Apple is about to make your email open rates useless. Here’s how to fix it.

Apple announced its latest iOS 15 operating system that will run on Apple phones and iPads. Some cool things are coming, like real-time screen sharing so you can finally see what grandma means when she says, “I already pressed that button.” while she is talking on the phone with you.

However, for business owners, it means more user privacy additions to navigate. One that caught my eye was the automatic blocking of Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, InfusionSoft, and other email sending software.

Below are the last three email campaigns I sent. As you can see, the open rate (number of people who hopefully read my email) is listed, and the open rates are all about the same. I could think to myself, “great, people are opening my emails 50% of the time; I’m a marketing genius!” However, that would only be part of the truth. Let’s look at how email open rates are not that useful even before iOS15 launches later this fall.

iOS 15 Preview

iOS 15 Preview

Apple announced its latest iOS 15 operating system that will run on Apple phones and iPads. Some cool things are coming, like real-time screen sharing so you can finally see what grandma means when she says, “I already pressed that button.” while she is talking on the phone with you.

However, for business owners, it means more user privacy additions to navigate. One that caught my eye was the automatic blocking of Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, InfusionSoft, and other email sending software.

Below are the last three email campaigns I sent. As you can see, the open rate (number of people who hopefully read my email) is listed, and the open rates are all about the same. I could think to myself, “great, people are opening my emails 50% of the time; I’m a marketing genius!” However, that would only be part of the truth. Let’s look at how email open rates are not that useful even before iOS15 launches later this fall.

Do email open rates matter?

 

No, not in the larger sense. Reasons open rates are wrong:

  • some people have blocking software already installed, so an email open occurs, but the data isn’t relayed back to the email sender
  • a preview of an email may allow the user to read the email without technically opening it
  • email provider you sent an email to doesn’t support email open tracking at all
  • what is an email open worth anyway!

How can I use email open rate data?

 

TESTING. Use the open rate data as a rudimentary way to ensure emails are not getting hung up in spam vs. a measure of marketing success. This method of using open rates to detect if your emails go to spam is not the best way, and specialty software can monitor and move your emails out of the ‘promotional’ folders and into the ‘primary’ folder and much more.

How can I tell if my email marketing is working if open rates are all but useless?

Delighting people with email goes a lot further than just sending an email and offering an idea. If you are building up a larger and larger group of email followers only, your email campaign provider is excited by that metric alone. The business owner needs to be excited when you get users to engage by reading your article and clicking a link or replying. (don’t get me started on how much I hate info@donotreply.com senders!)
Even if the user unsubscribes from your list, that’s ok; vanity metrics like “subscribers” don’t = money in your pocket.

How to fix your email open rate

It’s an easy one-step process:

STOP CARING ABOUT THIS VANITY METRIC! 

In summary, email open rates don’t matter if your goal is to get people to take action and engage with you. If you look at my example above, my last two out of 3 emails didn’t get many people to click a link (or reply). However, my most recent email WAS engaging, and people clicked, responded to it, and engaged, even leaving in-depth comments with the article on LinkedIn.
Rabbit Trails I wanted to wander down but will have to save for another day:
  • stop sending emails from @noreply.com unless you hate your customers
  • how to use your blog content as a current social media post and even evergreen newsletter content

I wanted to wander down but will have to save for another day:

  • stop sending emails from @noreply.com unless you hate your customers
  • how to use your blog content as a current social media post and even evergreen newsletter content