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Apple’s upcoming Mail Privacy will affect your email marketing

Apple’s upcoming Mail Privacy will affect your email marketing

Email marketing is often the cornerstone of a small business owner’s online marketing plan. Among the many reasons is the ability to know and track how many people have opened your email, where and how.

However, the new Apple privacy changes will have an effect on the accuracy of your statistics going forward.
Apple has announced that it will be rolling out privacy changes to its mail app that will be taking place between now and November, with iOS 15.

The changes are similar to the app tracking privacy they introduced earlier this year and will affect people using an iPhone, iPad, Mac computers, and Apple Watch.

It’s called Protect Mail Activity and if people choose to activate it, when an email is received, their device will automatically download images but block information about when and how the email was opened.

How does this impact your email marketing?

This matters because software such as Constant Contact and MailChimp rely on a user downloading a one-pixel image which pings back to the server marking the email as opened. So now, everybody on your list who uses the Apple mail app and has activated the privacy option will appear to have opened your email. Litmus estimates that 52 percent of emails are opened on an Apple device.

As an email marketer, your two key metrics are open rate (the percentage of people who open an email) and click rate (the percentage of those who open an email AND click a link).

This means your open rates are going to skyrocket and your click rate is going to plummet. The new Protect Mail Activity renders these two metrics useless.

Here’s the thing though, nothing is changing in the real world. When somebody clicks on a link in your email, they’re still tracked, which is something you’ve likely been paying attention to all along.

It may be important for some businesses to know where their emails are being opened and on which device, but as a realtor, chances are you’re working in a specific geographic area, and this will not have a great impact at all.

What can you do?

You’ll have to change your thinking around measuring success with your email marketing.

Start paying more attention to people who are clicking links – and what links they are clicking. These are real people telling you what they have found interesting in your email. If you’re looking to segment your list to get more targeted with what you’re sending out, this is where you’ll want to look, rather than only targeting people who have opened your email.

It’s worth paying attention to your open rates for the first few months after these changes roll out, this will give you a baseline. Once you have this baseline, you will know if the number of people opening your email is moving up or down and you can start to respond accordingly.

If you have any questions about this or anything else email related, please get in touch! 
Facebook vs Instagram

Facebook vs Instagram

I’m often asked by business owners if they should be on Facebook or Instagram or both and the answer is a solid “it depends”. 

Although Instagram is just six years younger than Facebook, it seems to be the platform more people are talking about than Facebook. but that doesn’t mean Facebook is disappearing. There are still good reasons to use it.  

In terms of demographics, there’s more overlap than there used to be, but there are still more people over 45 using Facebook than Instagram. (source: Statista)

A little information about Facebook users:

  • 25 million Canadians have Facebook accounts (Statista)
  • 2/3 of Canadian Facebook users check the site daily (Facebook) 
  • 86% of internet users with $100k+ income use Facebook (Sproutsocial)

In terms of usability, you can post anything you like on Facebook. Links, listings, videos, photos, polls, anything you can view online, you can post on Facebook. (Except for a PDF). While you should be sharing some original content, you can also share third party content (from reliable sources, depending on your industry) so you don’t have to be creating all your own material. 

A little information about Instagram users: 

  • 13.2M users in Canada (Statista)
  • 41% of Instagram users in Canada are over 35 (Statista) 
  • 81% of people use Instagram to help research products and services (Hootsuite)

You’re limited to posting photos and short videos on Instagram, but there are more places to post: feed, stories, IGTV and reels, their answer to TikTok. 

It’s easier to generate a following and get engagement (or at least likes) on your posts on Instagram. The analytics are really easy to see on each post. The challenge is that if you want to gain traction on Instagram, it’s more hands on. You’ll have to be wiling to spend time looking people up to follow them, understanding how hashtags work and figuring out a plan to create your own content, though it’s fairly straight-forward.

The benefit to using both platforms is that you’ll be reaching more people, but the catch is that you should ideally be posting different content on each channel, although there can be some overlap.

A note to realtors about how advertising has changed: Facebook pulled the rug out from realtors in December. Previously, you could target an ad to different postal codes, you could narrow down by age, you could advertise to people living in a radius around a certain address or location and you could exclude people, so you weren’t advertising to fellow realtors. 

That’s changed. You now have to self-identify your ad as housing (if you don’t, the Facebook bots are going to catch you and reject your ad). You have to advertise to people aged 18 to 65+ and you have to advertise to the entire city plus a 15 mile radius. You can still advertise to people who like your page and their friends, and you can narrow it down by interest. If you’re comfortable using the Facebook Ad Manager rather than the boost button, you may find better results that way and you can advertise on both Facebook and Instagram that way. 

The decision about whether to use Facebook or Instagram or both comes down to both demographics and time. If your clients skew a little younger (under 45) and you have the time or interest to be creating content, you’ll see better results on Instagram. If you’re dealing with clients who are mostly 35 and up, they’re going to be found on Facebook. 

MB Digital Communications