Email Marketers: What You Need to Know About iOS 10

September 19, 2016 Kevin Gaherty

In a continuing effort to improve their customers’ experience, Apple recently began releasing iOS 10 and will continue throughout the fall. The release includes features and issues that will have a direct impact on email marketers. Most importantly:

  • Simple unsubscribe option
  • Less real estate in the pre-header section
  • Spotty support for image scaling
  • Ability to delete the default iOS inbox on phone

Here is what you need to know.

Simple Unsubscribe Option

Remember, the inbox is about the end user and not the people marketing to them. In order to make it easier to unsubscribe from lists, Apple is following in Gmail’s footsteps to add list unsubscribe to their emails. List unsubscribe automatically adds the option to unsubscribe to the header of the email.

iOS 10 simple unsubscribe

Impact

You will probably see an increase the number of unsubscribes from your email lists. However, if you are delivering timely and relevant emails, the impact should be negligible. The one positive aspect of this is that we have noticed, over time, that the SPAM button was becoming a “proxy” for unsubscribe and therefore impacting deliverability rates. Hopefully with this move, more consumers will choose to unsubscribe rather than “report as spam,” improving deliverability.

To Do

  1. Keep an eye on unsubscribe rates after the IOS 10 release.
  2. Consider auditing your emails for relevancy or come up with more tirgger strategies to ensure your emails are engaging.

Less Real Estate in the Pre-header Section

To make way for the unsubscribe option, content will be pushed further down the page.

Impact

Viewing on smaller mobile screens will make real estate a premium. Marketers will need to make sure they are making the most of this limited space with pre-header, headlines, creative and calls to action.

To Do

  1. Compare your creative pre-release vs. post-release and consider changes as necessary.
  2. Test your emails to optimize performance with the new header.

Spotty Support for Image Scaling

iOS 10 in BETA has been offering spotty support of automatically scaling large images. While later versions of the iOS 10 BETA seem to be correcting the issue, some are still not fully scaling.

iOS 10 image scaling iOS 10 image scaling

Impact

Marketers using large images without responsive email design may see some scaling or rendering issues.

To Do

  • Make sure production teams bake in extra QA time to ensure optimal viewing on iOS devices.
  • Consider creating and using mobile responsive email templates.

Ability to Delete the Default iOS Inbox on Phone

For the first time, iOS 10 users will have the option to delete the default iOS inbox that was pre-installed on their phones.

Impact

This may or may not be significant. It will be interesting to see if there is a shift in market share from the iOS inbox to additional apps (Gmail, etc.). Do users use iOS because they love it or because it’s there and cannot be deleted? If we do see a shift, marketers will want to monitor their email list to see who is opening on which devices. Support varies from inbox to inbox so email design approaches may need to be modified.

To Do

  • Determine which email environments your customers are currently using to open your emails.
  • Consider how a shift may impact your design approach as design support varies in different inboxes.

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