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Privacy Updates for iOS 14.5 and 15 and What They Mean for Digital Marketing

If most of your customers are iPhone owners, Apple's new privacy policy updates released on April 26, 2021, will most probably affect your marketing. And the upcoming updates for iOS 15 will have a big impact on email marketing in particular.

IDFA and Permission Request

IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) is a unique device identifier that is assigned to an Apple user’s device. Apps use it to identify a user, track their activity and deliver custom advertising and offers.

Starting with iOS 14.5, its terms of use are going to change. Under the new App Tracking Transparency policy, apps will be required to ask users for their permission to track their data with a permission prompt. The prompt consists of the default copy and should include a purpose string explaining why you want to collect the user’s data and how you’ll be using it.

Permission prompt example by AFK Arena

On April 1, 2021, the App Store began blocking apps that were using Adjust SDK and attempted to violate the tracking transparency rules. On April 2, Adjust made changes to the code. App developers can get verified within the App Store after updating to the new SDK version.

In May 2021, Flurry Analytics reported that 96 of 100 US users and 88 of 100 global users are more likely to opt out of tracking. These are the statistics for all applications. The percentage of opt-outs may be lower for apps that users find trustworthy. But this doesn’t change the general picture: a big part of Apple users will get unavailable for personalized advertising.

App Tracking Transparency and Facebook Ads

Facebook is the most important advertising platform for many ecommerces due to a relatively low cost per click and huge audience coverage. Local businesses with a small budget can create personalized Facebook ads and acquire thousands of users.

But with the iOS 14 update, Facebook's tracking capabilities will be limited.

iOS 14.5 users who haven’t allowed Facebook to access their data will only see general ads. They won’t be tracked when they click the ad and leave Facebook.

The restrictions apply not only to users who refuse to share all personal information. All tracking options have been reduced.

For example, before the iOS 14.5 privacy update, you could add unlimited Facebook pixels to track all conversions. Now, you’ll be able to track up to eight activities on your website.

You also need to rank conversions by priority: for example, if a user adds products to the cart and makes a purchase, you can only track the event with a higher priority. Moreover, Facebook Insights will provide page data with a 72 hour delay, so you won’t be able to track activities in real time.

These changes reduce the performance of the advertising making it impersonal. Based on tests by Facebook, apps’ ad revenues dropped over 60%.

Campaign performance analysis is also becoming more complicated. Marketers no longer have data that can help design and optimize their marketing strategy.

Last post

Apple WWDC 2021 Updates

At their annual conference, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the company announced they will move towards improving their customer privacy policy. The most important updates for iOS 15 include:

  1. Private Relay Service. Neither Apple nor the user’s network provider cannot see their Safari browsing data. UTM tags will be deleted and DNS will be encrypted. Apple started working on it several years ago and this fall we can see the result.
  2. Hide my Email. If a user wants to hide their email when creating an app account with Sign in with Apple, they will get a unique random email address to keep their personal email private. All messages sent to this address will be automatically forwarded to their personal email address. Unless apps introduce verification via a phone number, they can expect a growing number of users willing to choose trial periods and plenty of new users in statistics.
  3. App Privacy Report. Transparent analytics of user data used by applications. The report includes not only geolocation tracking and other data but also a list of third-party domains the application shared the information with. This can prompt even more to opt out of sharing their data.
  4. Mail Privacy Protection. The feature will hide the user's IP address and geolocation and block open tracking scripts. This will make it harder to track and analyze the data for sends, deliveries and opens.
  5. Focus. It lets users customize when they want to receive calls, text messages or mobile push notifications. People will be able to set notification preferences depending on the current status. This means that the deliverability of app notifications will also become harder to track and analyze.

These updates have made marketers start thinking about how to adjust to the new reality without much of the customer data. See Facebook's recommendations on how to minimize marketing losses and read the below tips prepared by our team.

How Businesses Can Stay Afloat after Apple’s iOS 14 Policy Release

Since the iOS 14 update is only applicable to Apple users, you don't have to give up on Facebook ads. Instead, expand your sales funnel to attract more leads and access their data.

Collect User Data on Your Own

The more you know about the client, the more effectively you communicate with them. Today, there exist many ways to collect customer data: surveys, data from CRM, Google analytics, web tracking, etc. But there are 2 challenges you may face:

  1. The same user can interact with the brand on different devices: smartphone, PC, laptop, or tablet. You need to match all this data, that is to define the contact regardless of how they got into your base.
  2. The collected data must be relevant and updated so that you can use it for your marketing strategies, for example, automated campaigns.

The easiest way to address both problems is to use customer data platforms (CDP).

CDP features

Customer Data Platform is a software that creates a unified customer database that can be integrated with other systems. Data are taken from multiple sources, sorted and unified to create a single contact profile. You can send this data to other marketing systems and use it for customer communication.

The good news is that there are CDPs that also offer functionality of an email service provider. Our platform is one of such CDPs. It unifies data on customer behavior both offline (CRM, call centers) and online (website, mobile application, campaigns in different channels).

Learn more about CDP capabilities

All this data is collected in unified profiles in real time. Any activity or inactivity of the contact can become a trigger for the launch of the automated omnichannel campaign: abandoned cart or browse, order confirmation, reactivation, etc.

Omnichannel workflow

The growth dynamics of the contact base, changes in contacts’ activity and other important metrics are tracked and displayed in an all-in-one report.

Contact list overview in our platform

Our system enables you to collect maximum information about each of your customers and use it for personalized triggered campaigns. You can also use it to build hyper-target segments, find the most effective communication channel, predict behavioral patterns with the help of AI and send customers the most relevant content: personalized recommendations, sales, events, etc.

Add Other Channels

One of the main advantages of Facebook is its huge audience coverage. But omnichannel strategies can generate you the same result. Focus on attracting contacts in every channel you use: email, SMS, web notification, app notification, instant messengers.

Email has always had a high conversion rate, but 2020 demonstrated that its potential is still limitless. In late 2020, the conversion rate of bulk emails was 6.5%, having grown by 111% compared to 2019.

The conversion rate of triggered emails in 2020 was 29.8%, which is 95% higher than in 2019.

Other direct marketing channels such as SMS, Viber and push notifications also have high performance. For example, in the first weeks of March 2020, the number of marketing SMS increased by 32% compared to March 2019.

When you combine all these tools within one system, you can detect the channels the customer finds the most convenient, choose the cheapest one, get the maximum attention, and be sure that your message hits the target.

The rise of the subscription channel efficiency is most likely due to the boom in online shopping caused by the pandemic. And this is your chance to take your business to the next level.

All tools to run permission marketing

Сonclusion

It seems that Apple isn’t the only company willing to give users more control over their data. Google plans to eliminate third-party cookies in the near future. This means you need to interact with your customers in direct marketing channels, taking full advantage of the data that users opt in to share with brands (first-party data).

The brands that are the first to adapt to the new rules will survive. And our platform will help you be one of them!

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