• Michael Goff

Open letter to ESPs regarding iOS 15

There’s no doubt that the privacy changes in iOS 15 are sweeping. Yet I’m here to say, I think it’s been overblown and used as clickbait. (Not sure what the iOS 15 changes are? Read my earlier blog post for more details.)


I hope this cavalier attitude doesn’t come back to haunt me. But I believe that the solution is straightforward and should be on every email service provider’s roadmap. However, ESPs are pretty opaque on the details, which is why I wanted to write this post today.


In case it’s helpful, I’ll share the action item that I’ve distilled down from all of the articles and data out there: the iOS 15 update means that email marketers will need to adjust how they build their segments. Further, ESPs will need to make new segment criteria to distinguish between “true opens” and “false opens”, as we’ll want to target each in different ways.

  • Our current segments can use “true opens”, in addition to click activity.

  • “False opens” will need to be treated more carefully as it’s unclear whether these subscribers are interested in your emails. Segments built on “false opens” will need to be mailed less frequently, and will be good targets for reengagement efforts -- the goal being to entice a click or “true open” so that the subscriber can fall into the regular broadcast segment.*

In short, I believe that we will need new tools to handle the iOS 15 update appropriately. And here’s the frustrating part -- ESPs do not seem to have clear timelines on when they will release this new segmentation. And so...we are in a holding pattern.


My question is, why aren’t ESPs more transparent about the need to update the segmentation they provide? There’s a lot of talk about what email marketers should be doing...but from my perspective, the solution is a technological one, and the ESPs that provide the correct tools are going to attract and retain more clients.




* Let’s look down the line and anticipate what next steps could be for these “false open” segments, and get things ready so there is less of a scramble. If someone is using an Apple device to read their emails, the reality is that eventually, the only definitive way to tell they are engaged on your email campaigns is through click activity. So, make sure you have a social media presence or blog to link to from your emails, as those will be much more engaging and drive more clicks than advertisements.



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