Sep 2016

How iOS 10 may impact email marketers

iOS 10 is the latest software update to hit iPhones and iPads this Fall. The update is currently in public beta, and email marketers are already getting hold of it to test what if any, impact it will have on emails.If you’re a grizzled email marketer, you might be able to predict what’s coming next. You guessed it—changes to how your emails will render on iOS’s stock Mail app.

For this post, we partnered with Jaina Mistry to get the scoop on what to expect.

This message is from a mailing list

The one big change to the Mail app in iOS 10 that may ring alarm bells for email marketers is the introduction of this banner:

iOS 10 Unsubscribe Banner

This banner appears at the top of any email sent to a mailing list, and makes it very clear to the recipient. This banner also makes it very easy for the recipient to unsubscribe, without having to find an unsubscribe link in the footer of the email.

While this may sound alarming, it’s reminiscent of when Gmail first introduced their own one-click unsubscribe in their webmail version. Email marketers were in a panic about how this could affect their unsubscribe rates and positioning in the inbox.

Remember that making it easy for the subscriber to unsubscribe from email shouldn’t be hard. If a subscriber genuinely no longer wants to receive emails, it’s far better for them to unsubscribe easily and without stress, otherwise they may mark your email as spam.

If a subscriber clicks the unsubscribe in the header, they will find an email in their sent folder with this message in it.

“iOS Mail sent this email to unsubscribe from the message “subject line”.

The large unsubscribe notice at the top of the email also poses another challenge for email marketers. This banner is rather large and pushes the content of your email down by about 50px. On a smaller device like an iPhone, rather than an iPad, real estate is valuable so 50px can be a significant amount.

Revisit your email templates and designs and ask, if you pushed the email design down by about 50px, would your message suffer? While the argument of whether “the fold” exists in email rages on, it doesn’t hurt to ensure your key messages are front and center in your emails.

Video tag functionality

It’s also been reported that the <video> tag is once again functioning in early versions of iOS10’s Mail app. The <video> tag has been missing from iOS Mail since iOS8, and many email marketers have missed being able to embed video into their emails, with reliance shifting to animated GIFs for visually engaging content in email.

Removing built-in apps

With the release of iOS10, users will have the ability to remove built-in Apple apps from their devices–including the Mail app. This could have an impact on email marketers, as users may choose to use other email programs. There are no certainties that because this function is available, users will be move away from the default Mail app to, perhaps, Gmail. It’s definitely something to keep an eye on.

The email client market share for the Apple iPhone, as of July 2016, stands at 33%–the highest of the month–not all users use the default Mail app to open their emails. Remember to look at your own customer base to see what devices and email clients they’re opening emails on.

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