The impact of IOS 15

Apple’s latest IOS update released in late September is designed to give users even more control over their personal data. For advertisers, the changes have made targeted advertising even trickier.

Here is what Apple's IOS 15 update has meant for advertisers and brands.  

  • IOS 15 stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. Which has impacted email marketing campaigns and any businesses running newsletters.

  • The update introduced features called hide My Email and privacy relay. Allowing Apple users to create unique, random email addresses to use when signing up to apps, websites, and more so their personal email can stay private.

  • Apple user web browsing data is now encrypted and will assign an anonymous IP address to a user, making it more difficult for sites to track their browsing activities.

  • Apps are now given a privacy report card in a move to provide more data transparency by allowing users to see what data is collected by apps.

How it’s affected email marketing:

Email list open rates have become inflated when in reality it is just Apple mail triggering all incoming emails as opened whether that is actually the case. Email service providers will no longer be able to accurately track who is opening and reading emails.

Here are some best practices to put in place.

  • If you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to clean and audit your email list.

  • Consider enacting systems to remove hard bounce addresses to minimize any damage from the disposable email addresses. The Hide my email feature will likely lead to more hard bounce emails.  

  • Audit your list and chart your current metrics and compare with metrics from a few months ago before the update was released. Chart metrics like opens to clicks, and how many emails in your list are connected to Apple devices if your ESP allows.

So where is the opportunity moving forward?

These new IOS 15 changes have presented many new challenges and limitations for advertisers, brands and digital publishers. Personalized messaging and targeting which we have become accustomed to will no longer be possible.

From a user's perspective, it will likely continue to bring positives.

  • Brands and advertisers now need to focus more on the big picture and the value they provide to consumers. Better offers, more thoughtful content, and effort nurturing relationships with customers.

  • A focus on zero-party data like customer preferences from the type of communication they want to receive.

  • Greater importance will be put back on organic audiences and community. Many marketing strategies which have become focused on pay to play advertising methods will no longer be as effective.