Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the holiday shopping season just got harder for brands. On September 20th, Apple released iOS 15, moving us closer to a fully opt-in world where consumers are in control and their privacy is the top priority.
iOS 15 comes with Mail App Protection, which gives all users of the Apple Mail app the ability to activate advanced privacy features, while preventing marketers from collecting critical information about user behavior. Consumers who activate Mail App Protection will be more anonymous than ever, which presents new challenges for marketers and one of the primary revenue drivers for brands: email.
Adopt SMS marketing before holiday shopping begins
What does this mean for holiday shopping? It means that when it comes to iOS users, marketers will not be able to trust or rely on open rates, geotargeting, or email address visibility. This doesn't mean that you should cancel your holiday email marketing plans, but it does mean that you should support those campaigns with other channels and strategies — like SMS marketing.
Between 30-50% of a brand's email list uses Apple Mail and Apple devices. If those users activate Mail App Protection, your brand could miss out on key engagement opportunities and learnings during this peak period of consumer spending. Fortunately, SMS marketing is already adapted to the mobile-first, customer-first, privacy-first world we have entered, so it's the perfect way for brands to continue to engage mobile consumers regardless of privacy limitations this holiday season.
Maximize results with SMS this holiday season
Instead of relying on one strategy to engage consumers, brands need to diversify their channels to ensure maximum reach. SMS marketing will enable you to collect more data, rely on more metrics, deliver more value, and drive more revenue this holiday shopping season and beyond. Here's how you can leverage it:
- Get real-time, reliable results: While email marketers are re-thinking metrics and optimization tactics post-iOS 15, SMS marketing is already set up for successful, live performance monitoring. SMS has always been focused on clicks and conversions (open rates for SMS already soar at 98%), providing you with the actionable data you need to know which parts of your holiday marketing strategy are working and where you can optimize.
- Provide value to collect subscribers: Brands need to provide more value to convince customers to share their information, and SMS provides the most for mobile consumers. What can you offer them with SMS? Our research shows that consumers are attracted to both short-term and long-term incentives, from one-time discounts to early access to new releases and direct, 1:1 communication with brands.
- Lean on customer-first data to deliver personalized experiences: SMS marketing is powered by zero-party and first-party data. By providing interactive SMS experiences, you also gain access to data that customers share willingly and proactively. Then, you can take that customer-first data and use it to create unique segments for improved customer targeting.
- Cut through the noise and drive a sense of urgency: eCommerce events and holidays like Black Friday/Cyber Monday share one important thing in common: urgency. Because of its immediacy, SMS is well positioned to drive that urgency with timely campaigns that get customers to convert. In fact, 58% of consumers say they would sign up for SMS in addition to emails because they want to know immediately about promotions, offers, and updates.
Limit the impact of iOS 15 during the holidays, and in the future
SMS marketing, by its very nature as an opt-in channel, is always customer- and privacy-first. Consumers have to give their permission to receive texts from brands and to share their private information with them. SMS also appeals to consumers' desire for control over communication and data sharing by making it easy to opt-out. That being said, they rarely do — SMS has a less than 5% opt-out rate.
Brands who create valuable mobile experiences that inspire trust and drive engagement will succeed in the aftermath of Apple's privacy changes. And the best way to do that is by adopting SMS marketing. So don't be hindered by Apple's iOS 15 update — it's an opportunity to expand your reach this holiday shopping season, and find even more effective marketing strategies for the future.