Blog 4 min read

How iOS 15 will make or break your Black Friday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner! In other words: e-commerce marketers are setting the final details to prepare and monetize the biggest shopping event of the year. As if this isn't tough enough, retailers now need to adapt to the iOS 15 updates and the loss of open rates. So, how does this affect your brand, your potential plans, and projected sales for Black Friday 2021? Keep reading for all the juicy info!

But first, a short recap!

What does the iOS 15 update mean? Well, Apple users now can turn off open tracking and block their IP addresses. What this means in terms of capability to follow up on sent emails is for the future to tell – but what we do know is that open rates and CTOR will no longer be the go-to for measuring email success. At least not when it comes to Apple users with privacy protection turned on.

Read more about what the iOS 15 update might affect in this blog post ➔

What impact will this change have on email statistics?

  • Apple will hide when users open emails
  • Apple will hide where users open emails
  • Apple will hide how users open emails


A big piece of the Apple

As of today, 50% of all received emails worldwide are read in an email client from Apple (the email app in iPhone, Apple OS, iPad, and Apple Mail). With a great part of the global market share, the iOS 15 update should therefore not be ignored. Also, about 90% of all Apple users have historically enabled previous privacy updates. Will the same thing happen now? We don’t have the answer yet, but history tends to repeat itself, and privacy is becoming a more debated and important topic than ever before.

A good thing to remember is that opens will still be tracked for Windows users, Android users, webmail, Apple users running older OS versions or other email apps – and for those who have privacy protection turned off.

Our projections around iOS 15 at Voyado are that:

  • Opens and open rate will most likely increase
  • CTR will decrease
  • CTOR will decrease
  • Not opened emails will decrease
  • Number of clicks in emails will not be affected

So, what should I think of as a brand
or e-commerce regarding iOS 15?

Retention and re-engagement marketing that depends on open rates as a key metric needs to be revised. This also includes marketing automation flows. The flows will be inaccurate and could trigger the wrong action if the condition is an opened email or not. During Black Friday, when a lot of new customer acquisitions are made, make sure to secure the post-purchase customer journey from the start to avoid any miscalculated communication as a result of the iOS 15 update.

KPIs such as clicks, site behavior, and purchase history will be the main metrics of success for greater email campaigns. Focus less on the open rate and more on the creative (and fun!) parts. Create compelling content that makes your customers click in the emails – and inspires them to make a purchase!

SMS is the new black (Friday)

SMS is a valuable channel for communicating with customers since it’s fast and familiar. When you get a text message, you read it – whether it’s from your BFF or a brand that you trusted with your phone number.

Stats show that 90 percent (!) of these texts are read within three minutes. That’s simply something you can’t afford not to make use of! Utilize this direct channel as a complement to emails and ads during Black Friday to engage and reach customers in a matter of seconds.

To be fully prepared for Black Friday, make sure to go through our essential Black Friday Guide.

Key takeaways to embrace change

Change can feel scary, but change is constant – and often a positive thing. We know that the iOS 15 update will create some effects, but it won’t change the behavior of the customer. It will only impact how we measure customer behavior. From a brand or e-commerce point of view, it’s key to reflect and make sure to create even better, more relevant, and personalized content. Customer-centricity will be the magic formula moving forward.

Content and communication should be based around the customer and their needs – not the other way around. In short, this update will only bring more value for the customer and the user which means more loyal customers in the long run. Basically, a win-win situation – just make sure to adapt to the change!

Last, but not least – opens will no longer be reliable, but email marketing as a channel is still one of the most important when it comes to revenue and communication. If you are up to speed and have adapted to the iOS 15 updates, you will certainly see your sales skyrocket during Black Friday.


More reading

Browse through all of our blog posts to find more inspiration!

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