What email marketers should know about iOS 11

Apple released iOS 11 last month, bringing quite a few changes to Apple Mail. Because there are currently more iPhone users in the US than ever before — representing 46% of US smartphone subscribers, according to comScore stats from earlier this year — it’s important for email marketers to understand how the new operating system might impact their ability to reach subscribers.

As with any release, marketers need to monitor all of their metrics to truly understand the repercussions of new or changing features. With the release of iOS 10 last year, unsubscribe rate became an easy-to-pinpoint metric with the addition of the baked-in unsubscribe button. The iOS 11 release will be a bit trickier, and marketers need to be sure they are watching their KPIs closely.

iOS 11 brings some notable changes that marketers should be aware of, as many of these are likely to have an impact on engagement and conversion rate metrics among iPhone users.

So, what changes are we seeing this time around, and what do they mean for marketers?

‘Small’ changes with big implications

Among many subtle design changes, like bolder fonts, app redesigns and a new look and feel for the lock screen, iOS 11 and the new iPhones bring interesting features that will enable email marketers and creative teams to enhance their iPhone users’ experience, including:

• iPhone width remains the same: OK, so this first one isn’t exactly a “change,” but you may see designers jumping for joy if they haven’t already heard this news. The width of both new iPhones remains the same, which means there’s not a huge need for marketers to execute responsive design overhauls.

Reworking email templates to fit with new sizes can be a large undertaking. But this becomes a much simpler CSS switch, allowing marketers and designers to feel a bit more at ease.

• Longer screen for the iPhone 8 Plus: While the iPhone 8 hasn’t changed much, the iPhone 8 Plus has a longer screen, reinforcing the trend toward more scrollable mobile email. Until recently, marketers were forced to condense content to ensure the call to action remained “above the fold.” With a longer screen, that “fold” is a bit longer, giving marketers more room to play with.

Email marketers should use this to their advantage by working in more compelling and personalized content. However, be careful to make sure your call to action is still clear and intuitive.

• Improved display resolution: The new iPhones and the new iOS come with better display resolutions, which creative teams will LOVE. This means images are crisper and can be even more retina-ready, ultimately leading to more accurate product images, engaging content and, ideally, conversions. Marketers should take advantage of this by getting creative and experimenting with unique imagery.

• Redesigned Apple Mail interface: The iOS 11 Mail redesign is cleaner, leaving space for eight emails to appear on the screen at once, rather than just seven. This means there is more potential for email marketers to secure a top spot in users’ inboxes and gain those crucial views right when a user opens the app.