Will iOS 15 change email marketing? Is it all doom and gloom for people like us who rely on making sales from sending emails to our subscribers?
In today's episode, we talk about the latest Apple update – iOS 15 – and a new product called iCloud Plus that comes with that release. We walk you through the changes, what they mean for you as an email marketer, and share exactly what you need to do to protect yourself. The good news is… as long as you follow our tips, it's not doom and gloom at all!
Want to find out how to get ready for these changes?
SOME EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: (2:48) Why Apple iOS 15 is tackling users' privacy. (5:04) iOS 14 and its impact on Facebook advertising (and Kennedy's feed). (6:42) What is Apple iOS 15 and how does it affect you? (8:30) Why you shouldn't rely on open rate reporting. (10:50) Why your click-through rate matters more than your open rate. (12:55) Why you should look at your Earning Per Subscriber Per Month (EPSPM) (14:23) What is iCloud Plus? (17:12) How does iCloud Plus impact email marketers? (18:26) Why you need to start paying attention to your engagement rate. (19:32) Subject line of the week.
What is Apple iOS 15 and how does it affect you?
iOS 15 is the latest Apple update, and it's big on privacy. It follows iOS 14, which changed how businesses run Facebook ads. And probably not in the best way, considering Kennedy receives all sorts of ads that aren't at all targeted. (Thoroughly recommend you listen to the episode to find out more about boyfriends and eye patches).
So when the much-anticipated iOS 15 comes into play, open rate tracking is going to be proactively blocked. Now, open rate tracking works through a tiny 1×1 pixel (an invisible transparent picture) that sits in our emails. And when that pixel loads on someone's device, the email is considered open. This is how email service providers track open rates.
However, with iOS 15, it's no longer going to be possible to track open rates. Either emails are going to be shown as being automatically opened or not opened at all. So it's going to be impossible for us to know whether people using Apple Mail app have opened our emails.
But there's good news about this – open rate reporting was never reliable in the first place!
Why you shouldn't rely on open rate reporting
The thing is, most Android mail apps already block the ability for email marketing platforms to track open rates, and some people automatically open emails without reading them. So your open rate has always been under-reported. Truth is – your open rates are probably slightly higher than what your email marketing platform is telling you. So please stop making decisions based on your open rate!
There's something else you should be paying attention to instead. And that's your click-through rate.
Why your click-through rate matters more than your open rate
Click-through rates are going to be a lot harder for most platforms to block, and the reality is that it's much easier and more accurate for any email marketing platform to measure click rates. And it always has been.
But the other reason why we, as email marketers, should be looking at click-through rates is that it's linked to something else – engagement. Think about it. When someone opens one of your emails, scrolls through it, and then deletes it, that email is marked as read. Right now, your email marketing platform classes that email as open. But is that subscriber really engaged? Probably not.
But when it comes to click-through rates, things are very different. If whatever you said in your email was so compelling, so interesting, and so on-point that it made that subscriber want to click on a link you included in your email, then you know they're engaged. So instead of looking at open rates, train your subscribers to click. Because if you're not, then you're training them out of clicking. Your job as an email marketer is to build the behaviours that get people to click.
Why you should look at your Earning Per Subscriber Per Month (EPSPM)
Another metric we suggest you look at is what we call EPSPM – Earning Per Subscriber Per Month. To calculate this, you simply look at how much money you've made from your email marketing in a month and divide it by the number of subscribers on your list in that month (it could be the number at the beginning, in the middle, or the end – whatever you choose, just make it consistent). So for example, if you made $1,000 this month and you have 1,000 subscribers on your list, each subscriber is currently earning you $1 per month.
Why is that good? Because it's trackable and comparable over time. It works when you have 100 subscribers and when you have 1 million people on your list. But if you look at open rates (or even click-through rates), as your list increases, these metrics will inevitably go down. Looking at how much money you're making per subscriber tells you how efficient and effective your email marketing is.
What is iCloud Plus?
So will iOS 15 change email marketing? The short answer is yes, but there's something else we need to talk about, and that's a product called iCloud Plus. This is going to have a brand new feature called ‘Hide My Email', and the way it works is by allowing Apple users to ‘hide their email' when signing up to someone's email list, for example.
So when someone signs up to your list, they'll do so with what we call a ‘burner email address' (one full of random letters and numbers). Your emails are then forwarded from that burner email address to the subscriber's real email address, but your email marketing platform does not hold that subscriber's real address – only the burner one.
How does iCloud Plus impact email marketers?
iCloud Plus aims to stop businesses from sharing our data with third parties, so it's a good thing. But what it means for us as email marketers is that when a user decides to unsubscribe, their burner email address will disappear – become inactive. While the user unsubscribed, what we're going to see is a bounce. And that's problematic.
So this is where you need to start to pay close attention to how engaged your subscribers are. We are quite strict on this in our business. If someone reaches 30 days without opening an email or clicking on a link from us, we count that person as disengaged and put them through our subscriber revival sequence. That gives them a chance to ‘wake up' over the following 14 days. If that happens, they continue receiving our emails. If it doesn't, we remove them from our list.
After the launch of iCloud Plus, doing this with your list becomes even more important. Because you're going to have all these ‘burner email addresses' that could disappear and negatively impact the deliverability of your emails. So the solution is simple – keep an eye on your engagement rate, which you can monitor through clicks. This is how you'll be able to easily identify and remove people who have disabled their burner email addresses.
So that's it. If you were asking yourself, “Will iOS 15 change email marketing?” now you know the answer. But you also know exactly what you can do to protect yourself.
Subject line of the week
This week's subject line of the week is, “Bringing home (too much) bacon”. Rob used this line after opening a packet of bacon that should have had 10 rashes in there but actually had 13. He turned that into a lesson about what we think value means and the fact that having too much of something doesn't necessarily equate to value.
The reason why the subject line worked so well? Because “bringing home the bacon” is a saying we all know. But Rob put a spin on it – he talked about having too much bacon (and added an emoji for good measure). By moving away from the saying a little, he triggered curiosity. And the email got opened!
Useful Episode Resources
FREE list of the top 10 books to improve your email marketing
If you want to write better emails, come up with better content, and move your readers to click and buy, here's how. We put together this list of our Top 10 most highly recommended books that will improve all areas of your email marketing (including some underground treasures that we happened upon, which have been game-changing for us). Grab your FREE list here.
Join our FREE Facebook group
If you want to chat about how you can maximise the value of your email list and make more money from every subscriber, we can help! We know your business is different, so come and hang out in our FREE Facebook group, the Email Marketing Show Community for Course Creators and Coaches. We share a lot of training and resources, and you can talk about what you're up to.
Try ResponseSuite for $1
This week's episode is sponsored by ResponseSuite.com, the survey quiz and application form tool that we created specifically for small businesses like you to integrate with your marketing systems to segment your subscribers and make more sales. Try it out for 14 days for just $1.
Join The League Membership
Not sick of us yet? Every day we hang out in our amazing community of Email Marketing Heroes. We share all of our training and campaigns and a whole bunch of other stuff. If you're looking to learn how to use psychology-driven marketing to level up your email campaigns, come and check out The League Membership. It's the number one place to hang out and grow your email marketing. Best news yet? You can apply everything we talk about in this show.
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