6 Ways to Overcome Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection Update

Apple’s latest iOS 15 software update – notably the Mail Privacy Protection feature – has put fellow email marketers into confusion.

The new email feature will prevent email senders from using tracking pixels to collect information about the user.

This is done by having the system download and store all images (including that tracking pixel) on a remote server. This data becomes available only when recipients open the email.

“Mail Privacy Protection will stop senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. The new features help users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location”.

Apple Official Statement

How does Mail Privacy Protection affect email marketers?

5 Ways to Overcome Apple's Mail Privacy Protection 2
Apple introduces Mail Privacy Protection with iOS 15 Update. Image Source: Apple Insider

While it’s fantastic news for users who value privacy, the feature has brought new challenges to email marketers who heavily rely on collecting data via tracking pixels.

Email marketers have had a long history of utilising these tracking pixels to better understand the performance metrics of their message.

With tracking pixels, they can identify specific actions taken by email recipients (e.g. opening the email, open email times, IP addresses, etc.).

All this information is then used to improve how marketers craft their emails for specific audiences and better deliver them. But, unfortunately, with Mail Privacy Protection, all that data is challenging to obtain.

How Mail Privacy Protection works

5 Ways to Overcome Apple's Mail Privacy Protection 3
Tim Cook at WWDC 2021. Image Source: Wired.

Mail Privacy Protection is going to significantly impact email marketing culture. But how does the system do it?

1.  Senders are unable to see data collected by hidden pixels

Since Apple Mail will query the email sender’s server for the email content, any email to a user who has enabled the new capabilities appears to be opened.

Therefore, users can’t tell when or where emails are opened, making measuring campaign open rates difficult.

So if you’ve been segmenting your emails based on open rates, you may want to reconsider your email campaign metrics.

2. Say goodbye to real-time customised content

Email marketers have utilised various content in their campaigns for a more personalised approach that appeals to their recipients.

Some of that content, for example, countdown timers, live-package trackers, or other dynamic features, depend on tracking pixels.

With Mail Privacy Protection in the way, marketers will need to develop innovative ways to connect with recipients that don’t rely on real-time features.

3. Audience targeting based on geographic location will likely not be feasible

Mail Privacy Protection allows users to mask their IP addresses so their online activity won’t be tracked.

However, this does not entirely stop the possibility of geographic targeting. For example, email marketers might not depend on IP addresses, but they can base their targeting using other data (e.g. recipient’s mailing address).

So while the new feature does impact geographic targeting in some ways, it doesn’t stop the possibility of using it entirely.

6 tips to overcome Mail Privacy Protection for email marketers

Despite Mail Privacy Protection creating massive changes to the email marketing landscape, it shouldn’t stop you from sending out emails at all.

The good news? You can still send out your emails, and recipients will still receive them. They’ll still open your messages and interact with them.

And even though you can’t thoroughly study their email habits to improve the quality of your emails, there are some other ways you can maintain or improve the quality of your emails without relying too much on tracking pixels.

1. Figure out the ultimate goal of your email campaigns

Sure, getting a high email open rate is an ideal situation. But is it always the end goal?

The email marketing scene is used to the idea that high email open rates is what we’re aiming for. But with Apple’s update in the air, we’ll have to consider another goal to pursue.

This leads us to think of what our emails should accomplish. Besides obtaining high open rates, what else can our emails achieve?

Think outside of the box and develop goals beyond open rates.

Come up with bigger goals besides high email open rates. You may want to consider how to get your recipients to perform your call to action instead, which may include:

  • Visit a website
  • Download e-book
  • Fill out a form
  • Make a purchase

You want more than just your audiences opening your email – you want your emails to be engaging as well.

2. Change your performance metrics

Now that you’ve figured out other goals for your emails, it’s time to list out the alternative performance metrics that you can stick to.

Some other benchmarks you may consider include database growth, conversion rates, and click-through rates. These are some other useful metrics that allow you to measure engagement.

Focusing on more performance indicators relevant to the ultimate goal of your emails will help you improve the value of your email program and add to your company’s bottom line.

3. Utilise A/B Tests

A/B Test Subject Lines

A/B testing is a beautiful way to identify the best marketing pitch. You may already be doing that with your emails. If not, now is the time to begin.

If you can’t track when consumers open emails, make them more attractive. To monitor user interaction, you need a higher-performing topic line.

A/B Test Email Bodies

A/B testing your subject lines is essential, but so is optimising the body of your emails. To assess engagement, you must get them to click. To get them to click, you will need to create various email copies or formats that encourage your recipients to click.

This has always been crucial for email marketing conversions, but it becomes much more critical when you also need to measure engagement. 

4. Create content that is relevant to your readers

With these new privacy settings, your content marketing approach may become “gated”. You’ll need to create material that requires visitors to subscribe or tempts them to read more.

Think webinars, podcasts, e-books, whitepapers, how-to-manuals, or videos.

Engage your audience in new ways. Give your database a reason to click. Compelling content and message will be more crucial than ever.

Alternatively, you may try to provide value in return for consumer data. For instance, create a free lead magnet that answers your clients’ concerns, like “sign up for our newsletter to earn 10% off your first purchase.”

5. Implement call-to-action (CTA) buttons

CTA buttons are the buttons you use in your email campaigns that direct the recipient to a location outside of the email. When you click on them, they typically lead you to an external link, such as a website or online form.

Utilising CTA buttons helps recipients easily navigate to your links seamlessly. Once your readers see the button in your email, they already have a better sense of what they should do with your email.

But remember, your CTA buttons should be easy to catch. To make your buttons more readable, consider factors like size, style, color, and whitespace.

And with that, CTA buttons boost your click-through rates. They become a powerful tool to catch the attention of your readers, and drive them towards conversion.

6. Always have clear opt-in email marketing practices

Offer users the ability to implement preference centres.

And yes, that means giving your audience the freedom to limit the number of content they’d like to receive from you. Even if it means letting your recipients unsubscribe your content.

Nobody likes an unsubscriber but think of it this way.

By allowing your recipients to do whatever they choose with your content, you have visibility over those genuinely interested in your emails and have a deeper understanding of the target audience that is actually listening to you.

Mail Privacy Protection is not the death of email marketing

Apple’s new privacy settings might have caused a commotion for fellow email marketers, but it’s not the end of email marketing.

Emails will always play a central role in 1:1 communications, and of course, your marketing strategy. Email channels have been around for a long time and have gone through several other drastic changes.

And changes like this shouldn’t have to discourage you. This isn’t the first update, and it certainly won’t be the last.

Changes are continuous. All we can do is adapt.

And after all, it always comes back to providing high-quality value for your readers. 

If you’re already providing value in your subject lines or your email copies, then tracking your engagement shouldn’t be a huge issue – with or without a software update.

Need help with your email marketing strategy? Contact us to get in touch with our digital marketing experts.

Read our previous blog: digitus Congratulates Acclimation for Acquisition by Capgemini


Business Development Outsourcing: What You Need to Know

A Quick Overview

Business development outsourcing isn’t an unfamiliar term for most organisations. Often, organisations turn to outsource to increase lead generation and sales – without having to put in the costs that come with onboarding full-time business development representatives.

While outsourcing isn’t an entirely new concept, some companies are still hesitant in this matter. It’s not the easiest decision to place your core business activity to an external party. Outsourcing relies on the third party’s ability to comprehend what your company is all about entirely.

Even though they’re not part of the internal team, they will also need to have the same strong understanding of your product/service, business models, and business approaches when attracting customers.

On the other hand, outsourcing can be an effective method for companies to extend their capabilities and increase lead generation efforts. By considering all this, it’s safe to say that business development outsourcing has its pros and cons.

Looking at Business Development Outsourcing from Both Sides

Looking at Business Development Outsourcing from both sides

Choosing to outsource your business development team is bound to create confusion. If you don’t fully understand what your company can or cannot handle at the moment, there will be no answer to your questions.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the benefits that come with outsourcing your business development team. Additionally, we’ll examine some of the risks that come with it as well so that your company knows what to anticipate should you choose to move forward with outsourcing.

The Benefits of Business Development Outsourcing

  • Take advantage of specialists that are solely dedicated to business development
  • Give your in-house employees more freedom to do work on other urgent issues to fulfill the needs of your clients
  • Have a professional team of business development experts who possess a strong understanding of the dos and don’t of the field
  • Be more flexible with incentives as outsourced teams must show results to be rewarded
  • Ensure that dedicated biz dev professionals meet your business development needs
  • Have a team that’s always at the forefront of business development trends, allowing your inbound employees not always to have to be up-to-date with these matters.

The Risks of Business Development Outsourcing

  • Develop too much of a dependency on a third-party organisation that might pose the risk of closing up their business or choosing to end their partnership with your company
  • Cause inbound employees to be unprepared for any sudden or unexpected need to make business development decisions
  • Put the entire, if not a significant core competency of your business into the hands of an external team whose methods may not always align with yours
  • Increases your company’s budget from having to invest in an outsourced team.

Find Out What Works for You

Find out if business development outsourcing works for your team

There’s no right or wrong answer with outsourcing your business development team. What you should focus on is whether outsourcing is the best possible solution to craft killer campaigns.

If you’re planning to maintain an in-house team, here are a couple of things you should consider:

  1. Organisations must have at least two or three full-time employees who solely focus on delivering qualified sales leads.
  2. You must allocate a period to analyze your sales leads to track your team’s efforts and progress
  3. You will need to train your in-house team regarding the knowledge and expertise of your product and equip your team with skills to make immediate changes.

However, not everyone has the time or resources to maintain such efforts. As a result, companies turn to business development outsourcing to grow their operations.

Outsourcing your business development team works well if:

  1. You don’t have the time and resources to staff an entire internal department and educate them on business development.
  2. You require a dedicated business development team that primarily revolves around cold calling and appointment scheduling.

Is It Worth the Risk?

One primary concern that typically comes with business development outsourcing is budgeting. While it may seem you’re putting out money from the start, ask yourself: are you getting a bang for your buck?

Try to think of it this way: if you’re planning to keep an in-house business development team, that’s not an issue. However, you will need to be accountable for all the effective hiring and training processes that will ensue. Additionally, training may take up months, or even years, before your team can get a strong understanding of your vision.

But with business development outsourcing, you’re giving these responsibilities to a professional team that already knows their way around. There’s no need to train them from the ground up. Provided you have given a solid briefing from the start. Their background expertise will help you generate quality lead generation and sales.

As long as you have set your expectations clearly upon your third-party team and maintain strong communication through weekly catch-ups, you’ll be surprised at the long-term benefits of investing in outsourcing.

Reach Out to digitus

At digitus, we propel your business to new heights with our award-winning digital marketing services. Our tech-enabled marketing services help your business grow online leads, calls, and revenue.

We aim to involve your customers in a deeper, more sustained relationship with your product or brand.

Connect with us to get started.


Lead Form Extensions: What You Need to Know About Them

A Story Businesses Can Relate

Generating leads can be a hassle if we don’t use the appropriate tools. But with lead form extensions, you can garner many leads within a short span of time.

Imagine you’re a customer looking to buy a new dress online. You find a website that sells what you want. But due to slow loading speeds, a clunky interface, and poor interface navigation, you’re fed up with the buying experience. You proceed to cancel your purchase and move onto other websites.

On average, the attention span of a digital consumer is eight seconds. Surprisingly, this is a drastic decrease from 12 seconds in 2000. This behavior affects how a consumer searches for a product or service online.

People want seamless methods of doing things online. In other words, we want to view information online without too much clutter and obtain information rapidly. If there’s too much friction, we’ll ultimately abandon the site. As a result, companies lose their chances of gaining leads.

Therefore, marketers must invest their time in creating a well-rounded user experience that’s fast, easy, and fuss-free. Most importantly, businesses are advised to develop more efficient methods of gathering prospective customers.

So, where do lead form extensions come to play in this situation?

What Are Lead Form Extensions?

Buying products with lead form extension

Google Ads has recently introduced lead form extensions. The idea behind this is for online consumers to send in their information into a form – directly in your ad. In other words, you can establish engaging relationships with new customers with this minimalistic and frictionless tool

The concept of lead forms isn’t exactly new. Companies have often used lead forms to compile information from online customers. However, experiences like typing on small screens, typos, or difficulty finding a business’s contact information ruin the chances of completing a form.

But with Google Ads lead form extensions, you can prevent those cases and earn prospective leads instead. These extensions were designed to replace direct prospects with a post-click page to convert. Therefore, consumers don’t necessarily have to visit your website to get you a lead.

Furthermore, businesses that use this particular extension will immediately show a form right under the search ad. This form is accessible no matter what device you’re using.

The best part? Google Ads lead extension forms immediately capture user information by pre-filling their pop-up forms. What’s more, this saves consumers’ time spent providing information on a form and automatically increases lead generation.

Reasons to Use Lead Form Extensions

  1. Establishes a faster lead capture by reducing the number of steps in a customer’s experience (e.g., not having to access your landing page).
  2. Garners high-quality leads from prospective customers who show a strong interest in purchasing your product or service.
  3. Supports mobile-friendly interfaces that appeal to customers’ current generation – 48% of buyers use mobiles as the first point of contact to start their search.
  4. Allows businesses to narrow down their target consumers and get a better picture of what their current customers are like.
  5. It doesn’t require technical abilities to create a lead form extension on your Google Ads campaign – with a few clicks of a button, your form can immediately go live.

What to Prepare

Before you can use lead form extensions, you’re business must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Has a clear track record and complies with existing policies.
  2. Does not contain sensitive material (e.g., adult content).
  3. Has a privacy policy (this will appear at the end of the lead form.)

Note: campaigns that are using lead form extensions to Videos, Display, or Discovery campaigns must have spent more than USD 50,000 total in Google Ads.

How to Create Lead Form Extensions

  1. Login to your Google Ads account. Select Campaigns.
  2. Click on the “+” button. Choose New campaign.
  3. Select Leads and choose your campaign type (Search, Discovery, Video, or Display). Press Continue.
  4. Fill in your campaign settings.
  5. Access the lead form extension editor. Enter details about your lead form.
  6. Select Create new on the lead form extension editor.
  7. Give your form a headline, business name, and a brief description.
  8. Select the provided questions you would like to include in your lead extension form.
  9. Provide the URL to your businesses’ privacy policy.
  10. Add a call-to-action feature to promote interaction with your form.
  11. Review and accept the terms of service. Click Save.

Learn More With Us

digitus is a leading team of professionals equipped with digital marketing expertise. We’re here to provide you with actionable insights on how to grow your business. We’re not just executing a task – we have your overall success in view.

Give your business the boost it deserves. Contact us to learn more about lead form extensions and begin generating prospects.


Localise Marketing: Is Your Digital Marketing Led by Global?

The term “localise marketing” isn’t an unfamiliar term. But why isn’t it getting the recognition it deserves?

Some multinational companies we have spoken to have told us that their digital marketing is led by their global team. Because of that, they had to decline our proposal due to budget reasons.

This is a common case we’d like to address. We want to help remove the roadblocks of global businesses who are trying to thrive better locally.

It’s crucial especially during these trying times when physical face-to-face meetings and traditional marketing events are all but impossible.

Sounds familiar?

The most disappointing problem with global-led marketing

One of the most common disappointing mistakes with global marketing is not letting the local teams lead the way.

This is a mistake because local teams know the country in question better which could lead to better business results.

For example, some local teams feel that they have not tapped other marketing channels due to the lack of, or highly restrictive local marketing budget.

This usually happens when the local team’s input is not considered when making strategic decisions on the onset, which includes whether enough budget is allocated for the target country.

Facts on local marketing

Before getting on why local marketing is important, here are some facts to consider according to this study:

  • 72.1% of consumers mostly spend their time on websites in their own language
  • 72.4% of consumers are more likely to buy a product with information in their own language.
  • 56.2% of consumers said that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price.
  • 9 out of 10 consumers said that, when given a choice of languages, they always visited a website in their own language.
  • 42% said they never purchase products and services in other languages.

As the above stats show, the best way for global brands to market and drive revenue locally is to have a local marketing strategy.

A local marketing strategy takes language, culture, and market behaviour into account when communicating and engaging with your audiences in your target countries, while keeping your branding consistent – in your website, ads, and other media assets.

Too often, some brands – for example, a brand from Germany – believe they can enter Asian markets by following the same playbook that brought them local success.

The problem with that is that different Asian markets require different marketing approaches, as dictated by their own diverse local cultures and consumer behaviour.

Meaning, if a brand has domestic success through direct marketing in Europe, this channel may not necessary perform greatly in Asia.

Benefits of local marketing

Here is a list of benefits if you choose to localise your digital marketing:

  1. Better reach to the target audience
    • Localisation extends brand reach and awareness. With localised content, you can reach more people in your target country by speaking in their own language. This helps your market entry and brand penetration.
    • Localisation of content boosts SEO. Your website is more likely to be found in the local search results if your content is adapted to the context of the local market. That said, you should consider investing on content translation.
  2. Better engagement and connections
    • By localising your website content and ad messages, the level of engagement with your prospective and existing customers will be higher. It shows that your brand cares about the local cultures and values.
    • Localisation promotes personal connection, confidence, and trust to your brand. Your target local audience is more likely to trust your brand if you engage with them on social media. It also helps when locals can verify your business in the local market (for example, by having a local office or local aftersales support team).
  3. Better revenue
    • With increased brand awareness and more engaged audiences due to localised marketing, you are positioned towards better revenue.
    • Localised marketing in social media, for example, has resulted to 300% growth of revenue for some brands in the US. In some cases, localisation resulted to 70% increased in conversion rate.

What to do if your marketing is led by global

If you are part of a local marketing team and you want to propose better ideas to your global team, contact us and we’d be happy to give you the support you need.

We will help audit your digital marketing activities and investigate how you adopt localisation in your digital marketing. We check from social media content, to local SEO, to local PPC or any paid media advertising.

Local marketing is an area worth investing for as you adjust your focus on digital marketing in 2020. Indeed, there’s no better time than now to localise your marketing.