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02.16.2022

Product Update | 4 min read

Albatross or Opportunity? Email Marketing After Apple iOS 15

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Rajesh Bhatia

Keap

With 2022 well underway, we’re seeing small business stabilize and optimism returning among entrepreneurs. It’s been a rough couple of years as the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to shift revenue streams, adopt new technology and adapt in the face of unprecedented supply chain issues. As a result, small business owners have become more resilient and creative in uncovering new opportunities for themselves.

At Keap, we’re committed to empowering growth-minded entrepreneurs with tools that will help them convert obstacles into opportunities. A key priority for 2022 is helping small business owners adapt their email marketing strategies in the face of changes to Apple’s iOS announced late last year. Our CEO Clate Mask previously shared how Apple’s changes would impact small business, and we’ve been hard at work to improve our products to help entrepreneurs conquer the chaos by working smarter not harder.

As we look to the year ahead, it’s a good time to reexamine Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection feature and how it will impact your email marketing efforts. This is just the tip of the iceberg as the battle for privacy rages on, so it’s also the right time to look at how you can reimagine your email marketing strategy to future-proof your business.

What is Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection feature and what does it mean for you?

Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) prevents email marketers from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. Once users opt into this privacy setting, their IP address will be masked and all emails will be marked as opened, making it difficult to accurately gather data on email open rates. This will carry across all the user’s Apple devices. As a result, marketers will no longer be able to confidently rely on email opens as a key performance indicator (KPI). Additionally, these changes will impact automations triggered by email opens, rendering them ineffective. We anticipate Google and other email service providers will follow Apple’s lead in due time.

What other impacts will this change have on email marketers?

MPP also prevents the sender from seeing a user’s tracking details, including:

  • Email forwards
  • Time stamps (including those for open times)
  • Geolocation
  • Device type
  • Browser or platform

These changes will make personalizing email communications based on location or timing challenging for marketers. Furthermore, A/B testing won’t be as effective, so it’s vital to hone in on the right message.

What can you do to ensure success for your email campaigns?

So, if we can’t use open rates, how do we gauge success and design our campaigns around new metrics? The key is to think more deeply about your prospect’s journey as they evaluate their needs and make a purchase.

If open rates have been your go-to KPI, it’s time to shift your goals to more dependable, engagement-based measurements. Click data continues to be very accurate, so linking a click goal to an action is a better indication of campaign performance. This could be clicks on links to gather more information, fill out a form, make a purchase, or sign up for a newsletter or webinar. You will also need to utilize new sequences for automations based on engagement versus open rates.

To drive more engagement, first and foremost, look at your content. Is it relevant, appealing and, most importantly, is there a clear and tempting call-to-action? Personalize the value in your communications by utilizing discounts to drive conversion, point-of-purchase promo codes to upsell, or a giveaway to entice a customer to share your content. Review content your target audience has engaged with previously or consider a survey to get a pulse check on what your customers and prospects need and where your offerings align to maximize conversion.

If you have relied heavily on geolocation data, request prospective customers to enable location sharing to collect this information moving forward to personalize your campaigns, ensure accurate time zones for appointments and calculate sales taxes. This is another area where surveys can help secure the information you need.

How is Keap addressing Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection?

In the coming months, we will be making changes to campaign builder, offering new and improved solutions for your email campaigns to drive faster conversion. Part of this effort is to realign the goals offered in campaign builder to be exclusively engagement-based.

To that end, we will be removing email opened as a goal for any new campaign created after February 16. To ease the transition, existing campaigns with an open rate goal will continue to function but we don’t recommend relying on that data to make important decisions about your business investments. To learn more, please visit our Apple Email Changes FAQ.

Despite these changes, we remain focused on providing our customers with the most comprehensive solutions and tools to meet their sales and marketing needs including enhanced landing pages and funnels, powerful sales pipeline tools and new communications channels like text marketing. We are committed to liberating and empowering small business entrepreneurs so they can strengthen their families, communities and the global economy.


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