How Apple iOS 15 Shakes Up Email Marketing Best Practices

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A brand-new privacy feature in Apple Mail leaves a lot of uncertainty about the future of email tracking metrics. Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) is an optional mail privacy feature—included with Apple’s iOS 15—that allows Apple Mail users to mask their IP address and block some kinds of third-party email tracking. 

Why should you care?

Well, the biggest issue with this change is that it essentially makes it impossible to accurately track email open rates for the Apple Mail users on your contact list. You may not be able to tell when someone opens your email via Apple Mail, and you may even see falsely inflated open rates due to the way email files are cached by the service. 

The other issue is that, unlike many other email privacy protections and services, Apple Mail users running iOS 15 can opt into MPP at no cost. And without cost as a barrier, adoption rates are likely to be high.

With typically around half of all email opens coming from Apple Mail users, you can see why this is a big deal!

If lots of iPhone and Apple Mail users choose to opt into this new privacy feature, open rates become a MUCH less reliable metric for measuring the success of your email marketing campaigns.   

Keep in mind that this new feature is only available to Apple Mail users, and it does not apply to other email apps—like the Gmail app or Outlook—even when used on the iPhone.  

However, this move is right on trend, and you should expect to see a constantly growing emphasis on online privacy in the years to come. Lots of other tech giants have already been working on providing better privacy for their users, as well as squashing some of the types of tracking marketers have relied on in the past. (A good example of this is Google phasing out tracking cookies in Chrome!) 

Of course, there’s no need to panic about Apple’s new email privacy protections. The way you track your email campaigns might have to change with the times, but the best practices for email marketing are still the same. 

So, let’s dust off your email campaigns and ensure they’re the best they can be.   

5 Email Marketing Best Practices That Matter in a Privacy-Minded World

Big updates from tech giants are notorious for shaking up digital marketing, but there’s no sense in fighting it. If you want to weather the changes, your time is better spent honing your campaigns to perfection and reviewing some of the most important email marketing best practices:

  1. Keep your contact list squeaky clean. It’s a bad idea to send all your emails to everyone that has ever ended up on your contact list. To really win at email marketing, you have to clean up your email list regularly, and you have to tag and segment your list in ways that make sense. Ready to get on top of it? Find out how to manage your email contact list the right way.
  2. Send emails when your audience is most receptive. An otherwise great email campaign can fail if you aren’t sending it at the right time. Find out how to pick the best days and times to send email. You might have to experiment a little to get it “just right,” but it’s worth it! 
  3. Use subject lines that grab attention. Even if you can’t accurately measure email open rates, your subject lines still matter. Subject lines are what motivate people to read your email in the first place! You want something short, sweet, and memorable that motivates people to want to open it up and read more. Find out how to write better email marketing subject lines
  4. Use what you know about your “perfect clients” to build trust. The real catch-22 of privacy measures like MPP is that, while people DO want more privacy, they also want highly targeted content. To strike a balance, you have to craft emails that really resonate with people that need your services and fit the avatar of your “perfect client.” What motivates your “perfect clients” and makes them feel understood? What questions are nagging at them? The more personalized and relevant your email content is, the better your campaigns will perform. 
  5. Make sure all your emails work and look great on mobile. If one change to one brand’s mobile mail can shake things up this much, you KNOW that tons of people are reading their email on their phones. So, don’t just design your emails for desktop. Make sure every email you send looks great on all devices. 

Are you getting a lot out of reviewing your email campaigns? Not ready to stop? Don’t forget to also check out these 6 email marketing problems you may not know you have.

Do I Need to Change Anything About My Email Marketing Due to Apple’s New Privacy Measures?

If you already have a good email reputation and follow best practices, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about this change. Email open rate has classically been used as a big measure of an email campaign’s success, but it’s never been the only metric that matters. For example, your click-through rate is a huge measure of success because it shows that people not only opened your email but acted on it. And low opt-outs or unsubscribes typically show that you’ve segmented your list well. 

Moving forward, it’s all about taking a more holistic view of your email metrics instead of depending solely on open rates—and that’s just good marketing advice, regardless of Apple’s changes. 

If you have questions about tracking the success of your email campaigns, or if you just want to tighten up your email strategy, check out these email tools in DSS. With powerful list-management and email-creation tools on your side, you’ll be at peak email performance in no time!  

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