The news that Apple’s iOS 15 will allow consumers to opt out of open tracking throws into focus a lot of deliverability practices which have developed in response to mailbox providers, such as Gmail and Microsoft, taking contact engagement with email into account when making filtering decisions.
A world without reliable open data seems a scary future for marketers who have become reliant on opens as a measure of contact engagement and judging the success of a campaign. Right now it’s unclear exactly what impact this change will have, early testing on what open data is and isn’t tracked is still inconclusive.
Looking to the future, the iOS 15 privacy roll-out combined with the likelihood of other email client providers following Apple’s lead and the increasing number of ever tighter privacy laws coming into force globally mean that marketers need to decrease their reliance on open rates.
So what can marketers do now?
Implement better acquisition practices.
One often overlooked area of email marketing is email address collection. Many marketers struggle with the consequences down the line of addresses bouncing due to being incorrect or accepting addresses input by spam bots. Currently these issues are too often solved retro-actively through bounce handling and engagement suppression, whereas preventing bad data entering lists should be a priority.
Review welcome offers.
Evaluate whether offering incentives for signing up, such as a 10% off, encourages less engaged contacts to be subscribing or even abuse of your welcome offer with contacts continually signing up with new addresses just for this offer. Now is the time to review this and experiment with alternatives whilst you have open data available to compare to.
Segment your content
Many marketers still send batch and blast or one content to all campaigns. To ensure contacts are engaging content will need to be more tailored to individual preferences. Use buying and browsing behavior to tailor content based on consumer interest.
Automate promotional content
Move away from a reliance on broadcast campaigns and look to build out promotional automations. This can be particularly powerful for sale content which can be triggered from recent browsing behavior and can allow for different customer journeys that reflect consumer interests during the sale period.
Change your success metrics
For most marketers this is a mindset shift that needs to happen. Stop looking at opens as a measure of an email campaign’s success and start focussing more on the quality of the list you sent to and the clicks, conversions and website visits generated.