iOS 15: Big changes to email marketing

iOS 15: Big changes to email marketing

12 December 2021

Prefer to scan? The video transcript is below.

iOS 15 launched last month, and it means big changes to email marketing. 

Wondering what you can do to stay on top with these new updates in the mix? Hi, I’m Molly, an Account Director at Mint Design, and this video will help you navigate what the iOS 15 updates mean for your business.

To ensure your email marketing keeps performing at a high level, you need to understand how iOS 15 will affect your performance. This is particularly important for eCommerce stores. 

So; what’s going to change? While there are still a lot of unknowns, the key things include:

  • The ability to track Apple users opening emails. This means your open rates for emails may be inaccurately inflated.
  • Apple Mail users will be given the option to hide their IP addresses. This will mean you can’t see their location anymore. 
  • iCloud users will have the ability to hide their email addresses when they subscribe to email lists. This could mess up your attribution modelling.

All in all, these updates are going to impact your email marketing a lot going forward, so you need to change your strategies to combat this. Here’s what we recommend doing ASAP.  


1. Separate iOS 15 users into their own audience
It’s a simple solution to monitoring the impact the iOS 15 update is having on your email marketing performance. 

I mentioned before that the iOS 15 update is going to inflate your open rates. This is because Apple will be preloading images from your emails. When these images are loaded, email platforms think that the email has been viewed. What’s worse, if the email isn’t opened and a customer makes a purchase on your website, your attribution is going to be falsely inflated (showing your emails have generated more sales than they actually have). 

By separating your iOS 15 audience, you can see: 

  • How many people in your audience are using iOS 15
  • How the reporting for iOS 15 users and regular users differs, and if the open rates are inflated. 
  • If you need a hand with separating these audiences, give me a call or flick me an email. Our marketing team has been rolling this out for our clients and can already see the early benefits it’s had for reporting.

2. Remove open rate as a key component of automated emails and email segments. 
In the past, marketers have used open rates to trigger emails and segment audiences. With this iOS 15 update, you can’t rely on open rates as a source of truth. 

So what does this mean for your automated emails? If you have rules for campaigns based on people opening emails, it’s fair to say that these will no longer work accurately. It’s time to adapt your strategy. 

You need to go through all of your automation, and ensure that an email being opened isn't the key automation trigger. Do the same for your audience segments.  Wherever you see ‘opens’ in audiences, change this to an action on your website. 


3. Change your reporting metrics so they don’t include open rates.
When measuring your email campaigns, I’m sure you have measured your success in email marketing by 2 key elements; open rates and engagement (be that sales, enquiries or another desired action). Unfortunately, this isn’t going to work anymore. You need to look at more tangible metrics that show how people are behaving on your website. 

If you make this change in reporting now, that’s great - but it’s not a once and done job. Make sure you keep reviewing the numbers in case you see new ways to report on important data. 


4. Keep calm and keep getting better at email marketing.
This change is big, but email marketing continues to be one of the best tactics for growing your month on month revenue. With some simple changes to how you work, you can maintain your performance and maybe even grow it moving forward.

If you like this video, make sure you give it a thumbs up and I’ll see you in the next video.

Molly Meates

Molly is an Account Director at Mint Design. She’s the go-to person in the Mint Team when it comes to performance marketing channels. Her breadth of knowledge and concise communication make her an ideal candidate to translate the mysterious world of digital marketing.

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