This past week, Apple yet again, made some big announcements. But for some reason, this announcement has gone largely unnoticed. Do a quick Google search and it’s hard to find interesting points of view on this change. But if you use email to market to your customers, you're going to want to pay attention.
Here’s what they announced.
"In the Mail app, Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. The new feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email, and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location."
Now, here’s what it means.
Essentially, it means that anyone using an Apple device with their email app (Apple Mail) will now hide their IP address to the tracking pixel that lives inside each email you send, making it impossible to track what happens when a reader receives that email.
This means that the open rate metric, already an unreliable metric, is about to become without a doubt, unreliable.
And essentially, at this point, that’s all that will happen.
Our metrics inside of the email space will become harder to measure accurately. But they still have measurability. We just need to shift the way we see success inside of emails.
Traditionally, the first and most important metric we’ve been interested in has been the open rate.
It’s a bigger number. And because of that, we get a good feeling about things when it’s within an average range or above average.
But if you’ve been with me for a while, you’ll know that I’ve mostly ignored the open rate. It’s unreliable (hello preview panes and apps that pretend to open your emails but never do) but even more than that, I’ll take a click over just an open any single day.
Clicks = Conversions
Conversions are sales.
Clicks = Cash
So here’s what you’re not gonna do.
You’re not going to freak out.
You’re not going to make a blanket statement that ‘Email is dead!’
You’re definitely NOT going to throw your hands up in the air and decide that this just isn’t worth it anymore.
Email is very much alive and still, in my opinion, the best marketing tool you have in your toolkit to build raving fans.
We’re just going to need to get better at emails. For too long, we thought throwing an email out there every once in a while would do the trick.
But that’s just not possible.
You’re going to need to go back to the WHY.
Why would your customer want to come to you?
Whatever that answer is...be that for them inside their inbox just like you are in person.
Neither you or I can predict the future. But what we can do is understand the changes coming and decide on our strategy and plan.
Here’s my plan. You’re welcome to use it or make your own. But do something. Don’t just walk away.
Shift into the mindset of click rates being my current favourite metric.
Ramp up my list-building efforts. I’m going to shift more budget into list-building activities now before the update happens in September.
This is because I can move them onto my list and then test their interest in purchasing from me and then move them off of my list if need be using reliable open rate data to help me see who’s opening and who’s not and since I usually want at least three months of that data, I had better get a move on.
Culling my list will be hard in the fall. So I’m going to get pretty darn ruthless in the next three months. I don't want to pay for subscribers to be on my list if they don't want to be there in the first place.
This means a couple of re-engagement sequences are coming to my client list over the next few months. Those that engage, stay and those that don’t, leave.
Remember, I’m looking for clicks now. Only clicks. Clicks are the more reliable metric at this point.
I’m going to start teaching my clients that when they click, great things happen.
Remember: Why are they there?
Ramp up my list building opportunities.
I like Facebook Ads and funnels for my newsletter list. You might like something totally different. I’m shifting around $300/month into these to see if I can beef up my list and watch the data as they move through my welcome sequence.
Rework the metrics I’m measuring inside the welcome sequence. I had some conditions moving clients in various directions after emails were opened. I need to change that to opened AND clicked.
I need to create more opportunities for my clients to click things that aren’t just buttons to buy.
Surveys, quizzes, embedded this or that questions to name a few.
In order to do this, I’ll need a landing page where everyone can land after they clicked something. It would be a generic page, but someplace I own (my website) that I can use their data to retarget them with an ad or an abandoned cart sequence or even a purchase sequence.
I’m making sure every subject line is the best one on offer. I’m split testing the heck out of them and making sure the winner is determined by clicks, not opens.
If clicks are the most important metric, I need to get emails opened before they can work. Subject line split testing helps.
I’m not panicking. Entrepreneurship is hard and it’s always changing. Just pause and think about all of the changes that have happened in your space over the past year. We’ve made it through. We can do this.
We learn, adapt and move forward. So don't panic. Pivot.
I'll be talking heavily about the Apple update inside my FREE July 2-day workshop. (July 13 & 15) Hope to see you there so we can continue the conversation.