Apple fan or casual user, you’ve no doubt already heard the news. Apple has announced that iOS 15 will be available later this autumn. Exciting stuff. However, the iOS 15 update includes stricter measures regarding their Mail Privacy Protection. So what does this mean for companies that use email as one of the most vital marketing channels? Let us tell you.

What is the new update all about?

Unlike their product launches that, let’s face it, usually means we all have to go out and buy new gadgets and accessories, the updates typically mean a stream of bug fixes along with new features. But Apple is also an advocate for user-owned data and has been continuously implementing a number of privacy features to align with this policy. One example is the most recent update, which means that users now have to authorize in-app tracking, which has led to many users requesting not to share their data.

New privacy features

With iOS 15, there are a bunch of new privacy features. Some apply to all users, and some will be available only to iCloud subscribers. The main ones are:

  • Mail Privacy Protection (free for everyone) – This is the privacy feature currently a hot topic among marketing teams. The update means that users will get the choice to mask their IP addresses and block tracking from third parties.

According to Apple:

Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. [It prevents] senders from knowing when they open an email and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.

  • iCloud+ (subscription) – An extra safety “shield” that prevents tracking of opted-in Safari users and enables users to see what information they are sharing with websites.
  • Private Relay (all iCloud+ subscribers) – Encrypts Safari traffic. Masks your IP address and browsing activity from network providers and websites.
  • Hide My Email (all iCloud+ subscribers) – A feature that provides the user with a randomized email address when they register with an app or website. Emails, however will still be delivered to an inbox so it probably won’t affect your email marketing, but the address stored in your CRM might not be accurate.

So, how will the iOS 15 update affect us?

Tracking – From a marketing perspective, Mail Privacy Protection will stop you from gathering information about the user, it will basically block the data collecting pixels. This will have an impact on the email statistics, such as email opens.

Email statistics – From what we know now, with the iOS 15 upgrade, Apple will be preloading email images when using the Mail app. This may result in emails that haven’t been opened to be shown as opened in your system.

A/B-testing – If you are a fan of A/B-testing emails based on opening rates, your strategy might have to change. The update will probably mean that you can’t trust those numbers. So, what other statistics could be important to your company? “Click-through rate” could be one of those, or if it’s possible – a marketer can dream – “Click to purchase”.

What to do?

  • Click stats, click stats and then some more click stats. Click stats is still an extraordinarily valuable metric when it comes to measuring your engagement levels.
  • Determine what email stats are important to you and focus on those key performance indicators.
  • Go get those opt-ins, gather information by offering valuable content and do a recurring re-engagement campaign.
  • Personalized content tailored to your different personas making sure that your company updates are relevant to them.
  • Last but not least, remember that this doesn’t affect all of your email readers. Apple Mail and Apple mobile devices make up approximately 35% of the global email provider market.

Apple fan or casual user, you’ve no doubt already heard the news. Apple has announced that iOS 15 will be available later this autumn. Exciting stuff. However, the iOS 15 update includes stricter measures regarding their Mail Privacy Protection. So what does this mean for companies that use email as one of the most vital marketing channels? Let us tell you.

What is the new update all about?

Unlike their product launches that, let’s face it, usually means we all have to go out and buy new gadgets and accessories, the updates typically mean a stream of bug fixes along with new features. But Apple is also an advocate for user-owned data and has been continuously implementing a number of privacy features to align with this policy. One example is the most recent update, which means that users now have to authorize in-app tracking, which has led to many users requesting not to share their data.

New privacy features

With iOS 15, there are a bunch of new privacy features. Some apply to all users, and some will be available only to iCloud subscribers. The main ones are:

  • Mail Privacy Protection (free for everyone) – This is the privacy feature currently a hot topic among marketing teams. The update means that users will get the choice to mask their IP addresses and block tracking from third parties.

According to Apple:

Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. [It prevents] senders from knowing when they open an email and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.

  • iCloud+ (subscription) – An extra safety “shield” that prevents tracking of opted-in Safari users and enables users to see what information they are sharing with websites.
  • Private Relay (all iCloud+ subscribers) – Encrypts Safari traffic. Masks your IP address and browsing activity from network providers and websites.
  • Hide My Email (all iCloud+ subscribers) – A feature that provides the user with a randomized email address when they register with an app or website. Emails, however will still be delivered to an inbox so it probably won’t affect your email marketing, but the address stored in your CRM might not be accurate.

So, how will the iOS 15 update affect us?

Tracking – From a marketing perspective, Mail Privacy Protection will stop you from gathering information about the user, it will basically block the data collecting pixels. This will have an impact on the email statistics, such as email opens.

Email statistics – From what we know now, with the iOS 15 upgrade, Apple will be preloading email images when using the Mail app. This may result in emails that haven’t been opened to be shown as opened in your system.

A/B-testing – If you are a fan of A/B-testing emails based on opening rates, your strategy might have to change. The update will probably mean that you can’t trust those numbers. So, what other statistics could be important to your company? “Click-through rate” could be one of those, or if it’s possible – a marketer can dream – “Click to purchase”.

What to do?

  • Click stats, click stats and then some more click stats. Click stats is still an extraordinarily valuable metric when it comes to measuring your engagement levels.
  • Determine what email stats are important to you and focus on those key performance indicators.
  • Go get those opt-ins, gather information by offering valuable content and do a recurring re-engagement campaign.
  • Personalized content tailored to your different personas making sure that your company updates are relevant to them.
  • Last but not least, remember that this doesn’t affect all of your email readers. Apple Mail and Apple mobile devices make up approximately 35% of the global email provider market.