How Will Apple’s Privacy Changes Affect Marketers?

In early June of this year, Apple announced the release of its new operating system, iOS 15. Since then, marketers have been in a frenzy. Many are debating the challenges that will arise following the new privacy updates as they are predicted to affect various marketing strategies adversely.

Here we discuss how the new features will affect marketers and the measures you can take to stay afloat amidst the difficulties that will arise.

Overview of iOS 15 Privacy Updates

iOS 15 privacy updates will allow users to enjoy a more protected experience. While there are many privacy-focused features that these updates provide, we will discuss the ones that will directly affect your marketing strategies.

Mail Privacy Protection

This first privacy update allows iPhone users to conceal their email behavior. Usually, eCommerce and social media platforms place a tracking pixel in the marketing posts they distribute. This pixel assesses personal information like the time you spend reading an email and the applications you use. However, the mail privacy update will block pixel-activity and conceal your data from such sites.

Hide My Email

The next feature is one that has been long-requested by Apple device users. With this update, any iOS device with an email address can create new email accounts for eCommerce and social media sites. That way, when a user buys something from a new website, the device won’t provide their actual email address. As a result, the user’s active details aren’t visible to the website, and the device will still receive messages sent to the randomly generated email address.

iCloud Private Relay

This update works specifically on the Safari browser to hide the unencrypted information that can be accessed through a user’s web traffic. It functions similarly to a virtual private network (VPN), masking data like user profile, IP address, and web history by running the traffic through two relay servers.

This means that browsers and websites won’t be able to gather as much personal data as they used to from iOS users.

Marketing Challenges Arising From iOS 15 Privacy Updates

There are several implications that iOS 15 features will have on your marketing strategy, including:

Limitations of Mobile Email Marketing

In the past, the most effective way to handle email marketing was to send messages directly to the mobile devices of potential customers. Unfortunately, given these recent privacy updates, this tactic might not be as helpful if a majority of your customer base uses iOS devices.

As the Hide My Email and Mail Privacy Protection features become more popular, sending regular emails to users with the iOS 15 updates will become more challenging.

Depreciation of Open Rates

Something else marketers will need to brace for is the reduced quality of open rate data. As more restrictions are placed on the data you can collect from users’ devices, you’ll begin to notice a depreciation in the accuracy of the information gathered. By the time these privacy trends reach their peak, campaign metrics like open rates will become obsolete.

This means that marketers will need to find new workarounds for finding the correct information from prospects.

Masked IP Addresses

iOS 15 updates will also allow users to conceal their IP address from marketers thanks to the Mail Privacy Protection feature. As a result, you won’t be able to track opens or view the physical location of your target audience.

This means that users won’t display their actual IP address, which will hinder any geo-segmentation marketing strategies you have been using. So, email personalization based on physical location will become less effective.

Inaccuracy in Send Time Optimization Techniques

Since iOS privacy updates will also impede your ability to use tracking pixels to determine when users read your emails, it will become more difficult to create effective digital marketing campaigns.

Without accurate data on when and how long it takes your recipients to go through your messages, sending emails at the right time won’t be as easy as it once was.

How to Alter Your Marketing Plan for Apple’s Privacy Changes

Monitor Open Data Metrics

Now that you understand that various marketing optimization efforts will be hindered by the iOS 15 privacy updates, you should look for metrics that aren’t negatively affected by the new features. This could involve testing and benchmarking specific elements like subject lines, send times, and preheaders to help you maintain the effectiveness of open rate strategies.

Re-Evaluate Engagement Segments

While you could still salvage some aspects of open rate metrics, sooner or later they could become unreliable. So, you should look for alternatives like tracking on-site activity or click engagement to adapt your overall marketing strategy.

Despite that this alternative won’t allow you to access as much information as you used to from Apple device users, this data will be helpful to optimize other efforts. You don’t want to spend your finances on strategies that won’t bring a high return on investment (ROI).


Another way to streamline your marketing efforts is to prioritize testing that can enlighten you on the strategies adversely affected by the iOS 15 privacy updates. Benchmark reporting involves comparing your business information with that of other brands in your industry to evaluate your performance.

You’ll need to develop a proficiency for crucial industry metrics like revenue per delivery and click rate to find the areas you should direct more effort and those that you should remove.

Eliminate Inactive Subscribers

Since the iOS 15 updates haven’t been affected in the majority of the Apple devices yet, there is still a window for marketers to assess their contacts list for re-engagement. This type of campaign can help you identify inactive subscribers that are unaffected by your marketing efforts. As a result, you’ll have a cleaner segment that can help generate more leads and maintain a good reputation for your brand.

SMS Marketing

Now that email marketing and other techniques will be affected by the Apple updates, you should consider using push notifications and SMS marketing as an alternative. This will provide a way to stay in touch with your mobile customers and maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship.

Let Us Help You Redirect Your Marketing Efforts

Marketers are facing a lot of uncertainty because of the updates that come with Apple’s new operating system. Nevertheless, you can find creative ways to adapt to the situation and ensure your marketing efforts are effective with the tips in this post.

But, if you’d like professional assistance to reorient your strategies in light of the iOS 15 updates, contact us Zero Gravity Marketing and get the expert help you need.

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