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What the ios 15 update means for the future of email marketing

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Apple users around the world wait patiently for the newest software update like kids wait to open presents on Christmas morning. With changes to layout, functionality, and a slew of new, fun features, it’s always exciting to see what the newest ios update will hold.

Apple recently released their ios 15 update with a variety of new features users are buzzing about. One of the biggest updates to come with the new software system is changes to FaceTime. With spatial audio, and portrait mode now available on FaceTime calls, connecting with those who are far away feels more natural than ever. In addition, users can now use SharePlay to listen to songs together, watch their favorite show at the same time, and even share their screen to view things in sync. The new Spotlight feature allows users to locate text and handwriting in photos that can be copied in addition to being able to search photos by location, people, scenes, or objects.

While all these features are fun and exciting to Apple users, marketers aren’t as excited about the new ios 15 update. With new mail privacy features, email marketing has become harder to track and is leaving advertising agencies looking for new ways to connect with their audience.

What has changed?

In recent years, the idea of “web privacy” has become increasingly important to consumers, especially after many large organizations were found guilty of stealing and selling consumer data to outside companies. This has led to many consumers questioning how their data is being recorded, shared, and used.  To help ease the minds of consumers, new software updates have upped privacy protection to give consumers more control over what happens with their information.

ios 15 has added a new mail privacy protection that allows users to opt into new privacy features. These features allow users to mask their IP addresses and also block third parties from being able to track email opens. In addition, users will be asked in the App Store if they want to receive targeted ads, which previously opted  in all users.

These updates follow more privacy changes Apple introduced earlier this year. These changes included users being able to opt in or out before advertisers are able to track their web behavior.

While consumers may feel like their data and web behavior is more secure, these updates pose difficulties to advertisers and digital marketers.

What this means

Consumers are always worried about advertisers or developers “monitoring” and “tracking” their web behavior. Boiled down, all this really means is that advertisers use your web behavior to determine your interests and target specific ads to you based on those interests. Opting out of tracking options will not stop you from receiving unwanted advertisements, but it will stop you from receiving advertisements for things you may actually be interested in.

With consumers being able to opt out of open receipts on emails, it will be difficult for advertisers to determine if their message is effective. Typically, advertisers use the open rate of email campaigns to determine whether or not they were successful. If you have a high open rate it means your messaging and subject line were an effective means of capturing your audience’s attention. If not, you know you may need to do some tweaking to your strategy. With ios 15 allowing consumers to opt out of this, advertisers have no way to judge the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign.

In addition, when setting up a digital marketing campaign, advertisers frequently target users within a specific geographical location. For example, if you’re advertising a new local business you might set your campaign to target users within a 50 mile radius. With the new ios updates, consumers can opt in to receive an anonymous IP address, making it more difficult for sites to track their activities and determine where users are located.

The Road Ahead

While some advertising agencies are worried about how these new updates will affect their ability to monitor campaigns and determine their effectiveness, others are viewing this as an opportunity to develop new creative strategies. Tim Glomb, VP, of Cheetah Digital said, “How do two people meet each other on the street? They ask each other questions. They listen, they learn and then they use that information to continue the conversation and build a relationship. Marketers lost that."

While these changes may force marketers and ad agencies to reevaluate their strategy, it may also be an opportunity to build more personal connections. In addition, marketing companies will have to work harder to ensure they are creating relevant content that drives conversions instead of just relying on click rates.

At Robert Sharp & Associates we are always up for a new challenge, and our team is excited to see how these changes affect our day-to-day operations, and engages us to build new strategies that stand out above the rest.


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