What the IOS 15 update means for email marketers

As email marketers, one of our key campaign metrics is to track open rates.

This lets us know our audience found the subject line engaging enough to open to find out more and suggests the messaging hit the mark. With the new IOS data privacy update looming, now is the time to assess your current campaigns and set new email campaign benchmarks for the future to measure your performance. Below, we explore the implications of the new IOS update and ways to pivot your current email marketing strategy:

What The Ios 15 Update Means For Email Marketers Sabio

What is happening in the new IOS 15 update?

The new Apple IOS 15 update due to be released in September will give Apple users the ability to turn off opening tracking and hide their email and IP addresses. With Apple commanding up to 58% of the email client market share and over 90% of all mobile email opens, email marketers will need to pivot their strategy to determine campaign success. To make sure you are ready for the new update, consider our below advice on how best to pivot your email marketing strategy going forward.

1. List segmentation

The good news is, as far as we know personalization is staying and it will still play a major role in email marketing, so segmenting your data is more important than ever. However, using lists to segment disengaged contacts by their email open rates will no longer be reliable. Instead, focus on using your lists to segment contacts by behavioral attributes through effectively lead scoring high value actions. Creating and implementing your businesses lead scoring system can be complex but pays off in the long run. Once you have your lead scoring system in place, you can start segmenting your contacts by actions they have taken and allocate them to certain parts of your marketing funnel. This will give you the opportunity to deliver the right message, to the right people at the right time in your email marketing campaigns.

2. Automated workflows

For nurture sequences, automated emails or drip campaigns you need to start implementing user click or time-based triggers, versus open based triggers. Click based triggers can be used to your advantage here if one of your workflow goals is that the contact must click on a high value call-to-action. Think about the purpose of your email and what you are trying to achieve, if you are implementing a nurture sequence think about how you can include links to useful content that you can then track and how you can then attribute this action to click based triggers. It is also worth considering incorporating other channels like SMS marketing and push notifications into your workflows to expand your reach. Over the past year, there has been a steady rise in companies incorporating SMS marketing into their inbound marketing strategies and this will not be going away, SMS marketing can achieve an open rate of up to 98%, making it one of the most effective ways to engage with your customers. If you are currently collecting your contacts phone numbers, start thinking if there is a relevant conversation you could have with them via SMS. How can you bring your contacts value here?

3. Performance Benchmarking

Now is the time to pivot your email marketing campaign goals. If you use your emails to drive contacts to case studies, landing pages or blog pages, measuring your campaigns success on your clicks and click-through-rates is an excellent way to evaluate the success of your email strategy. You can also take advantage of tracking URLS to measure how much traffic is coming to your website from your email marketing efforts. Another way to measure your emails success is to take note of your unsubscribe rates to see if there are any patterns emerging. If you are consistently below the average unsubscribe rate you can sleep soundly knowing you are successfully retaining and producing great content for your contacts.

4. Preparing for the new IOS Update

Follow our top tips to make sure you and your database are ready for the new privacy updates coming into place:


Whilst you still have visibility over your email marketing open rates, make sure you use this time to run A/B tests across all current campaigns to test your subject lines. As measuring click rates for engagement tracking becomes increasingly important, you’ll want to ensure you are providing recipients the most optimized email possible.


Assess your Database health and make sure you have a sunsetting campaign in place to start removing inactive contacts and subscribers.


If executing a sunsetting campaign is not on the cards, make sure you build out a re-engagement campaign strategy to try and win back your unengaged contacts in your CRM. This can be seen as a softer approach than sunsetting and can be taken as a first step.

Re-engagement campaign strategy

To start planning your re-engagement email marketing campaign, you first need to establish who your unengaged contacts are in your CRM. Luckily most CRMs have a functionality that suppresses unengaged contacts into one list. From here, if you have multiple subscriptions and communication options it is best practice to segment the list down even further. This will then give you the chance to have a more relevant contextualized messaged and hopefully more cut through with the reader.

It is also worth your time in gold to look at your contact’s profiles in further detail. They might for example not be opening your emails but are actively spending time on your website, this suggests that the emails they are receiving from you are no longer relevant. Creating a re-engagement workflow to update your contact’s subscription preferences is a great way to nurture contacts and can serve you better than just sending one standalone email.

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