Email marketing is currently asking the same questions that every other channel will come face-to-face with before this year is out. The rules of the game are changing, the players are adapting, and the landscape will look very different. ESP’s (email service providers) are publishing articles about iOS15 and how to prepare for it. Framing it as if it’s a cataclysmic event. It all sounds very overwhelming, so let’s break it down.
In a nutshell – What is iOS15?
- Tracking pixels within emails will be blocked and open rate data is being hidden.
- A long-standing, widely accepted benchmark of results is being phased out. Therefore, we have to adjust how we measure success.
- “Hide my email” – this has been available for quite some time. However, Apple is making this feature more prominent so users will be more aware that they can hide an email address by creating a unique, random email address. Email addresses won’t be shared with the app or website developer during the account setup process.
- IP Addresses will be hidden. This makes it impossible to track location data, thus making it increasingly difficult to build a customer profile.
Big-Tech companies are vowing to protect customer data. GDPR marked the start of data culture and has only gathered momentum throughout the years. Brands and marketers are caught in the middle of a data war. Big-tech firms and audiences are beginning to understand the power and value of their data.
iOS15 has caused a fair stir of opinions by brands, analysts, marketers and journalists. There are concerns about data potentially being lost and the lack of tracking. Others have a more optimistic mindset, suggesting this update is a new beginning, a utopia of high-value metrics, all killer – no filler analytics. Anyone who has ever worked in Digital Marketing knows that they operate in an ever-changing environment. Goalposts are shifted constantly due to TOF (top of the funnel) wider societal factors. In this case, that’s big-tech companies winning back the fleeting trust of their audiences.
The Outcome of iOS15
To answer the original question, yes, this update does change Email Marketing forever. However, change isn’t always a bad thing. It forces us to keep up, to tear down whatever new obstacle stands in our way. The biggest change so far is open rate data being phased out due to tracking pixels being blocked by Apple. Marketers will now be paying much closer attention to click and conversion rates when analysing data.
This marks a new era of email and a more proactive approach to understanding audiences. Gone are the days of generic sweeping statements about performance based on open rates. Instead, there will stand a hands-on strategic approach with added focus on segmentation. There will also be a new perspective on KPIs and measuring success. Conversion and click-through rates will provide a more accurate depiction of subscriber engagement and lifetime value.
The End Goal
To summarise, the rules of the game have changed and even more notably, so have the players. Email marketing and the way we look at it has majorly changed. However, if your content is valuable, interesting, and engaging, then there’s no need to panic.
Email marketing still sits nicely at the very heart of the retention, high-intent stage, at the bottom of the funnel. Consumers sign up for discounts and their ticket to be part of an exclusive members-only club. Email marketing allows brands to have a strong foundation of loyal subscribers, driving traffic to their site and consistently converts sales. They can even act as a sample size audience for what might work on a broader scale of advertising.
The takeaway from this blog is to keep calm and carry on. Get granular with your audience and how they’re segmented. Keep a close eye on conversion and click rates. Continue to provide valuable content. The landscape will always change, the players will always face updates, but the name of the game will always stay the same. Finally, always remember to provide your subscribers with valuable content. Don’t let them forget why they subscribed in the first place!