed any orders. This way, you'll reach even more customers through their phones.

Push notifications channel

E-commerce business, most of the time, focuses on email marketing exclusively, but how big is the opportunity to show a short notification with a catchy image even when the customer is not browsing your website. With the Push Notifications channel in place, you may attract your customer's attention and drive more sales to your store.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our Support team. Also, we have an awesome blog article about upcoming IOS 15 update.

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