Apple’s iOS 15 release this fall is likely to transform email marketing. Updates include the ability for Apple Mail users to privately load external images, which will prevent email marketing platforms from tracking the opening. I touched on the release last month.
The rollout of iOS 15 will start in September. The beta test has already started. Any email marketing company should prepare now. What follows are six action points.
6 Email Action Items
Understand the impact on your subscribers. How many subscribers open your email on an iOS device – iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch? Your email marketing platform likely has this information. Most of the emails in 2021 will be opened on mobile devices – iOS or Android.
Set benchmarks for open and click rates. Open rates after iOS 15 exclude iOS users who choose to load private images. (iOS 15 does not include private image loading by default; users must select it.) Therefore, the open rates reported by email providers will be too low.
Now set benchmarks for open and click rates for your entire list and segments, e.g. B. for new buyers and non-committed subscribers. Also segment by the domain of the recipient’s email address, e.g. B. @ gmail.com, @ yahoo.com and the like. This will help track the effect of iOS 15.
Record your opening and click rates before and after the update. Opening rates of, for example, 15% now and 10% afterwards show the effect.
Remove unsolicited subscribers. An unfortunate consequence of the private email update will be the detection of disengaged subscribers who are no longer opening emails. Powerful email marketers increase deliverability with clean, responsive lists, and delete subscribers after a long period of inactivity, typically six to twelve months.
Remove or segment non-committed subscribers before the updates.
Identify high openers with no clicks. Before iOS 15 rollout, flag subscribers with frequent opens but not frequent clicks. This will let you know to keep them on your list even if the engagement is no longer tracked.
Test, test, test. Testing is a foundation of email marketing. Open rates make it easy to test subject lines, segments, “from” lines, and the day and time.
iOS software is only found on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch – not Android devices and desktop email clients. Therefore, even if underreported, open rates are likely to remain useful for testing. For example, suppose subject lines A and B have open rates of 8.5% and 7.5%, respectively. It is likely safe to determine Subject A (8.5%) as the winner, although the actual odds are higher for either version.
However, test and compare all variants now before the update. Examples are delivery times, subject line copies (discounts, personalization, deadlines) and more. All of them provide valuable information for Post iOS 15.
Customize automated email funnels. Change your automated travel routines that use email openings as a condition. For example, many retailers send various drip campaign emails to recipients who (i) rarely open, (ii) open frequently but don’t click, and (iii) click normally. In the future, many subscribers who have opened an email will otherwise be grouped with those who have not.