Reacting to the iOS 15 update: A step-by-step guide

iOS 15 is going to change the game. During this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple released news about the upcoming iOS 15 update. As we all know, any time Apple updates their operating system there is industry-wide commotion. And this time isn’t any different.

The new features in iOS 15 are set to change the way we do business, particularly email marketing.  

So, should you be worried? Apple does dominate email marketing, owning 45% to 57% of the email client market share today. This does mean that the changes may impact your approach to email marketing and how you collect data. 

But, this isn’t the end of the world. A well-skilled marketer will be able to adapt to the changes and revamp their online marketing strategies. Apple tends to lead the charge and it’s likely other tech providers will make similar updates in the following months. By reacting now, you’ll be prepared when bigger changes come into play.

So what happens now? In this blog we’ll explore the iOS 15 update and cover a step-by-step process for you to react to the change.

Catch up on our conversation with Magnet Monster for the top email marketing trends to look out for in 2021

What are the changes I need to know about and what do they mean for me?

Apple has announced three major features of the upcoming update. Namely that Apple users will now be able to:

  • Hide their email addresses
  • Hide their IP addresses
  • Turn off open tracking 

These updates relate to user security and greatly impact the way email marketers are able to function and collect data.

Users will be able to generate unique email addresses for filling in online submissions, making email collection less reliable and more tedious. 

Open rates will take a hit too. The iOS 15 update will prevent your email trackers from determining whether or not users have opened your emails. This crucial email marketing metric will quickly become skewed.

On top of that, the email privacy features of the update will allow users to effectively reroute their IP addresses and mask their actual location. This update functions like a VPN targeted directly at email marketers. 

Overall, the stand-out features of the iOS 15 will hit data collection, making it harder for email marketers to track open rates, know where their users are based, and collect reliable customer information. 

Watch our webinar with Omnisend below for what else you need to know about the update and more ways to react.

So, what can you do to overcome these data collection hurdles?  

A step-by-step plan to adapt to the change

Here is our step-by-step plan ecommerce marketers should implement to adapt to the iOS 15 update. 

1. Preserve your data

Pull the data from your email marketing now before the update comes into full force. Make sure you have a comprehensive record of your recent open and click-through rates. This historical data will serve you well when you run future campaigns. 

As the update takes away your ability to track open rates and measure engagement, these data points will give you a vital base of knowledge. 

2. Start A/B testing

There is no time like the present. Start A/B testing various versions of your emails to find winning versions. This will give you insights that will help you plan future email content. Learn which subject lines generate the most clicks and understand exactly how your core automations are functioning. 

3. Know your customers

When the iOS 15 updates hit it will be much harder to understand who your customers are, where they are based and what they like. Start characterizing your customer base now to ensure that you stay connected to your users. 

Segment your customers based on how loyal they are to your brand. You can achieve this now by running different re-engagement email campaigns that get customers clicking and allow them to opt-in 

Treat each customer segment differently: 

  1. At-risk customers: Reel at-risk customers back in with rewards. Missoma, a jewellery brand, sends “rewards available” emails to at-risk customers encouraging them to return to their community and continue shopping.
  1. Loyal customers: Reward your loyal customers with VIP perks. For example, the essential oils company, Rocky Mountain Oils, makes sure they stay connected with their loyal customers by offering “Double Reward Points” on any purchase for their loyalty club members.
  1. Churned customers: Tell churned customers that their points are going to expire and prompt them to return before it is too late. The sleepwear brand, Sleep Society, sends a “friendly reminder” via email urging past customers to use their remaining points before they expire. 

4. Personalization

The value of personalization in email marketing cannot be underestimated. 78% of shoppers say they want to be individually recognized and rewarded for their loyalty. So every element of your email marketing should be tailored to a specific audience and to an individual customer.  

Your email campaigns should include personalized loyalty data. In this example from hair extensions brand, Kurly Klips, the content of the email references personal details such as the members name and the reward is linked to the users shopping habits with the brand. 

5. Ask for feedback

Work on building a close community of Insider customers who take time to feedback on your marketing messages and activities. The iOS 15 update will limit your ability to collect data from your general customer base, so you need to turn to your community for insight and feedback. Learn more about what community Insiders want in our latest report.

This will mean you can shift your success metrics away from email opens or clicks, and instead look at community engagement through your loyalty program. While you may not gain as much numerical data, asking for feedback from loyalty members will give you more insightful data because these are the people who are regularly engaging with your brand. 

6. Branch out

Investigate channels beyond email to retarget the customers that matter the most and to build emotional connections. Customers engage with brands on a variety of touch points and you can be successful if you diversify your approach. 

Marketers using three or more channels in any one campaign earned a 287% higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel campaign. So maybe it’s time to branch out. You can find and nurture new customers through other channels like SMS or social media. 

Planning for the future

Of course, we’ll have to wait and see exactly how the iOS 15 update changes the landscape of email marketing. In the meantime, this step-by-step plan will help you prepare and ensure you are still able to run effective marketing campaigns. 

Each step is about keeping the customer at the centre of any changes you make. Ask yourself: do you know your customers? How can I create a personalized experience? How can we continue to build community? And how can we reach out to customers? If you continually ask these kinds of questions you’re heading in the right direction. 

Want to level up your approach to email marketing and get seen by the customers that matter? Connect with one of our loyalty experts and we’ll help you handle the changes.

Book A Demo

About the author

Mollie Woolnough-Rai

Mollie is a Senior Content Marketing Executive at LoyaltyLion. After graduating from UCL in 2016, she has worked both in-house and at marketing agencies providing expertise in content for both B2B and B2C clients. At LoyaltyLion, Mollie manages our content, making sure our readers get the best quality resources about customer loyalty and retention.

Subscribe to our newsletter

By signing up, you agree to our terms and conditions.

Connect with a Loyalty Analyst

Speak to a member of the team to find out how LoyaltyLion can help you drive customer loyalty and engagement.

Talk to us