Email marketing as we know it is set to change in September. Apple announced a new email privacy feature in June, which alarmed many small businesses that rely on email marketing. We’ll discuss this privacy update, the potential negative consequences for small and solo businesses, and what you can do to mitigate the impact in this article. Be with us to know more about the scene of Aplple’s Privacy Update.
🤔 What is ‘Mail Privacy Protection’?
Mail Privacy Protection is a new tab that Apple will add to its products’ Mail app in the upcoming iOS update. Users can opt out of email senders using invisible pixels to collect recipient data in this new tab. This information includes whether a recipient opened an email, the time it was opened, the device type, location, and IP address of the recipient.
While the average user may view this as good news (and understandably so — many people are unaware of the existence of these tracking pixels), it has been bad news for marketers who rely on this data for a significant portion of their decision-making process.
All of this follows the iOS 14.5 update, which introduced a new policy prohibiting certain types of data collection, effectively crippling apps like Facebook. As a result, small businesses that advertise on Facebook now have limited options for personalising their ads and tracking their performance.
These iOS updates are widely regarded as a setback for small and solo businesses that rely on this type of data collection to provide relevant content to users, advertise to them, and monetize their businesses.
The impact of Apple’s Privacy Update ☹
Much of the outcry over the most recent update has come from email marketers, which is understandable. Open rates are a frequently used key performance indicator (KPI) for assessing user engagement and the effectiveness of specific email campaigns. Apart from open rates, email marketers will lose the ability to easily optimise their campaigns based on user behavior—from send-time location optimization to re-engagement with non-openers. The impact is worsened further by the fact that Apple products account for such a huge chunk of the email market. 😥
According to Litmus Apple’s mail apps account for 61.7% of the overall email client market share across its devices (even if the Apple user has a non-Apple email address). Even more worrying is Apple’s domination of the mobile email market, with 90.5% of mobile opens coming from iPhones, especially when you consider the fact that 49.7% of email opens happen on mobile.
From an email marketer’s perspective, key metrics and data about a large percentage of their user base are about to be rendered useless.
That said, this change isn’t a complete catastrophe. While it’s certainly a blow to lose a slew of once-relied-upon email marketing metrics, this could serve as an excellent opportunity to get creative and pivot to more reliable metrics.
However, Informed consent is beneficial 👍
Beyond the debate about Apple’s true motivations (and potential hypocrisy) over these recent changes, it’s undeniable that the shift towards a more data-protected Internet these past few years — from GDPR to discussions about banning third-party cookies — is a welcome one for anyone being marketed to online.
While the changes will undoubtedly impact the way marketers and advertisers have to do things, they now have the chance to reinvent marketing practices and think outside the box — all the while ensuring users have more control over their data and how it’s used.
Minimize the impact of Apple’s Privacy Update
There are myriad ways to understand your audience and track trends and growth beyond email tracking pixels and app ad tracking. Here are four to get you started:
1. Follow clicks and conversions rather than opens
Now is the time to begin examining deeper levels of engagement via email via clicks rather than opens, as well as how customers behave once they arrive at your website.
2. Monitor audience engagement
Consider the following indicators of your readership’s engagement:
- Mailing-list changes: Monitor new subscribers and unsubscribes on a continuous basis to get a sense of how your list is performing.
- Website views: How many subscribers came to your website as a result of a particular email campaign? Has it gotten bigger over time?
- Revenue growth: From individual product sales to total campaign revenue, earnings are also a great way to measure the success of a campaign.
- Email quality score: Clinton Wilmott, Namecheap’s email marketing manager, prefers the following metric: “It uses spam reports, unsubscribes and click rates to show how many people are annoyed versus how many people are delighted by the emails you are sending them. No open rates!” Find out how to calculate yours here.
3. Look for other ways to understand your audience
You’ll need to work a little harder to gather customer insights in order to personalise your email campaigns, and one effective way to do so is through zero-party data. That is, customers voluntarily and knowingly provide you with data via a variety of means, including:
- Use thumbs up and down buttons at the end of your articles: By tracking which articles your users do and don’t find helpful, you’ll be able to tailor your content accordingly.
4. Develop and nurture your online community
Encourage customer interaction across multiple channels to attract and retain customers:
- Lean into social media: Don’t simply distribute content and call it a day. Engage your audience in genuine conversation. Ask them questions and respond to their comments to get to know them. Make them feel appreciated. For ideas on how to accomplish this, visit our blog on increasing your social media strength.
- Start community groups: Reduce your reliance on Facebook ads by creating groups for community building, such as on Facebook groups or Clubhouse, a new social media app with audio-enabled chat rooms. While Discord’s origins are in gaming, many small businesses and content creators have been using the chat platform to foster a more personal connection between themselves and their audience. Additionally, you can create multiple text and voice channels for various topics and assign different roles to individuals, such as owners, administrators, and moderators.
Apple’s latest iOS changes are not expected to take effect until September, which gives you plenty of time to adjust your tracking KPIs and metrics and adapt to the new normal. Maintain an eye on the various email services and platforms to see how they intend to adapt their offerings in response to these changes as well.
After all, losing the data on which marketers previously relied is not the end of the world. It could be an opportunity to discover new ways to gain a deeper understanding of your customers and subscriber base and ultimately serve them better than ever before. For more such News about the Apple’s Privacy Update, you can bookmark our website.