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Open Rates Destroyed by iOS 15? Here’s How to Adapt Your Email Marketing Strategy

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Apple shocked the marketing world when they released a new feature in iOS 15 called Mail Privacy Protection. Once enabled, the feature prevents tracking when emails are opened or returning the user’s IP address.

While privacy advocates might appreciate the change, marketers definitively do not. Email marketing has long been praised as an effective marketing tool, but the announcement made people question the future of email marketing.

Apple iOS users make up 53.66% of the North American mobile user base. It’s also worth noting that approximately 60% of email opens are from mobile devices. That means roughly 32% of all North American mobile users will open emails on their mobile phones without you knowing about it.

That’s a hearty amount of unknown email opens. It’s enough to skew the email open rate statistic enough to where it’s not as reliable nor as important as it once was.

As business owners and marketers, what should we do to use email marketing to still nurture leads and earn conversions? Don’t worry; we’ve got a few ideas. Read on to learn how you can adjust to this change and even anticipate future privacy-focused updates.

Email Marketing isn’t Dead – It’s Transformed

Even if you don’t know if your emails were opened, your emails are still being sent, and your undeliverable metric tells you if they were received. The core function of email marketing remains intact.

Open rates, arguably the most essential email marketing statistic, aren’t reflecting reality anymore. You need to boost the importance of other metrics and adjust your overall strategy to earn clicks.

As an aside, privacy isn’t going anywhere. Google plans to eliminate third-party cookies by 2023, and some browsers already block them. When you have Google and Apple making privacy-centric updates, you know other tech companies will follow. Many tips can help you plan for a more private Internet.

How to Adapt to Your Email Marketing Strategy

What can you do to have an amazing ROAS for your email marketing campaigns? We have a few ideas that will help you understand the performance of a given campaign and ensure that you still profit from your efforts.

Click-Through is The New Open Rate

You won’t know when an iOS user opens your email, but you’ll still know when they click on a link within it. As a result, the click-through rate is now arguably the most critical email marketing KPI to track.

But haven’t click-throughs always been more important? Someone opening your email is nice, but clicking through to your site is how you make money.

It’s time to track performance by the link to see how effectively a given campaign or specific email performs. For example, is the email copy encouraging people to visit your site and buy some more products? Is the overall campaign nurturing leads effectively so that they click when you go for the sale?

Embrace Other Important KPIs

The click-through rate might now reign supreme, but other KPIs should also receive more attention. For example, conversions from your email marketing campaigns are vital in gauging their effectiveness. Your conversion rate tells you how many people who click through are making a purchase.

Average order value (AOV) from email marketing campaigns should also be tracked and analyzed. For example, are leads being nurtured adequately to make a high-value purchase when the time comes?

Your bounce rate from email links is crucial. Is your website following through on promises made in your email? Or is your site loading too slow?

Each of these KPIs sheds light on the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. Ultimately, they relate more directly to selling products than focusing on just getting people to open your emails.

Understand Your Current iOS User Base

You’re still going to have an open rate. However, using your historical data can help you understand how skewed it might be. For example, if you operate an ecommerce website that only sells Android accessories, your historical data will probably show that the iOS update doesn’t affect very many users.

Conversely, you might discover that 70% of your email subscribers are iOS users. Assuming they enable the new feature, you know that email open rates aren’t meaningful to your business.

Leverage ‘Zero-Party’ Data for Personalization

‘Zero-party’ refers to information provided to you directly from the subscriber or lead. Focusing on this type of data will prepare you for future privacy updates from Google and other tech companies.

Add a new relevant field to your opt-in form, or have email campaigns that ask users for more information about themselves. Then, use this information to segment your email lists and provide more personalized campaigns.

Asking users for more information about themselves will likely be a growing trend. Many users want privacy but also want personalized content. These goals aren’t as mutually exclusive as they may seem; you just need to ask users direct questions instead of relying on third-party sources.

Put the Focus Back on Nurturing Connections and Adding Value

Entirely too many marketers and business owners have become fixated on statistics. But unfortunately, some marketers have forgotten a fundamental truth: there are real people behind those stats.

Instead of always looking at stats, look at the content of your emails:

  • Are you building a connection with your subscribers?
  • Are you adding value every time you contact them?
  • Are you showing them your authority in your industry?
  • Are you demonstrating how your product alleviates a pain point or satisfies a desire?
  • Are you making every possible effort to be at the forefront of your subscribers’ minds when it comes time to purchase?

You certainly need to still pay attention to the statistics we mentioned earlier. But don’t forget the human element.

You Aren’t in This Alone – We Can Help

Adjusting to the new iOS update means tracking new statistics and connecting data points in a new way. You probably didn’t open an online store to become a statistician or data analyst, so sometimes it’s worth bringing in the experts.

Emarketed is a marketing agency for online stores that provide white-glove treatment to our customers. We already have a software solution set up that helps you adjust to the new email marketing landscape.

Are you looking to create a winning email marketing strategy? Get in touch with our team of marketing specialists today to get started.

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