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As one of the email marketers on the HubSpot blog, one of the key metrics I use to measure email success is the open rate.

When the open rate is high, it implies that your subject line has done its job of attracting readers, you are sending an email at the most attractive time of the day, or your subscribers are eagerly waiting to put your content in their inbox. When it is low, it means that your email subscribers may not even read your content.

But now, the way email marketers use open rates may change with Apple’s recently announced iOS 15 privacy features.

At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the company announced the launch of Some new iOS 15 privacy features This will include:

  • Mail privacy protection (free): According to reports, Litmus, Those who have Early access to iOS 15And other technology reporters, Apple Mail will allow users to choose to use mail privacy features to block IP addresses and prevent third parties from tracking e-mail openings or other IP data.
  • iCloud+ (subscription): ICloud subscriptions with additional privacy features include a VPN-like private relay feature that prevents websites from tracking Safari users who opt-in and allows users to see which websites they send information to.
  • Hide my email (in iCloud+): An email address hiding feature that enables users to provide “fake” email addresses for websites. Although promotional emails sent from a brand to a fake address will still enter someone’s inbox and should not affect important communications, the brand will not be able to see the person’s real address unless the contact shares it.

Although the paid feature may not have a huge impact on marketers because they need users to purchase the service, the free Apple Mail privacy feature has caused a sensation in the marketing community.

So far, what Apple has said about this feature is, “In the mail application, email privacy protection prevents the sender from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. The new feature helps users prevent the sender from knowing when they opened the email. And block their IP address, so it cannot be linked to other online activities or used to determine their location.”

Although Apple did not specify whether the mail privacy protection is an opt-in or automatic function, some iOS testers shared some pictures showing that the mail application prompts them to turn on the mail privacy protection when they enter the application:

Image Source

Although Apple has not extended its email privacy features too much, marketing experts say this may affect open rate tracking and email-based A/B testing.

Although this move may seem scary, it is not surprising because it follows the trend of technology giants launching Internet privacy. recent, Apple’s iOS 14.5 update Limit mobile app tracking by requiring users to choose to share information when opening the app after downloading the app.At the same time, Google has been building its privacy sandbox while preparing for advertisers and marketers Chrome will phase out third-party cookies in 2022.

When it comes to Apple’s iOS 15 fulcrum, not only are marketers not surprised, but many people—including members of the HubSpot team—believe that this will be a positive change in the user experience.

“From the very beginning, HubSpot has been tirelessly committed to helping companies match marketing and sales methods with the way people want to shop. Our founders put forward the concept of inbound marketing in the early 2000s, and Apple’s moves only Reinforce these trends,” said Will DeKrey, HubSpot’s Marketing Activities Group Product Manager.

“Buyers can be responsible for the data they share, not the seller. Large companies should not create a market for tracking and selling personal data so that they have an information advantage over small businesses,” De Clay said.

“This means that every company, big or small, needs to build trustworthy relationships with its audience better and better, and gain the right to understand who they are and what they are interested in.”

“What people really want today is privacy and personalization. They still need targeted content and messages that match their interests. Given Apple’s changes, email marketers may need to focus more on creating very relevant content to motivate Their audience takes action, not just to see if they can click on the headlines,” DeKrey explained.

“Personalization will not go away. Conversion optimization will not go away. A/B testing will not go away. But each of them needs to be more focused on building deeper relationships and more meaningful actions,” concludes DeKrey

Although Apple’s recent open tracking pivot may be very useful for iOS users who want to feel more secure, we know that email marketers still have a lot of problems.

To help email marketers understand the potential changes that may occur, as the launch of iOS 15 gets closer, the team can consider the following tips and strategies.

Click here to download our free Lookbook, which contains our favorite email newsletter.

How email marketers respond to Apple’s open privacy changes

1. Continue to follow Apple’s updates.

Although Apple’s iOS 15 feature has been announced, we still don’t know how it will affect email and IP address tracking. For example, although this feature seems to require opt-in, Apple has not clearly confirmed this.

In the next few months, HubSpot’s own email product team will study the changes and consider solutions, if this will have a significant impact on open rates.

“In the HubSpot email product team, we will take time to consider what is the best next step for our customers. In this evolving email environment, our top priority is to support our marketers to continue Create impactful emails and get the most value from our email tools,” said Shane Janssens, HubSpot Email Product Manager.

As we learn more about these new features and how they affect HubSpot email analysis, we will continue to update this article with more information and links to useful resources to keep you updated.

2. Remember that this change will not affect all email readers.

Although Apple Mail and Apple mobile devices account for more than 35% of the global email provider market share, Google, Outlook and other email providers have not announced similar privacy measures, which means their openness and IP data can still provide reliable Tracking information. Email marketers.

Although you should be wary that other companies, such as Google or Microsoft, may follow suit in terms of email privacy, it is important to remember that you will still get open data from them for the time being, and you can still be open to the success Make some judgments. From these email providers.

3. Consider adjusting the open rate target.

Although the open rate won’t disappear anytime soon, a large email audience may not be tracked. Therefore, you may need to lower or adjust your open rate targets to determine what your new low, average, and high open rates are.

If your goals are set by your superior manager, it is important to review and communicate the number of opens you usually get from iOS users to help your manager and your team estimate the changes they might have after launch. You may also want to consider tracking your email open rate a month or so after launch to see a new average based on hard data.

4. Use other email marketing data.

Although open rate is a key email marketing KPI for many companies, it is certainly not the only data you can use to determine whether your email content is successful. In fact, when sending HubSpot blog emails, the open rate is just one of the many metrics I check. Here are some other issues that I plan to continue to focus on, even if the open rate is affected:

  • Clicks and click-through rate: If you share links to content (such as blogs, product pages, and offers) in your email, clicks and click-through rates can give you insight into the number or frequency of email reader interactions and clicks on your content. A high click-through rate or click-through rate may imply that your content is very attractive, while a low click-through rate or click-through rate may imply that readers are less interested or browse your email.
  • Traffic to your website: Using software such as HubSpot, or using a tracking URL, you can determine how much traffic an email has entered your website — or what content sends the most visitors to your website. Ultimately, if you are building an audience, attracting people to make purchases, or aiming to increase downloads of offers, you need to direct people to your website. Good email traffic indicates that you have successfully taken visitors to the place where they need to access your content.
  • Click on the map: Many email providers (such as HubSpot) allow you to see what people click on the most or least in emails. This can help you see which content in the email is the easiest to click and which is the least clickable.
  • Unsubscribe rate: Although these usually don’t change much, the soaring unsubscribe rate may indicate that an aspect of your email strategy (such as the content you send or the frequency of emails) is causing you to lose more audience than usual. At the same time, the consistently low unsubscribe rate implies that you will continue to retain or even acquire subscribers.
  • Survey or email role research: In addition to the metrics that can be obtained from email marketing platforms, you can also use other strategies (such as surveys or polls) to learn more about the interests of subscribers, what they want to see more, and what can be improved.

In addition to taking advantage of KPIs that are less affected by Apple’s changes, you can also use email tools or benchmark reports to see how your email rates compare to other brands in your industry.

For example, HubSpot users can take advantage of HubSpot’s email health tool Compare your open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate, and bounce rate with our benchmarks.

Develop your content for a more private world

Apple’s statement is not the only privacy hub affecting digital marketers — and in 2022 — it will certainly not be the last.

Although the changes in the world may present some challenges for digital and email marketers, this does not mean that you cannot continue to innovate your strategies to meet the needs of potential customers or audiences.

While open rate is of course important, there are many other ways to get to know your email subscribers, learn from KPIs, and continue to create great content for them.

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