The iOS 15 Update and Email Open Rates – What to Know

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iOS 15 Will Kill Email Open Rates

Email marketing has been one of the top methods of advertising for decades now. Open rates, which are crucial metrics that provide marketers with insights on how engaging their subjects and content may be, are one of the top ways that businesses have been able to measure email success.

But, with Apple’s new iOS 15 update, all of that could change.

Apple’s iOS 15 update will impact email marketers everywhere due to changes in privacy policies. These changes will ultimately render email open rates irrelevant for most marketers’ metrics. Because of this, email marketers and businesses alike need to start preparing for these changes to adapt their email marketing strategies.

How iOS 15 Affects Email Open Rates

So, how exactly can one tech giant’s change in policies affect key metrics that have mattered to businesses for decades? Here’s how.

When Apple users decide to upgrade their devices to the new iOS 15 update, they will have the option to activate “Mail Privacy Protection.” This privacy protection applies to all Apple applications that a user may use (both on their mobile device or computer) to view and read their mail. If a user chooses to activate the mail privacy protection option, which the beta Apple created makes a very convincing case for, then all emails will be marked as opened for marketers trying to view their metrics.

Ultimately, this change in policy takes away almost all value that was once in email open rates for businesses, which means that they are going to have to adapt their strategies to fit this change.

How iOS 15 Affects Email Open Rates

Preparing for the Change in Your Marketing Strategy

Though email open rates have been a major way to assess email success for businesses for many years, they didn’t assess a few important things that are key in understanding your interaction rates: how engaging the content actually is and how the recipient responds to it.

How recipients engage and respond to emails demand the most attention. Here are four things that you and your business can do to enhance your email marketing strategies while also preparing them for the new iOS update in September 2021.

1. Adjust Focus to Other Marketing Metrics

Firstly, adjust your focus towards other marketing metrics that won’t be affected by the update. Click-through rates, traffic to your site, clickmaps, and surveys still play a large part in assessing your recipients’ interactions with your emails.

For example, click-through rates are a great way to see how engaging your content may be to recipients. When you send an email that receives almost no click-throughs, you may want to rethink the content that was used or how it was displayed. Think about attaching blogs or product pages so you can not only send more users to your company’s webpage but can also assess how engaging the content was by the number of clicks.

Another metric that will still be useful after the update is unsubscribe rates. Do you send too many emails? Or maybe they’re just not engaging? Measuring your unsubscribe rates before and after sending out different kinds of emails (coupons, promotions, check-ins) is a great tool in assessing what kind of content recipients want.

2. Test and Perfect Subject Lines

The subject line of your email has and will always play a large role in whether a recipient decides to engage with the email itself. Your business needs to entice the user with a subject line that makes them want to open your message and read the content. To make sure that you use a headline that entices recipients, testing them is always crucial.

Try sending out A/B subject lines with a few of your different email messages to see if one subject receives more engagement than the other. By testing to see which subject lines may entice readers more, you can adapt your future emails to ensure engagement.

3. Enhance Content for Optimal Engagement

Of course, one of the most important aspects of your marketing strategy is to have engaging content. If a recipient sees nothing engaging in your content within a few seconds, they will most likely open it and delete it in under a minute.

Think about adding images, bolding promotions, asking questions, etc. Emphasize the important details of your messages without being too wordy. There are a multitude of ways to enhance your marketing content to promote more engagement with your recipients.

4. Clean Up Your Contact List

Help your business start off with a clean slate when the new Apple update hits by cleaning out your contact list of unengaged subscribers. Furthermore, when you continue to send emails to unengaged subscribers on your contact list, it can affect your metrics and even land your company’s messages in a spam or junk folder, which is never good.

Shifting Focus From Email Open Rates

Shifting Focus

Though the impending loss of the importance of email open rates may be intimidating for email marketers everywhere, it doesn’t have to be.

Shifting your company’s focus to creating engaging content and measuring other meaningful metrics doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it allows you to focus more on your customer’s experience and optimizes their engagement with your business. Don’t let change negatively affect your email marketing. Instead, use it to your company’s advantage.

Avatar for Chris Weatherall

Chris Weatherall

President and SEO Strategist Chris has over a decade and a half of website development, SEO and organic link building experience. He manages the strategy for each client and drives the search engine rankings and traffic Eminent SEO is known for. When you hire Eminent you hire Chris, which means you have a veteran organic search expert on your team. Oh, and he’s funny too!

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This entry was posted in Email Marketing and tagged , .
Avatar for Chris Weatherall

About Chris Weatherall

President and SEO Strategist Chris has over a decade and a half of website development, SEO and organic link building experience. He manages the strategy for each client and drives the search engine rankings and traffic Eminent SEO is known for. When you hire Eminent you hire Chris, which means you have a veteran organic search expert on your team. Oh, and he’s funny too!

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