The least we can say is that 2021 has shown marketers that they have to ‘’adapt’’ to survive
Another bomb just dropped onto digital marketing world. After the major changes in iOS 14.5, we have seen the performance of Facebook ads slowly crumble. It’s a year (and even more) of major changes since Google’s (major) announced in 2019, the removal of third-party cookies.
Being at the mercy of Facebook, we have seen companies finding themselves in difficulty (Thanks Mark) and in search of alternatives solutions to counter changes in audiences targeting and advertising algorithms.
I reassure you right away, the situation is constantly evolving and all is not lost (far from it).
‘’ We are going through a transition period at Facebook, you have to give 6 to 12 months to see the evolution of the platform. ‘’
These are the words of Antoine Gagné founder of J7 Media a Facebook advertising agency invited to our latest episode of our podcast: The future of Facebook advertising. But, we’re talking about changes to Facebook advertising, what about iOS 15? (the goal of the article here)
Setting the table for an uncertain period
I try to put as much emphasis as possible on past updates so that you can understand the importance of these. We are preparing to face a period of additional complications, but this time with email marketing. A massive update is scheduled with the release of the new iPhone this fall.
To learn all about iOS 15, see this link about iOS 15.
Let’s face it, Apple has bet a lot on data protection in the past year. With television commercials or even billboards in downtown Toronto (Thanks Nicolas for the photo), the telephone giant has come to impose itself in the world of data privatization by putting as much emphasis on it as possible.
What exactly are the changes?
3 elements are significant in this major update for everyone who operates email marketing. With the arrival of iOS 15 (expected between September and November), users will now have the option to:
- Disable open tracking
- Hide their IP addresses
- Hide their e-mail addresses
Like the end of third party cookies and the ATT (app tracking transparency), the user will now have the option of selecting how they want email marketers to use their information.
The 3 elements mentioned above are very important for anyone wanting to do email marketing. I would even say that this novelty will have collateral damage on digital advertising over time, since being able to “hide” the user’s email address will change the way information is shared.
Why do I think there will be such strong felt impacts? Since the rate of users who do not agree to share their data via the last update (14.5) is over 80% at the moment (source). Therefore, means that the users who will be offered the choice of giving access to the ‘’ tracking ” of the opening rate of emails (open tracking) to advertisers will not happen.
Result? Substantial data loss for both SaaS email marketing and advertisers.
Speaking of damage, as we speak, Apple almost have the entire market on emails opening on mobile phones (Iphone) and almost 58% of the overall market share on email marketing in general.
How do I prepare for the changes in iOS 15?
- Start segmenting your audiences
It’s been years since you should have done this, but it’s now or never! With the current segmentation of your email marketing audiences, you will be able to maintain some targeting when you do various campaigns even with the changes that will be rolled out.
- Make some cleanup
While you’re working (or optimizing) your audiences, take this time to clean up your list of inactive contacts. Either way, you won’t be able to measure ‘inactive’ well in the future, so you better exclude them to work with only people who are interested in your content!
- Do A / B tests
Start testing your email subject line variations now (you should be already doing this). This way, you will be able to find the best performing variation before the update! Make sure to also test the content of your emails to do the same test and understand the open and click rate of your messages.
Here’s a list of things to A/B test:
- Subject lines
- Time of day (10h00 VS 14h00)
- Day of week (Tuesday VS Thursday)
- “From” lines (who’s it coming from)
– Put your focus on the open rate
This should be one of your top focus. There’s a huge parallel to be drawn between the problems experienced with Facebook ads right now (with the 14.5 update) and the (success) of the email open rate. If you work hard on your open rate while you can still track it well, there’s no risk that your emails will become stale overnight after the iOS 15 update.
Same principle with Facebook advertising, it is not because you can no longer know when and IF the person bought your product that everything is going downward. One can easily understand this data by looking at the sales of an ecommerce.
If I’m selling as much as before (and sometimes more) but my Facebook ads performances are down 30%, that doesn’t mean I’ve magically started selling more in other channels.
Same thing with the open rate and your purchase rates via your newsletters. If they are good right now (and hope for constant improvement), I can tell you that it will continue like this even after the update!
Be creative! The deeper we get into these changes the more the creativity of the media, the relevance of the interactions between the brand and the consumer is important.
Don’t get me wrong, the tone of the post may sound alarmist and frustrated with the changes Apple has made, but on the contrary, at Rablab we embrace these changes. We want to help advertisers get to the next level and redefine their business goals. Of course, it is a daily challenge to face all this, but it will create incredible opportunities for several innovative and avant-garde companies.
Only the strongest will survive the storm, are you part of the boat 🙂 ?
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