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How Email Open Rates Are Likely Changing for You in 2022

If you’re delivering email messages to customers on their phones, recent updates to Apple’s iOS 15 could impact one of the key metrics marketers use to measure email effectiveness.

An email open rate is a calculation that marketers use to determine the success of email marketing campaigns. It’s the percentage of your company’s total subscribers who open an email that’s delivered to them.

When your open rate improves over time, you can get a better understanding of the content that’s most interesting to your target audience. When it’s low, it could be an indication that subscribers aren’t reading your email at all.

Your email open rate along with other metrics such as click rate, click-through rate, deliverability results, delivery time, email frequency, and subject line analysis help you determine how well you’re engaging a desired audience and if they’re investing in your brand. However, the way email open rates affect your email marketing may change in 2022, due to new privacy features recently added to iOS 15.

New Privacy Protections and How They’re Impacting Email Marketers

Several privacy protections were implemented as part of Apple’s iOS 15 update in September of 2021. These enhancements primarily impact emails sent to Apple Mail on Apple mobile devices, which account for over 35% of the global email provider market share. iOS 15 is the latest update for Apple’s iPhone operating system, which can be installed for free on iPhones that support the update.

Right now, desktop email clients aren't impacted by this update. It’s also important to note that Google, Outlook, and other email providers have yet to announce any new privacy changes that could affect email marketers tracking open rate and IP data information. 

The iOS 15 update includes both free and paid privacy features that help users better control and manage access to their data. They include:

  • Mail Privacy Protection (Free): Users can opt in to Apple Mail privacy features that mask IP addresses and block third parties from tracking email opens or other IP data.
  • iCloud+ (Subscription): Additional paid privacy features like a Private Relay feature that prevents sites from tracking Safari users who opt-in and allows users to see which websites they're sending information to.
  • Hide My Email (within iCloud+): An email address-cloaking feature that users can use to give a "fake" email address to companies sending promotional emails. While the emails still land in an email inbox, companies will not be able to see the real email address unless the contact shares it.
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How To Keep Your Email Marketing Success on Track

Despite the way Apple’s open privacy changes can impact open rate tracking or email-based A/B testing, email marketers can follow these tips to keep their marketing success on track:

  1. Reevaluate your email open rate goals.

Because some email audiences might become less trackable, consider changing your goals for open rate success based on adjusted low, average, and high open rates.

  1. Leverage other email marketing metrics.

Refocus on other determining factors for email marketing success. Here’s a list:

  • Clicks and click-through rates - Share links in your emails to content like blog posts, offer landing pages, product pages, and more. Track the clicks and click-through rates to find out how many or how often email readers are engaging with your content.
  • Website traffic - Determine how much traffic is coming to your website from one single email. You can also figure out the kind of content that sends the most visitors to your site.
  • Clickmaps – Track the content in an email that people clicked on the most or the least.
  • Unsubscribe rates - If your unsubscribe rate is low, it could mean you’re retaining or gaining subscribers. But a spike in this number could indicate that something in your email strategy is causing you to lose a larger audience than you want.
  1. If you run on HubSpot, their email product team is already considering solutions.

According to Email Product Manager Shane Janssens, HubSpot is considering the next best steps for those using the email tool based on Apple’s new features based on how they could impact HubSpot email analytics.

In the meantime, HubSpot's Email Health Tool will compare your open, click-through, unsubscribe, and bounce rates against HubSpot benchmarks.

11outof11 Knows Email Marketing

If you need help creating email marketing campaigns that show success, regardless of Apple’s new privacy protections, connect with 11outof11. Request a complimentary call with an 11outof11 expert. Contact us to learn more.

Topics: Marketing, Digital Marketing, Email Marketing