How Apple’s iOS15 Privacy Feature Will Change Email Marketing

The next iOS15 update is due to be released sometime in  September 2021

Earlier in the year Apple launched its iOS14.5 update, which allowed iPhone users to choose whether to allow apps to track them or not. 

If you missed it, here’s the list of privacy changes in the iOS14.5 update

To sum it all up, apps now need to ask your permission to track you. The question pops up for each app, so users may choose exactly how each app tracks their usage. A recent study found 96% of people chose to opt out of being tracked which is set to make tracking marketing activities even harder. While there are many end users happy with these changes, Facebook wasn’t as pleased

Now with the latest iOS15 announcement, small and large businesses are getting even more nervous about Apple’s changes to its mail privacy protection features for their app on iOS15, iPadOS15 and macOS Monterey

iOS email privacy changes

What is the new Apple iOS15 email privacy feature?

Apple announced at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) that they will be making changes to Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) which stops email senders from collecting recipient data. 

Businesses all over the world rely on recipient (receiver) data to gauge their audiences. Every time an email is sent and opened, email marketers will receive invisible pixels containing data back to their email platform. 

That means, email marketers are able to see: 

•    The email’s open rate

•    The recipient’s location 

•    The device it was opened on 

•    How many times it was read 

While this change to MPP may be highly beneficial for Apple users to safeguard their privacy, for small businesses and online marketers alike, this could be a huge setback.

The fact is, email marketers rely on data such as open rates in order to deliver relevant content to its subscribers and to determine where best to put their money on for biggest returns. 

With businesses no longer able to see the full percentage of people opening an email when they use Apple mail products or applications, how will they be able to analyse reader’s behaviour and improve their email marketing campaigns?

The changes also involve masking a user’s Internet Protocol (IP) address which would stop you from seeing what country or region the email was opened from, further impacting the level of information that businesses and marketers require to grow their business.

What can I expect to see in my email marketing reports?

Once the changes go live, your open rate will likely be 75% or more for Apple Mail recipients. That percentage will occur on any type of email address, whether it is Gmail, Microsoft Outlook or a professional email address – so long as they are connected to the Apple mail app.

According to Litmus, Apple Mail owns over 48% market share of email usage, so the change is likely to have an impact on your email marketing reports.

Also, if a person forwards the email to another user, this information will also no longer be visible to you. 

So is email marketing doomed?

Well, we say don’t throw in the towel just yet! 

Email marketing is still a highly effective way to reach your existing customers and potential customer base. The conversion rate is typically stronger than other communication channels. So you still need to focus on email, even if you won’t get as much data from it as you used to.

While losing out on key data can be disheartening to many, perhaps now’s the time to pivot and get creative! 

What should I focus on instead of email open rates?

1. Change your automated email journeys

A lot of automated email journeys are created using the open rate as a key indicator on whether to send or not send a certain message. Make sure you remove the open rate as a decider in these journeys and instead replace it with those who click on a link in the email or other available actions depending on your email campaign tool. This means you’re focusing more on actual leads instead of just open rates.

2. Track click-through rates

You’ll still be able to see people coming to your website. Make sure to use Google Analytics or UTMs to track your campaigns more effectively. Become more familiar with website analytic tools to see how people engage with your content and website. You can even segment your data to find people who came from a tagged URL that was driven by an email campaign.

3. Put more emphasis on your conversions

Remember : Conversions = Money

Put the focus on conversions. Determine the goal of your email campaign and what you would like them to do. Make a purchase? Read that article? Sign up to a waiting list? Utilise this data into your next campaign planning. 

4.    Conduct A/B testing on Body Copy

Gone are the days of testing subject lines to see which gets the most open rates, now let’s see which body copy directs your readers to click on a link or button in your email, to your site.  

5.    Put the focus on readership

Keep an eye out for:

•    New subscribers

•    Unsubscribers

•    Website views

•    Sales and Campaign Revenue

•    Click- through rates

6.    Put in some work to better understand your audience

Ask them how your business is doing and get data that your customers will voluntarily give you! Surveys are great for this and utilise those LIKE and DISLIKE buttons. It’s an amazingly easy way to get direct feedback from your audience. 

Engage, engage, engage. Socialise with them over social media, get them commenting on posts or asking questions. Build a community page and group all those interested in your services and get to know your audience better on a more personal level and understand their preferences, likes and dislikes. Now, you’ll know the next topic for your email marketing campaign to hit all the right spots! 

7.    Interact with your customers, they love it.

Most importantly, keep an eye out for how your chosen email marketing platform is working to support you with the changes. We expect other companies may follow in Apple’s footsteps, like Android by Google who already announced plans to offer a consent tracker for apps in the future too.

Need help with your email marketing?

Here at LYF Solutions®, we stay on top of digital marketing trends and changes for our clients. We believe that taking a holistic view and strategy when it comes to marketing is the key to surviving.

Talk to our team today about your email marketing options.


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