Apple iOS 15’s new privacy features prevent tracking of email opens. This has significant implications for email marketing, ranging from distorted KPIs to malfunctions in marketing automation campaigns. artegic adapts its marketing automation software to the new requirements of the iOS 15 update. New features still allow, for example, to capture resilient open metrics, optimize subject lines based on open rates or play out dynamic content that is usually updated on open.  

When sending an email to an Apple Mail client, it is no longer possible to directly measure the opening of the email under iOS 15. Before the email lands in the user’s client, it is routed through a proxy server at Apple, which caches all the media files it contains, including the tracking pixel used to measure opens. Each fetch by Apple is thus counted as an open, resulting in an open rate of 100 percent on Apple Mail among iOS 15 users. The actual opening by the user can no longer be measured directly, since the media content, including the tracking pixel, is no longer retrieved from the sender but from Apple.

This not only distorts open rates in KPI reporting but also all measures based on tracking open rates, such as send time optimization, subject line testing or reactivation of non-openers. artegic has given its customers numerous recommendations for action to respond to this change, for instance adapting response-based marketing automation campaigns from open triggers to click or conversion triggers. In addition, artegic also further develops the ELAINE Marketing Automation software to continue to provide email marketers with their usual KPI and measures.

The following ELAINE functions will be adapted or newly developed with regards to the iOS 15 update:

  • Detecting false opens: The iOS 15 update falsifies the measured open rates, as every email sent to a user running iOS 15 is automatically opened by the Apple proxy and this opening is fed back to the email sending software. ELAINE automatically detects which opens are performed by the Apple proxy server instead of by a user. These opens can be filtered out in the campaign statistics and for measures that use opens as triggers, among other things. This way, no false opens are displayed in the statistics and no false triggers are triggered in e.g. marketing automation campaigns.
  • Synthetic metrics: In order to still get meaningful statistics on campaign opens, ELAINE for Apple Mail on iOS 15 users can generate synthetic metrics on demand, which are highly likely to correspond to real opens. The calculation is based on clicks from Apple under iOS 15 users and the click-to-open rate of other users.
  • Determining sufficient sampling sizes: For subject line optimization through A/B testing, the open rates of different subject lines are usually compared. With the iOS 15 update, the results of such tests are distorted. ELAINE not only filters out false opens but also automatically calculates how large the sampling groups per subject line need to be in order to still get meaningful test results.
  • Individual scoring: With ELAINE, user responses can be assigned scores and profiled on a user-specific basis. In order to avoid falsifying the scoring values for Apple Mail on iOS 15 users, these can be configured and displayed independently of the users of other clients.
  • Ultra Responsive Mails: With the ELAINE Ultra Responsive Mails, it is possible to provide device-specific content when opening an email, such as a link to the Google Play Store on an Android device for instance. It is still possible to detect the operating system (iOS 15) as well as the client (Apple Mail) but not the end device (iPhone, iPad, iMac or MacBook). For Apple Mail on iOS 15 users, a fallback is therefore automatically played out that works on all Apple end devices.
  • Dynamic content: ELAINE not only makes it possible to adapt content to the end device used (see Ultra Responsive Mail) but also to reload real-time content live when it is opened, such as stock levels or location information. Again, ELAINE automatically detects access through the Apple proxy and plays generic fallbacks that work without the real-time context.
  • Interactive Mails: ELAINE Interactive Mails goes one step further. They enable the integration of interactive content directly into the email without a media break, for example multi-level surveys, micro-shops, product sliders, forms or appointment scheduling. The interaction of the users with the elements can be measured and provides a valid substitute key figure for the opening rate.

Get to know ELAINE’s new features now

ELAINE is the award-winning marketing automation software for digital dialog marketing with email and mobile. ELAINE is designed for easy integration into existing system landscapes and fast implementation of successful use cases. artegic will gladly present ELAINE in a short demo and support email marketers in adapting to the challenges that have arisen due to the iOS 15 update. Click here to make an appointment for an ELAINE Demo.