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A Restaurant Marketer's Guide To Apple's Mail Privacy Protection

What to do about Apple’s latest iOS 15 Mail Privacy Protection update? In order to keep it from affecting your reach and numbers, it’s important to understand what it is, who it will affect and, most importantly, what you can do about it. Thankfully, with a bit of rearranging you can overcome this new feature that will inevitably affect your email marketing and come out even stronger. Read on for all the info, tips and tricks!

What is Apple's Mail Privacy Protection

MPP, or Mail Privacy Protection, is a new feature Apple just rolled out for all its devices. Apple devices are owned by 1 billion users worldwide as of 2021. Users now may choose to opt out of IP address tracking, meaning some information that has been considered key to email marketers will be lost.

For email marketers, this means that a shift in focus is needed to help your brand stay successful. This is decidedly not the end of email marketing as we know it – just a minor shift that, when used optimally, can help you become a better email marketer and discover new opportunities to serve customers.

What Information Will You Lose When It Comes To Email Marketing

Since this update only applies to Apple mail being used on Apple devices, it will not affect your entire audience, such as anyone who uses Gmail on an iPhone; however, it will still impact certain metrics enough for you to need to refocus your strategy. It’s difficult to say exactly how many people on your list will use MPP, but close to 50% of email opens come from Apple mail.  Also, close to 100% of people with the option of MPP are expected to do so.

The metrics affected by MPP are open rates and click to open rates, which will be artificially inflated and no longer reliable. Email opens are measured by images loading within the email; with MPP, the images are preloaded by another server without the email being opened by the user, meaning that your data will show more opens. 

A Restaurant Marketer's Guide To Apple's Mail Privacy Protection

MPP blocks IP address access. Besides open rates, this affects geographic and device data, which impacts segmentation and automation. You can no longer design customer journeys or funnels that rely on open rates, or segment groups based on location or time zone using the device IP address. Because of this, the challenge will become figuring out how to see who’s engaged and who’s not, which is important for list automations that keep emails from going to spam.

So, how much will this change affect your email marketing? That depends on how you adapt to the changes – there are many ways to redirect your restaurant marketing efforts so you can thrive in spite of MPP.

How You Can Prepare For It

Change your focus

  • Click rates (as opposed to open rates). While you don’t want to start placing too many click options, doing more of this with surveys and offers will help you track engagement.
  • Overall goals. For example, if your goal for your restaurant is to get more people to upgrade to the shawarma plate or to add fries, you can track that as you send the emails.
  • Delivery rate. MPP actually helps you see that real people are getting your emails. Google Analytics allows you to look at what campaigns people are signing up from and other actions.
  • Collect first party data with permission

While many people will opt into MPP, they will want places to know their information if it’s beneficial to them. 83% of people will give out their info so they can receive emails targeted to them.

The way to gather this information is to ask for zip codes with email sign-ups. For existing customers, send a re-engagement email asking for this information in a survey. Transparency is important, because people knowing what you’re doing, when it also benefits them, will lead them to share their information. This allows you to personalize and segment your list in new ways.

Make your own lists for non-Apple subscribers so you can still track metrics as before with those clients. Then, look at all your strategies and find non-open rate ways to still track them, like with:

Customer Segmentation And Customer Cohorts

Personalization by way of customer segmentation makes it easy for restaurant marketing teams to send a re-engagement that is personalized to a customer’s prior behavioral patterns. When you have the information about a customer’s preferences driven by previous purchase patterns, customer segmentation becomes a critical tool to personalization. A few personalization ideas that work well include the combination menu items, the sales channels that you’re pushing and the offers aligned to each campaign.

A/B Testing

Testing will be important as ever, when your audience and guests are willingly giving up information there is a level of expectation that the content you’ll share is relevant, useful and to a degree, entertaining.  The information from your restaurant tech stack gathered after a purchase in-store, online or through your mobile ordering app or when they sign up for a newsletter is used to send personalized and curated content intended for that segment or audience, you’ll begin to see results from your email marketing and sms campaigns. In fact, you’ll learn more about how to better personalize your next campaign.

Data-Driven Customer Engagement

Being a data-driven organization is no longer a buzzword. Understanding your customers based on behavioral patterns and triggers is essential to the success and growth of your restaurant concept. Customer engagement using channels like email, SMS or loyalty programs are proven to deliver ROI when it is aligned with where a customer is in your customer lifecycle. Learn how a growing fast casual barbecue restaurant is using data-driven customer engagement to acquire new customers and drive loyalty across each location.

personalization in your restaurant's customer engagement strategy drives results

Grow Your SMS Engagement Channel

While email is still necessary for growth, expanding to a focus on SMS is a great strategy, because you can keep more customers engaged and track information here as well.

Between 2015-2017, SMS marketing saw a 200% growth in popularity.  SMS is an excellent additional strategy to email marketing because:

  • It allows for more personalization. This is useful because 80% of customers are more likely to buy from you when you give personalized experiences.
  • 781 billion text messages were sent in 2017 alone. SMS is popular and has a higher open rate, between 90-98%. People receive texts from less people overall than messages from email and other mediums.
  • Because SMS messages are opened more often and more quickly, urgency can be created with short-term sales or specials of the day. For instance, you could send a special offer on a lunch special for the same day and people may choose your restaurant for lunch based on the SMS offer, one which they may have left unopened on email or checked too late in the day.
  • Email and SMS work together. Because SMS can’t include as much information, it can prompt people to open emails, and vice-versa, to get people to become more engaged with your business.

“Overall, we’ve been very, very pleased with the service that GoGoGuest has provided,” Harvey said. “They help us when we have questions and help us analyze the data. It’s really nice to have somebody that can help us learn more about our customer data, and frankly, put it to work to drive sales. I would highly recommend anybody to speak with someone at GoGoGuest and see how they can help find an email marketing or text message marketing solution for your company.”

Mark Harvey, Marketing Manager, Edley's Restaurant Group Tweet

While the new Apple IOS update can seem like a bummer, it was a long time coming. As businesses and marketers, this can be more of an opportunity than a hindrance, as it is an opportunity to become better by using more updated methods, adding more personalization, and more.

Plus, those who keep up with these changes will get the chance to boost customer service before others who aren’t paying attention. What are you waiting for? Want more help with this and other ways of engaging customers and personalizing more using data obtained from wifi and other methods? 

Next Steps

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