How iOS15 affects metrics + nurturing campaigns/workflows

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Last week I did a guest training for a colleague’s membership community and it was all around the effects of iOS15 and email privacy affecting marketing metrics.

In case you haven’t heard, Apple’s latest update asks users whether or not they want to share info when they open/read emails.

After the update, upon launching the Apple Mail app, we’re asked to choose between:

— “Protect Mail activity: Hide IP address and load all remote content” or

— “Don’t protect Mail activity: Show IP address and load any remote content directly on your device.”

Marketers everywhere are freaking. After all, open rate tracking is going to be skewed and, for those who segment using location data, that goes away when IP addresses are hidden.

My thoughts? It’s a change that forces marketers to focus on what truly matters: engagement.

That said, this doesn’t mean you can slack on creating good subject lines. Just because the open rate tracking will be off, doesn’t make subject lines less important from your reader’s perspective in getting them to open the email in the first place.

For purposes of this article, I’m defining “engagement” as link clicks and email replies.

If you’re regularly providing helpful information to the right audience, they’re going to engage with your content. Maybe today, maybe next month or next year. It’s a long game.

Looking to inspire email engagement?

  • Be helpful. Come from a place of being generous with your info without overwhelming.
  • Write longer content on your blog and encourage email readers to click over to see an expanded piece of content on X topic.
  • Include a link or two in your emails (less is more here!) and make it easy peasy for readers to click it — meaning don’t have several links close together where chunky fingers can’t easily press one on their teeny mobile screen. Consider using buttons.

How iOS15 affects nurturing campaigns and automated workflows

If your automated nurturing campaigns/workflows rely on an email open to proceed to the next step, you may need to rethink that step as you can no longer rely on accurate open rate data for those with iOS15 (and other platforms will likely quickly follow).

The same is true of delays based on open rate:

For example, “don’t send email 2 until one day after email 1 is opened”.

Let’s say you have an autoresponder set up to automatically deliver an ebook or checklist when someone opts in on your website. And a second message goes out the next day to everyone who opens that message.

The tweak needed: Change the trigger for your second message to when someone clicks on the download link for your ebook/checklist/goodie.

It’s not all about open rates and clicks: other metrics to keep an eye on

  • List growth — is your list growing? What are you doing to attract more opt-ins?
  • Unsubscribes — people unsubscribing from your emails is a type of engagement, not the type we want, yet still engagement that tells us something.

We’re considering hosting a training on this topic. If you’re interested, let us know here.