Close-up,Male,Hands,Using,Smartphone,On,City,Searching,Or,Social

What You Need to Know About Apple’s iOS 15 Updates & Its Potential Effect on Your Email Marketing Efforts

Data privacy continues to be top-of-mind for marketers especially for some of the largest – and arguably most influential – players in the digital space. Recently, Apple announced its iOS 15 software update that will significantly impact marketers. More specifically, it will influence how we measure email success.

Be In the Know

With the iOS 15 update, it is likely that email open rates will be inflated. The level of inflation will be determined by number of Apple Mail users in a company’s email file or customer-base. In 2020, about 50% of emails opened were from Apple products using the Mail feature.  

What to Expect

  • Open rates will be inflated.
    • With iOS 15, Apple Mail automatically downloads images. This then triggers the tracking pixels embedded to send an “opened” response back to the ESP server.
    • Even if a user does not open an email, this new feature will trigger an “opened” response the moment that images are downloaded.
  • Date and time could be inaccurate.
    • With Apple Mail, the “opened” signal is sent the moment the images are downloaded. Therefore, marketers will have no way of knowing that when the images are downloaded, the prospect or customer was viewing the email.
  • Triggers or workflows based on an “opened email” will be disrupted.
    • It is common practice for marketers to resend campaigns to consumers who did not open the email the first time a campaign is launched. With iOS 15, marketers will not know who specifically opened the email and therefore, would risk resending the email to the wrong individuals.
  • Location-based email targeting relying on IP address will no longer be reliable.
    • This new feature masks Apple users’ IP addresses, so their online activity and location will not automatically link.
    • The functionality of the “countdown” clock widget may be impacted, but we do not know for certain yet.

What This Means For You

We understand that this update is creating new hurdles for marketers. We are with you! However, it is important to look at the bright side:

  • This update will not impact all email subscribers. Right now, Google, Outlook and other email users make up more than 60% of the global share and they have not announced any updates.
  • Clicks and click-through-rates (CTR) will not be affected by this update, which are often even more accurate metrics to determine engagement.
  • This is a time to get creative. We can tie site traffic to an email campaign, enlist the help of clickmaps, and analyze unsubscribe rates.
  • A/B testing is still an option! Taking subject line testing as an example, marketers will still be able to determine an outlier even though open rates will be inflated. As a secondary option, clicks can also determine this winner. If a Call-to-action (CTA) is featured, marketers can measure success through conversion data or site activity.

As marketers, we understand not only the importance of data & analytics, but why keeping data privacy at the forefront of your omnichannel strategy is necessary. In fact, a couple of months ago, we published articles encouraging your proactivity regarding data privacy and how to be data compliant in 2021. However, no one can prepare for the updates that the industry’s largest players have made, and will continue to make. We can only accept these challenges, and design new systems and processes in accordance with them. We are steadfast in bringing you the most innovative and cutting-edge solutions, and we will continue to do so, even with the iOS 15 update in place. 

Sources include Lift Engine, Hubspot, Apple, and AdWeek.

shutterstock_1222427458

The Truth About Your Campaign Metrics: Facebook Announces that Apple Data Is Skewing Conversions

As digital adoption continues to soar post-pandemic, it is evident just how interconnected we really are. This week, Facebook began to quantify the negative aspects of this interconnectivity.

On Wednesday, September 22nd, Facebook announced that it underreported ad performance due to Apple’s iPhone privacy update for its iOS operating system. Specifically, Facebook estimated that it is currently underreporting web conversions on Apple’s iOS by approximately 15% and that this could affect advertisers of various sizes in many ways.

Why This Happened

Recently, Apple made a pivotal update for its users; now iPhone and iPad users will need to opt in to being tracked when they launch an app for the first time. It is now evident how much this new parameter affected advertisers’ campaigns.

What This Means For You

Facebook Vice President of Product Marketing shared in a blog post: “We believe that real world conversions, like sales and app installs, are higher than what is being reported for many advertisers.” Therefore, the results that you are seeing are likely lower than how your campaign is actually performing. 

How We Can Help

Partnership is at our core. We understand that this is not an ideal situation, but because of our strong industry ties and media relationships, we will get through this together. In fact, our digital and data & analytics teams are already working on solutions and adjustments considering this news, which includes:

  1. Working with our Facebook reps to further understand the percentage of users/conversions being impacted across each of our individual clients, and then building models that factor in the potential data loss
  2. Leveraging our clients’ website analytics tools (Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, etc.) to measure key engagement and conversion data points to supplement data coming directly from Facebook.
  3. Researching additional technology solutions to layer on top of Facebook and website analytics platforms to help fill any gaps in the data (however, we are in the early days of these new data privacy issues, and this is more of a longer-term play).

As marketers, we always aim to keep our tech stack fresh, current, and innovative. We are looking forward to solving the challenge Facebook and Apple have presented to us. We are especially looking forward to delivering to you the positive results we know your campaign is driving towards. Stay tuned!

Sources include CNBC, Facebook, and AdAge.

Burning,Envelope

It’s Not Just the Summer Weather – Direct Mail is HOT!

Almost 500 years after the end of the European Renaissance, direct mail is beginning its own Renaissance. Here is why we are seeing this revival: Forty-one percent of Americans look forward to receiving mail. Beyond that 31% used direct mail to make their most recent purchase decision. Due to this, 25% of marketers planned to raise their direct to consumer mail budget last year to account for the uptick in interest and results. We understand that “direct mail” is a very broad term. It is helpful to note that direct mail is more than just catalogs. We are seeing many types of print formats as well as a variety of specifications and volumes. These pieces complement traditional catalogs. View below more detail on the various types of mail that is sent directly to customers. These are hot right now, so you can make an informed decision as to what best suits your marketing needs.

Funded Direct Mail

Definition: Conventional direct mail without incurring the upfront capital investment. Why It’s Hot: The use of mailing directly is predicted to more than double this year. Funding accelerates your growth and profitability without the costs associated with a traditional direct to consumer mail plan. More specifically, you pay a fixed amount per customer while taking minimal risk and it frees up spend for other channels.

Programmatic

Definition: Allows brands to send triggered or automated direct to consumer mail to website visitors. Why It’s Hot: Fifty-seven percent of marketers reported that direct to consumer mail contributed a 12% increase in response rates to multichannel campaigns. By mailing directly to online shoppers, a programmatic strategy puts your brand in front of the prospect or customer multiple times for a more manageable cost.

Campaign-Based Direct Mail

Definition: Directly mailing campaigns yields a high ROI, and work even more effectively when tied to a specific event or holiday (i.e., Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, Mother’s Day, Store Opening, Anniversary, Birthday) Why It’s Hot: Campaign-based directly sent mail promotes testing at a low, all-inclusive per piece price. More specifically, it allows a brand to pivot quickly in terms of format, layout and creative if the response rate is favorable or unfavorable. In these changing times, this is a viable strategy.

Insert Media 

Definition: A pre-printed advertisement that usually features a special offer. Hundreds of brands use inserts to acquire new customers across a wide range of demographic and lifestyle segments. Insert media delivers numerous new customers at a low cost and with significant reach. Why It’s Hot: Insert Media is a cost-effective, reliable and revenue generating solution for brands. More specifically, it is targetable and measurable, drives cross-channel results, offers category exclusivity, and serves as a brand endorsement. From catalog blow-ins, package inserts, shared mail, onserts, and single-sheet inserts, to statement inserts, Insert Media is turnkey with us. What’s more: Insert Media is not affected by the postage rate increases. We understand that there is “no one size fits all” when it comes to your brand’s marketing strategy. We are here to help you determine the right direct to consumer mail “fit” to further elevate your plan and join the Renaissance happening now. In the meantime, you might be wondering: “What about all the news on the USPS rate increase that I’m reading?” We have you covered. Next week, we’ll be sharing all that you need to know about these upcoming changes and our recommendations for your continued success. Sources include Oxford Languages, Plumb Marketing, Pebble Post, and Marketing Chart.
young-woman-reading-mail

Millennials Actually Value Direct Mail

Checking my mail one day, I received an oversized postcard from a restaurant called Lena’s Italian Kitchen, offering 20% off my first order. As a New York City resident, I can say that this was the first (and only) solo Direct Mail piece I ever received from a restaurant. As a direct marketer, I applauded their strategy… what a great way to stand out in a very crowded landscape. Just how crowded? According to a recent report from Crain’s New York, crowded to the tune of over 26,000 restaurants across the five boroughs!