The Problem and How The World Is Affected:
Apple iOS 15 changes have been officially rolled out and have begun to effect all Apple devices using the Mail app. Since most Apple users utilize the Mail app to view their emails, this has seriously impacted the open rate and the click rate of the “email” industry at large. Given enough time to monitor the situation, Lone Beacon has concluded we must alter how things operate to adapt with the times. Enough devices have been updated to this version of iOS, and enough Mail apps have now been updated, resulting in stats we can confidently say have changed. This is an issue everyone in digital marketing has needed to figure out across the board.
How The Email Marketing Industry Reacted:
Firstly, open rates across the globe have increased, and all click to open rates have decreased. Click Through Rate (Clicks/Sent) has not been affected. The email marketing industry, including Hubspot and Constant Contact, has responded with various solutions and alternatives. Constant Contact’s reported Industry Benchmarks in Financial Services are a 21% Open Rate, a 0.86% CTR and a bounce rate of 9.04%
Constant Contact’s posted numbers have increased due to iOS 15 changes as well, by about +10%. Observe below that, before and after the iOS changes, Lone Beacon had a 10% higher open rate. Our CTR is more than three times the industry benchmark today.
For Lone Beacon Clients, Open Rate has increased by about 11% and our Click to Open Rate has decreased by about 4-7%. Our Click Through Rate across our client accounts has remained steady through all of this at about 3-4%. The key piece of evidence is this graph that really tells the whole story:
Lone Beacon has long since trumpeted the virtues of first party data in the modern age of digital marketing and that has not changed here. We will be looking for 1st part data that has not been changed due to iOS 15 and utilize that in reporting and communication. To adapt is to change and to change is to evolve for the better. We are constantly testing and evolving marketing programs, and this can be seen as more of that. Lone Beacon is committed to improvement for our clients through mindful evolution with the industry.
This change serves as a reminder that the Martech world is in constant change, and Lone Beacon is at the forefront of those changes. Last year, Facebook and Google both rolled out major changes to their data privacy and data collection and Lone Beacon was able to master the transition, just as we will master and adapt to this.
Lastly, this situation serves as a reminder of another tenant of Lone Beacon marketing theory – marketing tactics diversity. Much like in personal finance, it is important to diversify a marketing strategy with various strategies and tactics so when a change does affect an entire industry, like this, the other strategies and tactics can continue on, unchanged and just as powerful with no down time. Radio and Facebook advertisement still are holding strong with no changes.
There are thought leaders in the email space, referenced above and elsewhere, that have suggested that open rate was not a particularly critical metric in the first place, given that it essentially tracks the effectiveness of just the subject line and the brand recognition itself.
My key takeaway on the situation is: Key performance indicators of a successful email at the end of the day is truly more about bringing people deeper down the funnel with their actions. With this frame of reference in mind, looking at opt-outs and total clicks is a more objective-based approach that looks at and tracks potentially more meaningful, “real-world” metrics. When we say “real-world” metrics, we mean actions that people are actually doing in response to your content, such as clicking-through to your content to read it. If someone has a meaningful interaction with the content you are sending them, they are more likely to eventually do business with you. Even opt-outs can tell you if your content isn’t connecting with your audience and you may need to switch up your approach.