Klaviyo & iOS 15: What the Update Means for Your Email Marketing

Klaviyo and iOS15

The latest iOS update has sent shockwaves through the world of email marketing. As a continuation of Apple’s commitment to its users’ privacy, the update introduces several significant changes intended to protect users’ privacy, including tracking on emails coming in through the Mail inbox.

What promises to be a boon for users, at the same time, might look like a worry to many email marketers. Reduced tracking sounds like worse metrics, fewer insights, and less targeted messaging. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. Change is a constant in digital marketing, and the same is true with this update. With the right strategy to address these changes and the right partner by your side, you can still succeed.

An Overview of Email-Related Changes to iOS

Naturally, any iOS update goes far beyond a single marketing tactic. Still, it’s worth considering the changes designed to protect users’ privacy when it comes to using email on their mobile devices in particular. After all, change requires adjustment, and staying proactive with these adjustments can be the key to continued email marketing success in the new system.

More specifically, with iOS 15 marketers using Klaviyo and similar platforms no longer have access to certain types of information about Apple users:

  • Accurate open rates, as Mail Privacy Protection pre-loads the pixel at email receipt rather than email open.
  • Location-based recipient information, thanks to Private Relay blocking user IP addresses.
  • Click-through tracking, including attributing website actions to specific email recipients and clicks.

Let’s dig deeper.

Changes to the Open Rate

We’ll keep this simple: your open rate will be the most significant effect of the iOS 15 update. It will likely be inflated, caused by tracking every iOS user as an email open. Adjusting for this fact, both in your strategy and in your reporting, will be absolutely key.

But ask yourself: is relying on your email open rate really a good thing? Sure, it can provide insights about awareness, but its usefulness ends there. Other metrics tend to be more valuable; for example, click-through rate can tell you how convincing your message was, and link-specific click-throughs can provide insights into what designs work best, what CTA placements create most actions, and so on.

What Other Metrics Are Affected by the Update?

Now, the good news: There are workarounds for all metrics except for your open rate, and some important metrics aren’t affected at all.

These metrics will continue to function as they have been, which means you will still have plenty of data to work with. You will still be able to track when your potential customers view products, begin the checkout process, place an order, subscribe to your email list, or are otherwise active on your site, which means that you will still have plenty of information to help you analyze how your business is doing.

You will also continue to receive the same amount of data as usual from Android users for now, although it’s worth deciding whether continuing to collect this information from approximately half your users still makes sense. In most cases, the best option is to adjust your entire strategy to enable consistency across your email marketing.

In other words, iOS 15 is no reason to panic, and it certainly is not “the end of email marketing.” Instead, it’s an opportunity to assess and adjust your email marketing strategy, potentially improving it in the process.

Action Items:

  • Review your current email metrics and assess the current role of your open rate.
  • Build new reporting structures that emphasize more actionable metrics like click-throughs and conversions.

woman using email on iOS 15

Adjusting Your Email Marketing Strategy to Work With iOS 15

The changes in iOS 15, and a generally increased focus on user privacy, are not trends that will go away anytime soon. Adjusting your email marketing strategy can help you stay ahead of the curve, allowing you to continue on a successful trajectory.

Fortunately, you’re not on your own. Klaviyo has already implemented a number of updates to help marketers on its platform make that transition, and you can also take a number of steps on your own to ensure continued success.

How Klaviyo Is Addressing the iOS 15 Update

A newfound emphasis on user privacy is not necessarily a surprise, so Klaviyo has worked on a number of solutions specifically designed to address email marketing challenges created through iOS 15.

To start, Klaviyo is notifying all platform users about the iOS 15 changes and providing platform settings specifically designed to adjust. You might want to update your email settings to click-only attribution for conversions, which helps to address the challenges of click-through tracking on your website mentioned above.

And that’s only the beginning. While Klaviyo will continue to display Open Rates for the time being, the platform is currently testing a new flag that identifies whether an individual open is generated by the system or by a user, allowing users to continue tracking manual open rates as done previously. The platform is also planning updates to omit iOS-driven opens from revenue attribution calculations, minimizing confusion in that area.

In the meantime, each Klaviyo account owner will receive a personalized email that estimates the percentage of Apple Mail opens based on the campaigns you’ve sent out in the past thirty days. That can provide a valuable baseline to help you assess the impact of the update on your unique system.

Action Items:

  • Update email settings to click-only attribution.
  • Look for Klaviyo’s flag for system-generated opens in its reporting section.
  • Review your past Apple Mail opens to set a baseline for future insights.

How to Adjust Your Email Marketing Strategy to Accommodate iOS 15

While we’re proud to handle many of the technical changes that come with the newest iOS update, there are a few steps you can take on your own as well to be in the best place possible for present and future email marketing.

First, consider adding SMS marketing to your toolbox or working to grow your existing SMS subscriber list. This adds another channel for connecting with your target audience, minimizing a full reliance on email.

It also makes sense to study your current reports and data trends. That provides an idea of how quickly you are experiencing growth or other changes that may remain steady in the coming months until more is known about how iOS 15 affects businesses. For example, if you want to see who exactly on your list is using Apple Mail, create a segment using Opened Email where the Client Name = Apple Mail OR Mobile Safari AND where the recipient is not suppressed. Analyzing this segment in comparison with audiences outside of it helps you estimate the full impact of the changes, and make changes as needed.

Finally, it pays to make sure that the people on your current email list actually want to receive your emails. Focus your efforts on engaged audiences who have not marked previous emails as spam and have interacted with your emails in the past to keep any disruption you may experience to a minimum.

Focusing on engaged segments may require expanding your definition of that segment in the platform, including not just email opens but other signals like clicks, purchases, and site activity. It also helps to review any automations that use opens as a start to find an alternative trigger.

Within Klaviyo, you should also remove all open conditions from your email segments. Instead, it’s time to find more meaningful metrics that help you segment your audiences according to which recipients are most likely to respond to your messages.

Action Items:

  • Add other channels to your communications, like SMS marketing.
  • Create a custom segment for Apple Mail opens to estimate the full impact of this change.
  • Focus on engaged audiences for your most impactful communications.
  • Expand your definition and criteria for engaged segments beyond opens.

The Future (And Promise) of Email Marketing

iOS 15 may take some time for your business to adapt to, but it’s an adjustment rather than a serious challenge. Keep in mind that it will take a few months before this change is fully rolled out, with most stores likely unable to see its full effects for quite some time. That gives you a good adjustment period to optimize your email marketing for the future.

At Future Holidays, we are here to help you reevaluate your current email marketing strategy in light of what we expect to see in the latest iOS update and make any tweaks that may be necessary now in order to make your transition as smooth as possible.

We can also assist with building your email list, web design, setting up and maintaining your eCommerce shop, and a variety of other aspects of your overall marketing strategy. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business navigate Klaviyo and iOS 15, or to start fine-tuning your email marketing strategy!