What Does Apple's iOS15 Update Mean for Marketing?

What Does Apple's iOS15 Update Mean for Marketing?

Apple has announced it's releasing a new set of features called iCloud+ in the upcoming iOS15 update. For email marketing, we need to be aware of privacy and data updates that will impact tracking.

Written by Heather Thomas

3 min read

On 7th June 2021, Apple announced it was releasing a new set of features called iCloud+ in the upcoming iOS15 update. For email marketing, we need to be aware of privacy and data updates that will impact tracking within Apple’s Native Mail App. Let us explain what this all means, how we need to respond and most importantly, how email is not dead (far from it!).

What is Changing?

For Apple’s Mail app, Apple will end the ability for third parties to know if a recipient has opened an email. The update will also end the automatic sharing of a user’s IP address and tracking of web usage in Safari browser. The choice about whether they want their data shared or not will be in the end-user’s hands.

Without this automatic third party data, we will see a shift towards first party data and emphasis on building genuine connections. After all, Apple is giving consumers the choice to opt in to share their data with the companies and providers they really trust. Where businesses wish to build and develop relationships with their customers, they will be rewarded with the data they need to do so, whether this is permission to share third party data, or handed directly to them as first party data.

More Privacy Means a New Strategy

These options will help Apple users maintain their privacy and better anonymize end-user data but it will mean we can’t rely on our email data as we know it. Where email strategies currently take advantage of open rates and automatic IP locations to target engaged, relevant audiences, this will become a different task and will require a pivot in strategy.

The beta update is expected to begin in the late summer months of 2021, giving us plenty of time to prepare. Like all marketing tactics, email is an ever-evolving landscape.

How to Prepare for the iOS15 Update

So - how do we prepare? Klaviyo’s blog post details some valuable insight from deliverability experts that Eastside Co’s Email Marketing Specialist would like to share, echo and add to.

1 - Start building those owned relationships with your customers, and get better at collecting data first-hand. This way, you’ll have a highly engaged audience who is happy to provide you with the data you need to market to them.

2 - Understand your current baseline metrics - right now. Performance looks different for every business and each Klaviyo account, so holding your current data will be essential for tracking your performance when open rates are a thing of the past.

3 - Build an engaged subscriber segment that does not rely on open rate alone. Find a combination of metrics that best represents your audience and takes into account your sending cadence. There is so much data available we can use - think about recent orders, site visits, clicks…

4 - Focus on click rate. Clicks equal engagement, and they rely on no other tracking so ensure your focus is on driving the highest click through rate possible for your content. This will mean A/B testing copy, positioning and email design to ultimately push as many recipients as possible onto your site, where we can track them!

5 - Focus on deliverability - if emails aren’t delivered, they’re dead in the water. No point in worrying about any other metrics if they don’t reach their intended inbox. Maximising deliverability will be a powerful step in maintaining the relationship you have with your subscribers, through this iOS update and beyond. Actively clean your lists and manually suppress unengaged contacts now - so you don’t carry this dead weight when Apple’s new features launch.

6 - Seriously consider adding SMS to your strategy, if you don’t already utilise this channel! SMS can generate a ROI of 4,600x, so this is THE time to leverage SMS to push your omnichannel strategy.


Eastside Co’s marketing team can provide you with the guidance and execution you’ll need to maximise your email and SMS strategy. Contact us now for more information.

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