Apple once again disrupts the digital marketing world with its latest iOS 15 updates. In the last iOS 14.5 update, Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency (ATT). ATT is where mobile marketers ask users’ permission to track them across apps and websites owned by non-Apple companies. That update may be a holy grail for Apple users but can be troublesome for marketers to track their users.
The new release iOS 15 will also have a big impact on digital marketers and the digital advertising industry. It introduces even more privacy controls to help protect user information.
Here are the key highlights of the iOS 15 updates for digital marketers:
1. Mail Privacy Protection
This is probably the biggest disruption from iOS 15. The feature Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from learning whether an email has been opened. Plus it hides IP addresses so senders can’t pinpoint a user’s location or use it to build a profile on them. Mail Privacy Protection feature hides all information from email senders, blocking attribution pixels outright.
Email marketers essentially use attribution pixels to measure email performance such as when someone opens emails, clicks on links, etc. Now, the attribution is more difficult to read/predict. Email marketers will not even know if the recipient opened it, how often they open it, which email addresses opened the email, what is their IP address and which links they are clicking on. This also means it will be very difficult to do A/B testing.
The good news is that this change only impacts emails accessed through Apple’s Mail app and not Gmail, Outlook, or any other non-Apple platforms. So if you’re using a third-party CRM like Hubspot, you can definitely check beforehand if your audience mostly uses Apple’s Mail, Gmail, or others.
2. App Privacy Report
Apple also introduces App Privacy Report. It offers an overview of how apps use the access that has been granted to location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts in the last seven days, and which other domains are contacted.
In addition to Mail Privacy Protection, iOS 15 contains transparency features like Privacy Nutrition Labels. The App Privacy Report is a new section of the iPhone’s privacy settings that lists the types of data your apps can access—like the location and the specific domains where those apps send data.
3. Introducing iCloud+
In this new update, Apple introduces the iCloud+ that has special features for Apple’s paid iCloud Subscribers. The paid feature includes:
- Hide My Email: This feature allows iCloud subscribers to use fake email addresses generated by Apple. However, this only works on Safari and Mail apps that are logged into an iCloud email account.
- Private Relay (Beta): This is a service that lets you connect virtually to any network and browse with Safari in an even more secure and private way. What it does is, it ensures that the traffic leaving your device is encrypted and uses two separate internet relays. Eventually, no one can use your IP address, location, and browsing activity to create a detailed profile about you.
For digital advertisers, the iOS 15 update might not be impacting them as much as the previous iOS 14.5 update. On the other hand, email marketers should anticipate disturbance in their tracking and attribution. Kaliber’s suggestion is to segment your email list and exclude Safari and Apple’s Mail recipients, in order to analyze your email campaigns better. Another thing to emphasize is that privacy and security measures are growing trends and companies other than Apple will eventually implement them.
If you have any questions about the newest iOS updates, feel free to contact us.