Engaging your email list without open rate data

When Apple released its iOS 14.5 update, many marketers (slightly dramatically) saw their careers flashing before their eyes.

What are we going to do now?

How are we going to contend with people having control over the ads they see?

Why would Apple do this to us?

And in the age of the collective freakout, it isn’t that surprising that this was the reaction.

For years, marketers had got used to a way of advertising for brands on Facebook, Instagram, email etc and been really good at it.

But, as with everything, change comes quickly.

Soon, privacy was a buzzword no one could ignore, hence the updates.

However, if we look back in time – has marketing ever really been “easy” for marketers?

The simple answer is no.

The only way some brands and marketers have been able to stay on top while others fell by the wayside to new, fresher competition is because marketing is a living, breathing organism that’s been in society since the dawn of time.

But, I digress…

iOS 14.5 and Email Marketing

When the iOS 14.5 update hit, no sector of marketers felt more at risk than email marketers.


Basically, their beloved open rates were basically rendered useless.

And even though it would only be for iOS users, the majority of people who open emails (over 60%) open them on their smartphones, and anywhere between 25-50% (depending on geography) are iOS users.

It may not sound so bad when you consider who is actually going to opt-in (spoiler: most people have by now), but open rates would be forever skewed and not representative of that highly engaged 90 days segment you wanted to target.

Since the beginning of email marketing, open rates have been key to the way marketers did their jobs, so was this really the beginning of the end for email?

Not quite.

And if you did think that then the way you’ve been looking at email marketing is all wrong.

Firstly, there are these really cool thing called “clicks” that give you a better sense of who is really interested in your emails.

Why? Because they were actually interested in what you said.

And a blast of intermittent cold emails to an unengaged segment to wake them up never hurt anyone either!

Next, is the content.

If you continuously offer enough value in your emails (and no, this doesn’t mean sales every single day), and engage your list so that they keep coming back for more content, then there’s no reason why you’d be negatively affected by the changes.

You’ll have a following of people that wait every week for your newsletter or blog, and when it comes they’re excited about the content they receive. CLICK.

To close off, the iOS 14.5 changes were sudden, but it’s up to marketers to adapt to the world around them, not the other way around.

And if you really do believe that you can sell that pen, then getting someone to open and click your email should be a cinch.