What iOS 10 Means for Email Marketing

October 3, 2016 Heather Cherry

person holding iphoneA few weeks ago, Apple released an updated operating system. We now live in the world of iOS 10.

This new update means you may need to reevaluate your agency's email marketing strategy.

Lucky for you, I have scoured the internet to see what this means to the world of email marketing. We can all get through this new world order in one piece.

Update #1: Easier Email Filtering

One advancement is iOS 10 now allows for easier and more specific inbox filtering.

With a few touches of a finger, users can sort through email and segment messages. This feature makes it easier for users to locate emails most important to them.

What does this mean for you? Simple, it's time to focus more on your subject lines.

If you're a pro at email marketing, this shouldn't come as news to you. The number of opens is not the most important metric in email marketing. But, it is important your readers open your emails. How else will they know what you are asking them to do?

Keep your subject lines short and sweet. Stay under Apple's 41 character subject line limit.*

Feeling a little more brave? Embrace emojis in your subject lines to really stand out.

Update #2: Default Applications Can Be Removed

It seems Apple finally listened to consumers. Users can now remove unwanted default apps that come with the phone like Calendar and Notes. Note: Apple Mail is in this list of default applications now susceptible to removal.

How does this affect email marketing? In a recent study by Litmus, the Apple Mail application was the fifth most popular app for emails.

With the ability to remove the app, we may see consumers move toward other mail clients and apps. This means it is now more important than ever to make your emails responsive. They should be easy to read and click on across all email clients and mobile applications.

If you haven't made the move to mobile, now is the time.
Not convinced to jump all in yet? Try making a few minor tweaks to your current emails. Create call to action buttons that are at least 44-by-44 pixels (about the size of a fingerprint) and use at least 16-point font.

Updated #3: A Massive Unsubscribe Banner

This change is the one that has many email marketers scrambling to adjust.

The new update has added a large, noticeable unsubscribe banner to emails in the Apple Mail app. The banner is placed at the top of messages iOS 10 recognizes as sent to a mailing list.

Now, in two finger taps, users can opt out of promotional email communication with ease.

Before you begin to panic, I urge to you take a step back for a moment. Remember you are legally obligated to have an unsubscribe button in your emails already. This update is simply making the opt-out process easier for consumers. And, that isn't quite a bad thing.

Inactive contacts can do major damage to your email analytics and to your deliverability. This update simply makes it more important than ever to maintain permission-based subscriptions.

Not to mention, we all could use a little less spam in our inboxes. This feature will only further push you to create compelling content your readers want.

I do have one quick tip to add about this update in iOS 10. The unsubscribe button takes up some pretty valuable real-estate in inboxes. The button can push your email content down by as much as 50 pixels. This means the top of your emails just got a lot more important.

Focus on your subject lines. Pay attention to from addresses, preview text, and the first few images and words in each of your emails. Are these aspects of your emails captivating enough to draw your recipients in to read more?

Apple's iOS 10 update isn't as earth-shattering to email marketing as many had anticipated. The improvements are to the user experience. They are stepping stones in the same direction email marketing has already been moving. It's all about creating a personalized experience for users to consume content.

You are now free to go back to debating about the importance of a headphone jack.

Got a question about iOS 10 and email marketing? Leave a comment below.

*an Apple iPhone at portrait view will display 41 characters in a subject line opened in the Mail app.

About the Author

Heather Cherry

Heather Cherry is and email marketing professional and the product manager for AgencyBuzz - ITC's automated marketing system. She is responsible for leading the AgencyBuzz team, presenting email marketing best practices for Operation Agency Success & Masters of Marketing, and prides herself in cultivating customer-driven product excellence. She has a bachelor's degree in rhetoric and writing from The University of Texas at Austin (Hook 'Em \m/). Her email marketing specialties include targeted marketing, database segmentation, customer journey through automation, integrated lead client nurturing through all ITC products, and highly-visual email marketing campaigns. Heather currently resides in Frisco, Texas (a suburb of Dallas), and is a self-proclaimed mother-of-the-year and world's okayest wife. She likes dad jokes, Tyler Perry movies, and Oxford commas.

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