iOS 15 tackles your emails and push notifications!

Strategy 29 October 2021

Available to download since last September 20th, iOS 15 offers 85 features, and not the least interesting! Self-proclaimed privacy white knight, Apple is constantly offering users options to regain control of their personal data. The latest iOS version is no exception to the rule and offers three additional options about data privacy which will have, unfortunately, a significant impact on marketing efficiency, especially regarding email and push notifications.

In this article, we will explain how to evaluate the impact of these options and how to optimize and maintain your marketing activation performances.

Emails: Cupertino’s new battle

iOS 15 places the emails under the spotlight with two features that offer more confidentiality to users.

First of all, Hide My Email (HME) enables users to use a single-use email address to create an account or subscribe to a newsletter. Just like an alias, every message received on this address will be redirected to your email box… until the latter is deactivated.

Hide My Email allows using a temporary address to subscribe to a newsletter or create an account on an app.

Even if Hide My Email is a convenient option to avoid revealing your real email address when unnecessary, these relay addresses have many limitations for marketing activation:

  1. Since each generated address is unique, it will never be associated with another address of your prospect or customer, making it difficult to reconcile two actions, yet generated by the same person. This will make it even harder to build a unique prospect/customer profile with their email address as the main ID. 
  2. This means that every use case based on email address onboarding (remarketing, look-alike, offline conversion measure) would also be affected since it won’t be possible to reconcile users based on a single email address. 
  3. What’s more, the spreading of these single-use email addresses will affect lead generation campaigns for which it won’t be possible to reduplicate leads based only on the email address. 
  4. Finally, in terms of campaign deliverability, since any deleted HME address won’t be reachable any more (Apple servers answer that the address doesn’t exist), there will be an increase of permanent hard bounces.

In another field, Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) stops any email activity tracking. Most automatically sent emails indeed contain a small invisible image ( pixel) which, when displayed, enables counting email openings. 

Once the MPP option is activated, just like Gmail already offers, Apple downloads the content of the messages (including such pixels) before delivery to the recipient. Therefore, every email received on Apple Mail (iOS, but also iPadOS and MacOS email software) will be considered opened and read from the location of Cupertino servers. As Apple Mail represents 46% of market share, you can expect an increase in opening rates for your next campaigns in the following weeks.

This automatic email opening will also have an impact on every scenario and automatisation based on this signal. Therefore, triggers, segmentations and A/B tests based on email openings won’t be functional or reliable any more, forcing you to adapt your campaigns as a result. Also note that optimization algorithms of sending time, based on email openings will also be affected and thus less efficient.

What solutions for efficient mailing on iOS 15?

To prevent effects of Hide My Email, we advise you to carefully track the volume of new contacts with addresses ending in privaterelay.appleid.com and to adapt your email collection strategy:

  • By sending a message encouraging your prospects to enter a permanent email address for high value forms (account creation on an e-commerce website, lead for a car manufacturer, etc.)
  • By requiring a mandatory permanent email address for giveaway contests

About Mail Privacy Protection effects, we recommend you to adapt your emailing strategy by reevaluating performance keys and campaigns specifically targeting Apple mail software users (as well as for Google).

Push notifications under high tension

iOS in its latest version also tackles mobile apps and their push notifications. Apple offers a notification summary option which invites users to pick which notifications they want to see displayed and at what time precisely. Moreover, the Focus feature enables customization of these settings through authorizing some apps to display their notifications in a specific time gap (work, sleep). Therefore, these options will have consequences on app push notifications for which deliverability and display won’t be guaranteed any more, thus provoking a decrease of notification efficiency.

Only selected app notifications will be displayed on the locked iPhone screen 

Just like with emails, it will be necessary to reevaluate your CRM mobile strategy accordingly. On the one hand, work on different aspects of your push campaigns: base segmentation, A/B tests to identify ideal display time and occurrence, photo and video content used to stand out from competitors. On the other hand, vary actionable levers and promote in-app messages, push banners, but also app screen personalization as alternatives to push notifications.

Just like the previous version, iOS 15 is a milestone in Apple’s fight for user protection and privacy. After tackling trackers, Cupertino is now handling mails and notifications, making it harder for marketing specialists to continue to activate efficiently on these channels.

As explained, optimizations should be planned to limit the effects of new iOS15 features on CRM campaigns. However, it doesn’t mean marketing specialists shouldn’t already start thinking deeper about the sustainability of their digital strategies in the wake of rarer user signals on Apple and Google which, with Android, often follows in the steps of its competitors.

As an expert of these topics, fifty-five can guide you through the definition of your strategy, and thus help you take on the challenge of resilient digital marketing.

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