Experts weigh in on iOS 15 updates, changes

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The first big thing many marketers will notice is that open rates are no longer the go-to for email engagement measuring. Instead, Apple’s iOS 15 rollout makes the use of images as a measurement for email open rates moot.

“[For] Apple Mail users on iOS 15 or MacOS, email open rates metrics will be very inaccurate across all Email Service Providers (ESPs). ESPs have used images to track email opens for years, and this is going to render that strategy obsolete as these changes will cause inflated open rates across all ESPs. Brands that once relied on email open behavior to determine what message to send next will now need to shift their strategy to measuring more accurate downstream KPIs (like link click rates). Without understanding these changes, there is potential to damage the user experience as well as hurt your email reputation with inbox providers by sending unwanted mail if you don’t act,” said Will Crocker Hay, VP of Customer and Partner Marketing, Braze.

For many marketers this change could mean delivering unwanted or irrelevant messaging to their core customers – an issue when many consumers already feel overwhelmed by the number of emails gathered in their inbox. To combat the relevance issue, Crocker Hay says brands must prioritize data privacy and open the communication lines.

“With each irrelevant interaction with your brand, consumers’ loyalty, and trust will erode until they churn. The long-term implications of not understanding how iOS 15 will impact your brand’s customer engagement strategy will ultimately lead to lower retention rates, weakened customer loyalty, and declining growth,” said Croker Hay.

One more suggestion is to ensure conversion transparency is top of mind as new marketing strategies are developed.

“Brands must prioritize the data privacy of their customers to build strong brand loyalty by delivering relevant messaging campaigns at the right time, on the right channels. Additionally, brands should diversify the channels used to communicate with customers and shift toward a seamless cross-channel engagement strategy. Marketers must take action now to ensure that their campaigns will still provide value and meaning to customers. Waiting a month from now may be too late to avoid the worst impacts of the shift to iOS 15,” said Croker Hay.

Kunal Nagpal agrees.

“Advertisers should look for more transparency in conversion tracking, with Apple now allowing app developers to set an endpoint that will receive a copy of all the winning SKAdNetwork post backs. Everyone up and down the ecosystem can be notified of the conversion from the advertiser to the DSP to the MMP for far greater transparency and immediacy and this provides a solid foundation for comparison instead of relying on platforms for self-reporting. As Apple continues to close these loopholes, it will be interesting to watch how performance changes, or doesn’t and ripple effects this has across the greater advertising industry,” said Kunal Nagpal, SVP of Publisher Plantform and Exchange, InMobi.



Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with, NBC News,, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.