Staff Writer

Mobile marketers have had one heck of a year — especially when it comes to user acquisition for apps. Apple’s introduction of App Tracking Transparency and SKAdNetwork have meant app marketers have had to reimagine their marketing strategies, and have changed attribution as we know it. Apple has shuffled the deck again, releasing iOS 15 on September 20, and adding new challenges for app marketers — impacting everything from email marketing to app engagement strategies that have become more important in the wake of IDFA deprecation. 

As Peter Vandre, chief analytics officer, Dentsu’s US media service line told The Drum, “If you rely heavily on IP addresses for geotargeting or utilize CRM data for search remarketing, you should pay particular attention to this update.” So here is a round-up of some of the biggest changes to iOS 15 and what the experts are saying about them.

What is iOS 15’s Mail Privacy Protection?

Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection stops email senders – most often those sending marketing emails and newsletters – from seeing your IP address and when you open the message. Instead, it will route your IP address through multiple proxy servers and randomly assign you another IP address. Mail Privacy Protection isn’t turned on by default, instead, you want to go to Settings, Mail, Privacy Protection and turn on the option for Protect Mail Activity.” — Wired

What does Mail Privacy Protection mean for marketers?

  • “Open rates will become an unreliable metric and Apple email users now have the ability to keep their personal email addresses private, curbing our ability to attribute value to email marketing activity and accurately deliver against existing segmentation.” Gayle While, dentsu Media, chief digital officer via AdNews.
  • “But there is a more fundamental reason not to use this approach: users who have opted into Mail Privacy Protection have explicitly said they do not want providers tracking them via email opens. Using these sort of workarounds betrays that user trust, is bad-practice, and ultimately harms your brand’s reputation.” — Chris Adams via SparkPost


What are Apple’s App Privacy Reports?

“App Privacy Reports lets users see how often apps have been granted permission to access their information, and which third parties they have shared this with, over the last seven days.” — AdWeek

What does App Privacy Reports mean for marketers?

  • “Looking at the marketing industry as a whole, we need consumer trust to survive long-term and changes like this help consumers build that trust. Consumers are increasingly invested in how their data is collected and used by brands, which Apple clearly recognises with their new privacy practices. I expect this to spark other companies to consider their own practices, and we may see more industry changes down the line. But for now, Apple’s announcement is ultimately neither a good nor a bad thing for marketers — we just need to adapt, like we always do.” — VP and deputy counsel, John Story, Acoustic via Marketing Tech News.

What is Apple’s Notification Summary?

“The Notification Summary is an opt-in feature that lets you control when notifications from unimportant apps are delivered. In the Notifications section of the Settings app, tapping on Notification Summary walks you through the initial setup process.” — Macrumors

What do Notification Summaries mean for marketers?

  • “What’s more, iOS 15 delivers a big blow to customer relationship management (CRM). Firstly, the way in which notifications are used will change, where users can either silence all notifications with a do not disturb mode or group them based on if they are currently working or not. The tracking updated in iOS 14.5 meant that retargeting became significantly harder and this makes it even harder for apps to use push notifications to re-engage with users and cut through the noise.” Jenny Crook VP, Mobile Product at Jellyfish via Marketing Tech News.

Some good news for app marketers 

While many of the changes Apple introduced in iOS 15 may make life difficult for UA marketers — and other mobile marketers — the news isn’t all bad. “Marketers should also be excited for the ability to test default pages with different icons and available marketing materials. [At VMLY&R] we’ve seen success with this in Google Play, and now that it’s available for Apple’s App Store, we can stop using assumptions based on other platforms as to what the general user finding us reacts best to,” Mike Whaley, managing director, mobile apps/emerging tech, VMLY&R told The Drum