How iOS 15 will End Open Email Rates, And How Marketers Can Prepare

Because traditional open rates will disappear

You may be wondering how a tech giant’s move can destroy standard marketers have relied on for two decades.

Here’s how: Apple users upgrading to iOS 15 will choose to enable “Mail Privacy Protection” for any Apple Mail app they use to read their email. The language in the beta version makes it attractive for most users to choose to do this, in which case all emails will be marked as “open” even if they aren’t.

The change is understandable that e-commerce retailers are in trouble, whose customers are more likely to check their email via mobile apps. But it’s also important for B2B companies, even if only a small fraction of their email subscribers fit the profile.

To be clear, open rates will lose their value as a universal measure.

While you’re initially interested in what you have to say, the open rate isn’t clear about what matters: how recipients are engaging and responding to your communication.

Prepare email marketing for iOS 15

In addition to the initial bang, marketers are realizing that the impending change is an opportunity to improve and renew their focus on the ultimate purpose of emails.

Here are five things you need to do now to improve your email marketing program and get better results when iOS 15 is released.

1. Test the rules of your profession

It is always important to attract people to open your emails. Experiment with tested A/B variations of your subject lines, as long as open rates are another measurable measure to decipher what type of massage works best for your business. A/B testing works regardless of whether your emails are just promotions or not, driven by marketing automation or a combination of both.

Connect components like length, density, emoji, and special characters. It’s also a good idea to make the most of the preface header as a valuable subject line extension.

2. View your content

Your job doesn’t end with an optimized object. You must encourage email openers to take the next step.

Is your content engaging? And does it match what you project in the subject line?

Promote your differentiated features – that is, anything that sets you apart from your competitors, like personalized assistance when it comes to business services or free value-added delivery when you’re in the B2C space. The main purpose of an email is to get readers to respond, so make sure your call to action phrases are clear and strong; so your recipients know exactly what you want them to do.

3. Analyze open and automated workflows

Many companies use marketing automation for things like lead nurturing, while open criteria typically dictate subsequent messages (eg, contact was not opened, the message was not received again).

Rethink your workflows. Avoid open criteria and switch to engagement-based logic such as click activity. This will be a stronger indicator of your subscribers’ interest in your offering and the success of your email in delivering the right message for the current stage of the customer journey.

4. Clean out your contact list

Open rate data for email often plays a role in list management. Take advantage now by deleting your list of uninvolved contacts so iOS 15 arrives and you start in the cleanest state possible.

And it’s not just to clean the house. If you’re still sending emails to uninterested recipients or corrupt addresses, you’ll be flagged in your junk folder, and spam markers and blacklists are a tricky path you don’t want to take.

5. Accept SMS as another optional channel

All types of businesses, whether B2B, B2C, or services, accept text messages as a secondary source for tracking click activity. And why not, when cell phones take up most of most people’s day? 48% of people say text messages are the preferred channel for receiving brand updates.

Sending text messages can enhance email, override tactics to deliver important unopened updates, or fulfill transactional objectives. SMS is also paying off: in 2020, SMS to e-branding conversion rates increased by more than 100% year-on-year, according to data from Omnisend.

It’s time to focus on relevant marketing, not email open rates

The imminent loss of open email as a viable measure could be a major blow to marketers who used it to drive their strategies. But do not need to be like that.

I hope the iOS 15 Business Update brings businesses closer to what matters most: making the customer experience relevant and engaging.

Optimize your content, subject lines, and lists and explore other methods of communication. And when you do, the question arises: Why have we put so much emphasis on email openness for so long?