How Marketers Can Respond to the iOS 15 Update

How Marketers Can Respond to the iOS 15 Update

ios15 update marketing strategies

Apple iOS 15 changes have major ramifications for marketers. Customers now have more control over personal data, which effectively renders third party data collection obsolete. This is great for consumers, who have become increasingly sensitive about privacy. But it forces marketers to pursue alternate methods of learning about and engaging with their prospects and customers. It’s still possible to launch competitive marketing campaigns, but the strategy is definitely changing. 

iOS 15 basics

Here are the iOS 15 changes that are particularly important for marketers:

  • iOS 15 makes it harder for third-party trackers to operate, especially by including mail privacy protection changes that mean those who send emails can’t collect data via pixels.
  • iOS 15 hides user IP addresses, this reduces the ability of third-parties to track user activities across the web.
  • The “Hide My Email” feature means that those using Apple products can forward email to their inboxes from random email addresses to make it harder for others to obtain their email. 

The implications for iOS 15 on marketers — particularly email marketers — are major. Brands already saw reduced targeted capabilities for Facebook ads as a result of the iOS 14.5 update, but now email’s effectiveness is in question. Here’s how marketers can respond. 

Clean up your contact lists

This is an important best practice for text marketing, so if you’re an avid text marketer you’re probably used to regularly cleaning your contact list. You might be less used to it if you come from the email marketing world. It’s going to be really important for email marketers to master, so here’s what you need to do:

  • Remove old, unresponsive contacts
  • Create re-engagement campaigns for contacts on the brink of slipping into unresponsiveness
  • Performance test all emails
  • Ask for consent before adding contacts to your list

Don’t worry if you end up losing some subscribers — the goal here is quality over quantity.

Own your data

If you’ve been relying heavily on third-party data you might be panicking about how you’ll ever make the transition to first-party data. It’s not as hard as it seems. In fact, with text message marketing it can be really easy. While it can be tricky to get people to respond to emails with personal information, customers are seeing a lot of success obtaining this information via text. 

Take the example of Onyx & Oak boutique. They used text message marketing to obtain key first-party data from their customers such as:

  • Location
  • Time zone
  • Clothing size

Then, they used this first-party data to segment their audience. That allowed them to customize their messaging in the following ways:

  • Send messages based on time zone: Instead of sending messages at a one standard time, they customized the time based on the recipient’s time zone. 
  • Personalized inventory alerts: Because they had first-party data indicating each customer’s size, they could use this to determine which alerts customers got. When they had an overstock of a certain size, they could send text messages to that particular segment to promote sales.

Onyx & Oak collected first-party data conversationally. They used our Workflows feature to intelligently detect customer sentiment and ask follow up questions. Instead of manually inputting these responses, they created a workflow that would organize the data for them. 

Personalize your messaging

Now that it’s harder than ever to track open rates (or to get people to open your emails in the first place) it’s the perfect time to diversify your marketing mix by adding more personalized communication methods (and by improving emails when you send them).

One of the reasons we’re so bullish on text messaging is the fact that it is the most personal out of all the communication channels. You receive the message in the palm of your hand, plus text messaging is the communication method of choice between most friends and family. It feels less like a cheesy, branded message and more personal. Oh yeah, and you can still track open rates accurately.

When personalizing, think beyond simply addressing your customers by name. Instead, consider:

  • Timing — Are you interrupting them at work?
  • Personal habits — Do they have any routines you can take advantage of?
  • Personal needs — Do they need your service at predictable intervals. A good example of this would be needing an oil change. 
  • Personal preferences — Are they a size medium? Do they prefer black shirts or pink?
  • Life events — Building personalized campaigns around birthdays, anniversaries, graduations or any other information you can obtain from your customers. 

The goal here is to send the right text message, to the right person, at the right time. 

Leverage text messaging

Text messaging is the way Gen Z prefers to communicate anyway, but it’s not just a young person thing. It’s consistently ranked in the top one or two spot amongst all age groups. With text messaging, you can easily check open and click through rates (and by the way the average open rate for branded text messages is 98%). 

You don’t have to use text messaging in isolation from email marketing. You can use the two together — what you learn from text messaging can improve your email marketing and vice versa. It’s really easy to quickly implement this strategy to achieve results. 

Here’s how our customer SANESolution did it. SANESolution already had a robust and successful email marketing campaign, but they felt they were leaving more on the table each month by not adding to their marketing mix. They wanted to create additional touch points and possibly open a new sales channel. Bailor believes staying in contact and engaging with customers is key to creating a strong and profitable relationship.

“Our strategy has been to provide content that is so good that people don’t care if you send them a lot of it because it’s all very valuable,” he said. “If you’re providing actual, valuable content to people, that’s all people do is consume content.”

Bailor decided to use his best emails and Facebook messages— content he already knew performed well— and turned them into text messages.

He ensured his texts were contextually relevant. He only texted people if they had clicked a link or joined a list within the last 30 days. 

Plus, he was conscious of the frequency of his texts. “We text way less frequently than we email,” he said. “There’s people we email twice a day, but we text at most three times per week, generally two, sometimes one. We’re sending our best content. We don’t have 14 best things to send to you per week.”

This helped him quickly leverage text message marketing to see a 30X ROI. 

Bottom line

The changes from iOS15 are forcing many marketers to rethink their strategies, but that’s a good thing! These changes are going to ultimately better serve customers — and that should be everyone’s goal. There are a lot of easy ways marketers can start adjusting, most importantly is likely owning your data so you can reach each customer with relevant, valuable content.