Everything you need to know about iOS15 - SMS & Email Marketing

Apple's new iOS15 updates strike fear into the hearts of marketers around the world. But why is this happening, and what's really going on?

To avoid going into the nitty-gritty's of tech-specs, iOS15 more or less means that Apple takes back the power over the customer's data into the customer's own hands. This means that it becomes more challenging to measure results and optimize their campaigns with channels such as email marketing.

With iOS 15, you can say goodbye to:

  • Reliable open rates
  • Effective geotargeting
  • Visible email addresses

So what do you do as a marketer now? Continue reading, and we will go through what the changes look like and what you can do about it.

Apple is changing the marketing climate.

If you go to your email list, you'll see that 30-50% of the addresses are from Apple Mail. This means that 30-50% of all your email campaigns will now, after iOS15, provide incomplete data.

This means that you'll more or less shoot out blind emails to half of your customer base without, like you could previously, being able to track results or improve your emails.

iOS15's mail app protection makes it possible for the user to hide their email and prevent you as a marketer from collecting data via invisible pixels. So instead of seeing what the user is doing, what buying habits they have and what automations are to be triggered, you can more or less do nothing to influence this. The data is now in the user's hands.

If you don't know how to adapt to this, then you are not alone. Many marketers are currently scratching their heads and wondering how to get over this threshold.

The solution is SMS marketing

Like I mentioned previously, up to 50% of all email lists are Apple addresses. These are mainly used via mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads. These addresses are already used to receiving offers via mobile devices, or as they say in the industry, Mobile-First Users.

Because we know for sure that Apple users are Mobile First Users, that means we know your SMS will go to a person who is very likely to read it. In addition, we can also be sure that your open rate on SMS is, more or less, consistently above 90%. This is well-studied data that never really change and rarely need to be reviewed. This means that you instead can focus on how many recipients click on your link and how many of those will make a purchase.

It will be much easier to use the data from SMS, as most of the data is already standardized and roughly the same between industries. So instead of optimizing subject lines and preview text that you had to do with your emails, you can instead improve your offers and review your landing page and possibly your CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization).

How to stay one step ahead:

Diversify your marketing channels

If you rely too much on one channel, there is always the risk that you are unprepared when something changes.

Despite iOS15's new changes to email marketing, this does not mean that you should completely give up on email as a marketing channel. Instead, you should broaden your views and put just as much focus on your other channels and see where you can develop.

Focus on zero-party data and first-party data

Of course, there are other ways to collect customer data besides via pixels.

First-party data and zero-party data become the new focus after cookies begin to be phased out and iOS15 starts throwing sticks in the wheel for third-party data. If you are unsure what these three types of data mean, I will explain it like this:

Third party data is customer data that has not necessarily been "opted in" and has been provided via movements on a website or specific "actions" that the profile does. An example that you probably recognize is the pop-up that always appears (and is a requirement according to GDPR) on websites about privacy policy and cookies.

First-party data is information that the customer has provided and approved that you use. Examples of where first-party data can come from are:

  • Analytics on your website
  • Your CRM
  • Social Media
  • Opt-in forms
  • Issues
  • Customer feedback

Zero-part data is information that the customer has given you directly to enhance their experience. This can be in the form of a questionnaire, a form or similar where the customer voluntarily fills in what they want to buy from you and why.

Since the focus shifts from third-party data to zero and first-party data, it is vital that you also adapt your marketing accordingly.

Make it worthwhile for the customer to subscribe to your SMS list

As we said in previous blogs, it is essential that you provide a value incentive for the customer to subscribe to your SMS list.

The value of an SMS list is generally higher than an email list as all measured values ​​such as open rate, click rate, and conversions are usually much higher.

Then take the opportunity to build up your SMS list with offers that your customers can reason with. You do not necessarily have to offer discount codes to get subscribers. You can also provide a value incentive in another form which you can read more about here.

Analyze what has provided results in the past

Since many email marketing metrics are affected by iOS15, it may be time to review which campaigns have worked best for you in the past and stay within a certain framework.

Of course, you can still measure the success of your campaigns, but not quite in the same way as before. Feel free to create an outline for what has worked before and try to emulate it as best you can. Also, make sure not to stare blindly at comparisons between current and older campaigns as the measured values are guaranteed to differ.

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