Effects of iOS Updates on Data Collection: Data Privacy Laws Part III

Part III of our “Changing Data Privacy Laws” Series. Click here to read Part I.

The effects of iOS updates on data collection – Apple has incorporated new features into its devices that impair the collection of consumers’ data. This makes it more difficult for data and consumer insight companies to track user behaviors, determine their preferences using online activities, and measure e-mail open rates.

Some potential impacts of these new features are:

  • Click-To-Open-Rate (CTOR) Reduction

Apple now pre-loads e-mail data regardless of whether a user clicks the e-mail or not. This has increased e-mail open rates without the mails being actually read by the iOS users. 

The increase in the e-mail open rates is due to the use of a caching server to open e-mails instead of using the user’s IP address. As such, these changes have made e-mail open rates an unreliable source of consumer data collection. 

It is noteworthy that click-to-open rate (CTOR) measures the number of customers who click a link in the e-mails they actually open. However, since e-mail opens increases while clicks decrease, the CTOR eventually reduces.

  • Inaccurate Automated Workload Responses

Data collection companies use many e-mail marketing features; one of them is automated e-mail responses. These automated responses used by data collection companies rely on the e-mail open rate and pixel data. 

However, since the available e-mail rate is inaccurate due to its exaggerated increase, these open rate-powered e-mail features also become less reliable. Automated workload responses and open rate-powered e-mail marketing functionalities that are impacted include; contact insights and engagement, e-mail list segmentation, resend to non-openers, mechanical e-mail series, and A/B subject line testing. 

Consumer contact insights and engagement often increase, falsely depicting an extended consumer base, which is far from the actual case.

E-mail list segmentation becomes incorrect as consumer data companies cannot differentiate the most engaged or least engaged mails in their list segmentation.

Resend to non-openers feature, which allows data companies to resend e-mails to prospective consumers who do not open their mails, will not function as mails will not be resent to users who do not open their mail since this feature cannot differentiate between an originally opened e-mail and one that isn’t actually opened.

A/B subject testing involves sending out two versions of a mail, with two different subject lines, to a particular set of audience on a data company’s e-mail list to know the version of the mail that will have a higher open rate.

The company picks the version with the highest open rate as their automated response or the mail that will be sent to the general consumer database. With open rates being inaccurate, A/B subject lines also become unreliable.

  • Unavailable Individual User Data

Apart from mail privacy protection and its numerous disadvantages to accurate data collection, app data tracking, through the use of App Tracking Transparency (ATT), has prevented consumer data companies from having access to a user’s online activity by disabling location on the iOS device. This update has made the time, date, and location from which an e-mail was opened become less accessible.

How to Ensure Accurate Data Collection in The Age of Frequent iOS Updates

In a world where stringent changes in data privacy laws abound, and the effects of iOS updates on data collection can be devistating, the following can be done to ensure accurate data collection regardless of the changes to data privacy laws.

  • Prioritizing the Use of First-party Consumer Data

With the current trend of greater online privacy third-party data, already difficult to attain, is becoming largely inaccurate. Consequently, rather than relying solely on tracking networks to identify consumer behaviors and preferences, consumer data companies can get the data they need directly from consumers.

This method doesn’t only alleviate the fear of sanctions from data privacy laws enforcement agencies; consumers can also engage with the companies directly and not just from e-mails or other social media reach. As a result, the interaction between the user and the data companies becomes more holistic and not based on a single open rate metric. 

You can acquire first-party data by creating polls and surveys. The data gotten can then be used by the data collection companies to analyze and get valuable insights into their prospective consumers.

  • Use of The Latest E-mail Marketing Strategies

Apart from limiting access to individualized data on websites and apps, iOS updates also prevent the loss of users’ data through the mail system.

To ensure that iOS updates don’t reduce the optimal results of accurate data collection, consumer data companies must:

  1. Change the way they measure the success of e-mail marketing by adopting the click and conversion method instead of the traditional click-to-open rate (CTOR). The click and conversion method uses the percentage of e-mail clicked, and not just merely opened, to determine the number of mail recipients. 
  2. Use click and time-based triggers to send automated e-mails, not open-based triggers, which worked perfectly before iOS updates.
  3. Include motivations and practices that can get more people to open their e-mails.
  4. Other metrics you can use to measure e-mail success in terms of accurate data collection include: click rate, overall ROI, list growth rate, and E-mail sharing.

What Can We Do?

The effects of iOS updates on data collection and Data privacy changes have become a mainstay in today’s data collection and analysis setup. Now more than ever, it is imperative for data-driven organizations to use tested and trusted consumer data companies to ensure success in this ever-changing digital space. 

Motus Consumer Insights is the right consumer data company to give you all you need. With years of experience in leveraging data to make ideal and growth-oriented decisions, we ensure that your organization is set up for success no matter the changes to data privacy laws or frequent iOS updates. Motus identifies the best customers for your company’s growth using data analytics algorithms. You can visit our home page for more information on what we do. With Motus, your company’s journey to a more profit-oriented enterprise is secured. Cheers!

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