Is IOS The Supreme Operating System for Digital Marketing?

Is IOS The Supreme Operating System for Digital Marketing?



Early September 2021, iOS 15 was released. Following its announcement in June 2021. This update is only available for iOS 15-compliant iPhones and iPads. While email privacy was the primary takeaway for marketers and privacy professionals, the iOS 15 update introduces new features. The overwhelming majority of operating system updates are designed to assist users in concentrating on their tasks.  On the other hand, marketers and small business owners are particularly concerned about the privacy change. Is this enough to propel iOS to the top of the list of digital marketers’ preferred operating systems? In this article, we’ll discuss how the new iOS upgrade benefits businesses.


What New Features Does Ios 15 Include?


What's new in iOS 15
Image from Brandon Butch

It discussed some new features of iOS concerning the upcoming iOS release, including redesigns of Safari, Maps, and notifications and enhancements to FaceTime functionality. While these changes piqued the interest of the marketing community, it was the various privacy features that will be implemented shortly that piqued the most. There has been an intense public backlash against technology companies that collect user data in recent years. In April, Apple released iOS 14.5, which enables users to opt-out of apps that track their activity for ad targeting.

Apple users place a higher premium on privacy than on targeted advertising content. The company quickly recognized this. With privacy-focused commercials and additional updates, the tech titan pushed even harder into this movement. It will affect several critical components of the marketing funnel, including email marketing services.


iOS15 Includes Several Privacy-Related Enhancements


“At Apple, we’ve always prioritized privacy,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said following the announcement of iOS 15. Each year, we invest significant resources in developing new technology that enables users to reclaim control of their data and make informed choices about who to share it with. This year’s updates include ground-breaking features that give users unprecedented control and insight.

These privacy features were concentrated on email for two reasons.


Protection of Email Privacy 


While Apple has long relied on Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) to safeguard Safari users, the latest iOS version improves ITP by masking users’ IP addresses from trackers. As a result of this change, it is no longer possible to use user IP addresses. It becomes more challenging to create a comprehensive and valuable user profile when tracking users across multiple websites.

The MPP feature safeguards everyone who uses the Mail App by preventing senders from collecting user data via invisible pixels. First, a proxy server downloads and opens emails. Without explicit permission from the iPhone user, senders can no longer track email openings.

As a result of this, three significant changes in marketing metrics are anticipated:

  • As emails pass through the proxy server, they are “pre-opened,” resulting in inflated and inaccurate open rates.
  • All images will be “pre-rendered,” which means that instead of the precise geolocation. An image will be sent to the Apple Privacy Cache with a generic region IP address.
  • Due to the inaccuracy of IP addresses, specific location or time zone targeting will be impossible.


Apple’s Icloud Plus Subscription Service Is a Monthly Fee-Based Service


In order to keep photos, documents, and notes safe and up-to-date on all of Apple’s devices, the company created iCloud Plus. The new subscription service includes numerous privacy features, such as:


iCloud Private Relay 


              Like a VPN, this encrypts user activity on Safari, masking network traffic and IP addresses associated with visited websites. Two independent internet users relays routed in each user request. The first provides an anonymous IP address to the iPhone user. The second server decrypts and sends the encrypted web address to the correct location. Apple has no control over the decentralized operating system and has no access to it.

Additionally, the server is incapable of distinguishing between distinct users. Finally, Private Relay protects you from companies “fingerprinting” your dedicated IP address across the internet. The ability of ISPs and third-party data brokers to collect and sell user browsing data will be impacted by Private Relay encryption.


Hide My Email 


               In order to combat spam and provide an additional layer of anonymity, Hide My Email creates burner accounts, which enable users to “share unique, random email addresses that forward to their inbox whenever they wish to keep their email address private.” The following applications come pre-installed with this feature:

  • Safari
  • iCloud
  • Mail

Additionally, users can create and delete an unlimited number of addresses. Finally, consumers can register for new accounts or email lists using proxy emails rather than providing personal email addresses.



What Are the Consequences of iOS’s Privacy Updates?


               So, iOS 15 appears to usher marketers into an entirely new era. They have lost access to some of the most effective techniques for tracking and analyzing activity and engagement. As a result, we must fundamentally alter our methods for measuring and evaluating success.


1. Access to Health Services


              When it comes to email, we may need to reconsider how deliverability is defined. Historically, open rates were a reliable indicator of a list’s health for a variety of tasks. On the other hand, these iOS updates are almost certain to affect several aspects of email marketing campaigns. 

The following industry standards will either become obsolete or will require significant updating:

  • Conduct an A/B test to determine which subject lines are the most appealing.
  • The last open date can use segment and target audiences.
  • Opening an email starts a workflow.
  • Transmission time optimization
  • Emails that are interactive and include external CSS references

Due to this ambiguity, you may need to conduct regular health checks on your deliverability and focus on different metrics.


2. Metrics of Engagement


Now that open rates are no longer a reliable indicator of campaign success, we may need to rethink our approach to engagement measurement. May take precedence over metrics at the top of the funnel.

  • Click-through rates
  • Site visits
  • Conversions
  • Purchases

On the other hand, upper-funnel metrics based on third-party data may be less effective. Marketers must now measure success in terms of customer behavior, as this is the end goal of any advertising strategy.



What Impact Will This Have on Your Email Marketing?


The bottom line is that you will not be able to see who opened your email on an iOS 15 device. Since the September update went live, marketers and business owners have shared their experiences with the update’s impact on their email marketing campaigns.

  • Reengagement campaigns are jeopardized.
  • Automated nurture flows have some flaws.
  • Difficulties associated with maximizing transmission times
  • Real-time personalization’s limitations
  • There isn’t much monitoring of timely delivery.

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Apple’s Ios 15 Is Not the Only Operating System Available


According to the data, Apple’s iPhone, Apple Mail, and Apple iPad account for roughly 46% of all opens. While you may not analyze your data as thoroughly as you once could, you can still analyze open rates from Android and other non-iOS platforms. Consider classifying your existing mailing lists by operating system.


Email Open Rates Do Not Determine


Contrary to popular belief, open email rates are a goldmine of data. They inform us about what works and what does not and whether there are any significant issues with nurture sequences. However, open rate is not the only metric for tracking analytics. Include a link to a free download, a link to your company’s website, or an invitation to respond. All of these can provide valuable data to assist you in optimizing your marketing campaign.

Takeaway: Use educational content to encourage opt-outs, track non-iOS open data, and test new engagement strategies.


Primitive Culture Values Privacy and Privilege


  No business or marketer desires a proprietary metric that is both effective and informative. Furthermore, we never want to limit our clients’ ability to customize their experiences. It is desirable to have more personalized opt-ins, redirects, download links, and engagement requests within the emails themselves. You can expect a streamlined and efficient list, regardless of the operating system being used by the user, as a result (and us).



Three Strategies for Successful Email Marketing While Maintaining Privacy


  1. Segmenting your list enables the analysis of non-iOS users.
  2. Make a copy of your existing list and instruct your software to segment it according to the operating system. It should be possible if you utilize a paid email marketing platform. After segmenting your list by iOS and non-iOS users, run your existing analytics on non-iOS users. Your most essential takeaways should be universal.
  3. Utilize engagement to generate new metrics.
  4. While Mail Privacy Protection may conceal open rates, downloads from a landing page or website should always be visible. It is a fantastic opportunity to provide valuable, educational content to your audience while tracking various metrics.
  5. Conduct research to learn more about your clients.
  6. Open rates reaffirm what we already know and highlight areas for improvement. Competitive analysis, audience interviews, and A/B testing are just a few of the research techniques that can help you obtain this and other pieces of information. And we’re willing to wager that the information gleaned from one-on-one interviews will be more beneficial.


There Have Been Changes to the Segmentation


As a result of iOS 15, your email marketing and list segmentation strategies will almost certainly need to be tweaked as well. Even though the impact on your metrics is not yet known, the following steps can be expected:

  • Consider metrics such as clicks, active on-site visitors, product views, and orders placed when rethinking engagement measurement. As a result, you’ll be able to gauge user engagement more accurately and segment your audience more effectively.
  • Maintain an organized mailing list – You may have tremendous success if you optimize your recipient lists. By focusing on click data and active users on the site, you can gain a clear (and uncontaminated) picture of customer engagement and interest.
  • Proactively collect location information – Before the upgrade takes effect, gather as much geolocation data as possible. Following the release date, you can collect location-based data from your customers via forms.


How to Prepare for iOS 15 (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) 


It is now necessary to revise your strategy in light of impending changes. Keeping this in mind, the following are some steps you can take to begin planning for the future:

  • Recognize your target audience – This iOS update may have a minor or significant effect on your marketing strategy. It has a direct impact on the proportion of your customers who read their emails using Apple Mail. According to a Litmus survey, Apple iPhone mail accounted for nearly half (49.6 percent) of all mobile opens, far outpacing the runner-up, Gmail (18.6 percent ). It may not be the case for your user base, however. It’s an excellent time to investigate data on audience segmentation based on Apple device and app usage.
  • Continue testing content – we still have access to open data for the time being. Therefore, seize the moment. Send more test subject lines and times in the weeks before the release of the update.
  • Prioritizing CTAs is necessary because clicks and click-through rates will become more valuable metrics in the future. Your primary objective should be to convince users to act and convert.


Urchin Tracking Module Parameters 


Include UTM parameters in your email – Utilizing UTM parameters in your email allows for more precise tracking of clicks. Suppose you do not collect information in other ways. In that case, Apple’s proxy server auto-opening will result in inflated revenue attributed to ESPs, which can obscure the truth about your marketing campaigns.

In Conclusion


Technology is ever-changing. The changes that unfold have both advantages and disadvantages. As a result, marketing teams must be adaptable, capable of quickly responding and pivoting. It’s the same when it comes to navigating iOS 15’s latest privacy changes.

Finally, in order for our business to thrive and reach the top, we must have reliable and competent resources when conducting business and managing it. The articles published by Softvire USA contain a wealth of information.

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