In September 2021, Apple introduced the next major update of their iPhone operating system, iOS 15. With this update came many changes that will delight users, although they will likely impact how digital marketers can advertise via the iPhone. Here we’ll list some of the changes and what they will mean for marketers and users.
One of the main changes implemented is Mail Privacy Protection, which removes the ability to know an email recipient’s IP address (and therefore location), as well as ascertain if an email has been opened. If a user decides to enable privacy protection, Apple will do this by automatically loading images and CSS, so it will appear that the email has been opened, even if it hasn’t.
This could impact marketers by potentially overly inflating the open rates for an email campaign, showing a rate that may not be reflective of the actual number. For marketers who rely on pretty accurate figures, this could impact their campaigns majorly. The hiding of recipients’ IP addresses also means that identifying information that can “fingerprint” users will be removed, as they can’t then be linked to any other online activity.
Another feature newly introduced is Hide My Email, which gives users the ability to sign up for a website or app without needing to use their real email address. Instead, a randomly generated email address will be entered by Apple, and only the information the user wants to receive will be forwarded to their personal email account.
The benefits to users are obvious with this change, although given that signing up customers to a database or newsletter without their consent is actually illegal in some places, such as the European Union, this shouldn’t impact those marketers who act with integrity.
Many of these changes by Apple are unsurprising, given that earlier in 2021 they introduced the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework. ATT gives users greater control over how they are tracked on the internet, having to opt in to allow advertisers and developers to track them.
How can marketers overcome the obstacles posed through these privacy changes? Marketers will need to look at alternate metrics to open rates or other information which relies on “connecting the dots” with users and their online behaviour to discover more about their interests and needs.
While features such as Hide My Email mean that tracking consumers across different platforms will become more difficult, many consumers will still opt to receive communications from brands, although businesses will likely need to ramp up personalisation and learn more about their audiences.
For a long time, Apple has been seen as a fervent protector of users’ privacy and security, and the launch of iOS 15 is, therefore, no surprise, with its strong focus on privacy. Soon enough, other tech companies will follow suit, such as Chrome phasing out third-party cookies in 2023. While these changes create challenges for marketers, it is also a great way to help inspire some out-of-the-box thinking about how digital marketers can continue to ply their trade and gain rich insights on users and their behaviour and interests.
How can Salt & Fuessel approach this challenge for our clientele? The more you know about the client, the more effectively you can communicate with them. Here at Salt and Fuessel, we can help to collect your consumer data on your behalf, such as through surveys, data from CRM, Google analytics, and web tracking (just to name a few).
There are two main challenges you may face:
- The same user can interact with the brand on different devices: smartphone, PC, laptop, or tablet. We can help to match all this data and define the contact regardless of how they got into your base.
- We will make sure the collected data is relevant to your business and branding and is updated so that you can use it for your marketing strategies, for example, automated campaigns.
Other direct-marketing channels such as SMS and push notifications also have high performance. For example, in the first weeks of March 2020, the number of marketing SMSs increased by 32%, compared to March 2019.
The rise of the subscription channel efficiency is most likely due to the boom in online shopping caused by the ongoing global pandemic, which has given companies a chance to take their business to the next level. To survive these iOS updates, we can assist you in doubling down on personalised emails and SMS blasts sent from your own website to reach your audience.
Instead of buying into the limitations these iOS updates bring, using email marketing can be the most effective resource moving forward. However, you first have to learn about your audience to send the right email or SMS message at the right time. You'll make more revenue without having to spend on advertising to adjust to the new iOS updates.
Still don’t think you’ve grasped the changes in the updates and how they are going to affect your digital marketing? Don’t stress! Get in touch with Salt and Fuessel for a rundown on how to tackle them and we can create a game plan together!