Apple’s 2022 Privacy Protection Decision: What it Means for Your E-Commerce Business
Having an E-Commerce Business = Never a Dull Moment
One of the most challenging things about e-commerce is that everything about the internet is constantly changing. You never know when a search engine, social media platform, hosting platform, or any other number of elements affecting your e-commerce brand will make a sudden change.
It certainly keeps life interesting.
Oddly enough, one of the fun parts about working in digital marketing is looking at all the angles in those changes so you can find ways to turn what might be an “OMG, now what?” moment into an opportunity.
That keeps everything interesting for us at AdQuadrant, while benefiting our clients. When inspiration hits, the thought is, “Ah ha, internet, you thought you threw us a monkey wrench. We’ll see your monkey wrench and raise you this very clever idea to accomplish what our client needs despite what you just did!”
And then we do our little happy dance. But, don’t tell anyone cause that’s embarrassing, cause we’re much better digital marketers than dancers.
Have You Heard About Apple’s Existing “Hide My Email” Option?
Apple made a privacy change about a year ago with its iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 features release that included a way to protect Apple Mail users. Specifically, Apple gave its customers the option to use a new function, “Hide My Email.”
Here’s how “Hide My Email” works: “This feature allows you to create disposable email addresses that are aliases for your iCloud email address. You can sign up to a website using one of these addresses, and, if you start getting spam, you can delete the address.”
People probably checked that option without realizing the ramifications. Disposable email addresses probably sounded great for many reasons.
Why do we think some didn’t realize what they signed up for? Google has YouTube and other content results for questions like, “How do I deactivate (or disable) Hide My Email,” “How can I undo (or deselect ) Hide My Email,” “Why do I have Hide My Email,” and “How can I get rid of Hide My Email?”
But If It’s Been Out for a Year, What’s the Big Deal Now?
Apple’s 2022 Privacy Protection will take a leap forward in September 2022, with Privacy Protection, a.k.a., “Hide My Email,” during its iOS16 and iPadOS 16 features release. That leap will probably negatively impact your email marketing campaigns more than the original “Hide My Email.” Why? “This year, Apple is extending Hide My Email to allow third-party apps to offer Hide My Email sign-in options.”
We know that allowing third-party apps to offer “Hide My Email” as an option could throw a nasty monkey wrench into your current email marketing campaigns. We’ve accepted the challenge to work within these new rules to ensure our e-commerce brand clients continue to thrive.
You may think we’re weird, but we love good challenges like this!
What Does This Mean for Your E-Commerce Brand’s Email Campaigns?
That’s the big question. It may have already affected some of your Apple Mail users who chose “Hide My Email” after last year’s release. They can already use a fake email address for their dealings with you.
If they feel they’re getting too many emails, irrelevant emails, or pushy emails from you, they can mark that address as spam and make it disappear. Then they never see another email from your e-commerce brand.
Apple’s 2022 Privacy Protection decision, extending “Hide My Email” to iPhone and iPad Apps could exponentially grow that initial issue.
It’s hard to tell the full extent of the impact until it goes into effect, but your e-commerce brand can’t afford to wait until then to prepare and act.
Common sense says shoppers will find this option tempting. Think about it. Nobody likes getting emails that feel like an intrusion, so it’s tempting to use an opportunity for a fake email address knowing you can delete it as spam if you don’t like the emails you’re getting.
What Can Your E-Commerce Brand Do to Prepare for Apple’s 2022 Privacy Protection Changes?
To avoid damaging consequences, you need one or more solid strategies before this change becomes a reality in September.
Here are a few pointers to help make it easier.
Are You Segmenting Your Target Audience? This is where your existing work on segmenting your target audience becomes critical. The more you refine your target audience segmentation, the easier it will be to keep your emails relevant to your target audience in each segment.
You also need to define where each potential target audience member falls within your sales funnel so you can meet them where they are on their buyer’s journey and gently help them move to the next step toward purchasing.
Are You Personalizing Your Email Campaigns? Personalizing your segmented email campaigns helps ensure your target audience relates to your email content and continues to look forward to getting those emails. It also helps to gently move them to the next step in your sales funnel.
Email Marketing 101 Tips for Targeted Audiences
Capture Their Attention
Every person with a computer, tablet, or cellphone is inundated daily with emails. If your email captures your target audience’s attention in a good, relevant way and makes them want to open it, that’s great. Otherwise, it will at best get assigned to a folder but will likely just get deleted.
If enough get deleted, that lovely Apple fake email address delete option becomes a no-brainer.
To repeat, Apple’s 2022 Privacy Protection makes getting rid of pesky email senders a lot easier. It’s not just a wholesale dump into a folder or spam, which is bad enough.
This new option completely deletes the disposable email address your target audience gave you. They won’t even exist for you anymore. That’s a whole new level of concern. You can’t win them back because you can’t find them.
How can you lower the risk of that happening? At AdQuadrant, we work closely with our clients to craft email campaigns that get opened, read and get good CTRs (click-through rates).
This is another integral aspect of segmenting and personalizing your target audience. Your content can’t just be a constant “gimmee grab” for purchases. We do know how tempting that is. After all, your end goal is to have your target audience purchase again and again.
Your target audience is far more sophisticated and skeptical than in the past. They can see through email senders who only make blatant grabs for purchases.
Your target audience wants content that benefits them, enriches their lives, makes them laugh – or any other qualities that appeal to them. That content will keep them reading your emails and inspire them to purchase when ready. And “when ready” is the key. Trying to push or manipulate them into buying will get your emails dumped into a spam folder even without Apple’s “Hide My Email.”
So, bottom line, what works to keep “Hide My Email” recipients happy will also improve your results for people who don’t use that feature. That is a win-win!
At AdQuadrant, we specialize in email campaigns that attract and inspire our clients’ target audiences while gently steering them to the next level of the sales funnel.
We know your emails need to include content that your segments find interesting and informative. That way, they look forward to receiving your e-commerce brand’s emails. We also know that without those elements, it will be far too easy for them to make a wholesale “dump it” decision.
Treat Them Like They’re Your Tribe
Why? Because they are. Your target audience and loyal customers are the reason you’re in business. They can make your e-commerce brand incredibly successful if you treat them well.
At AdQuadrant, we know that customer experience is everything. We partner with our clients to increase their growth and success. We specialize in partnering with you to ensure each segment of your target audience feels welcomed, valued, and treated like the gold they represent.
Use Advanced Analytics to Ensure You Stay on the Right Track
You may or may not love working with analytical data, but it’s critical when an unexpected change happens. It’s a change that can become an incredible opportunity for your e-commerce brand to excel or a considerable problem.
At AdQuadrant, we know your e-commerce brand will need deep dives into how your email campaigns perform for each target audience segment. One of our specialties is working with advanced analytical data. With the kind of deep dives we can do with your data, we can recommend more effective ways to move your business forward.
What Should Your E-Commerce Brand Do Now?
It’s impossible to know the full consequences of Apple’s 2022 Privacy Protection decision on app availability. The possible impact could be extreme, so we’re publishing this article quickly after the announcement.
We want your e-commerce brand to be prepared and have what you need in place before the September 2022 implementation begins so you aren’t caught unaware. And there’s not a lot of time to make that happen.
There’s no catching up or turning around a target audience member who’s already deleted the only email address you have for them.
Usually, we’d talk in-depth about what you can do on your own to get ready for this. As you probably noticed, we’ve talked about a few broad ways we can help. Doing that is a departure for us; however, we wanted to show you how critical we believe it is for you to have expert support in preparing for this.
We want your e-commerce brand to succeed, despite this monkey-wrench Apple is throwing at you.AdQuadrant is ready to partner with you to lend its considerable digital email marketing expertise, experience, and skills. We can help you use this critical change as an opportunity for growth while your competition scrambles to figure out what happened and how to try to dig themselves out of the hole this change creates. Let’s talk to see how we can help your e-commerce brand succeed despite Apple’s latest move.
About the author: Merikay Noah has over 20 years’ experience in digital marketing. She worked with e-commerce B2C and B2B websites of all kinds, from Fortune 100s to small start-ups, at two of the top three search engines and at a Los Angeles ad agency. Her successful e-commerce book publishing website, PopcornReads.com, attracted an international audience of bookaholics for over eight years. She now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she works as a copywriter and loves to hike with her small but fierce doggy protector – Miss Lucy.