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How Apple’s iOS 16 Update Will Hurt Your SMS Campaigns

iOS 16

Imagine spending time and money to plan SMS campaigns for your customers, but it gets dumped as junk and subsequently tags you as a spammer. As business owners or marketers, we are not new to the Apple iOS updates and their consequences for business growth. However, the iOS 16 update seeks to render some of your best campaigns useless. 

Simply put, SMS open rates are expected to decline to 40%, placing your retention strategy at risk. 

A trip down Apple’s iOS updates 

iOS 16

iOS 14 focused on data privacy, causing user acquisition costs to soar as more people leaned on paid social ads. In a nutshell, Apple enables users to “ask apps not to track” their activities while using the app. With skyrocketing ad costs and the loss of tracking capabilities, it became more challenging for businesses to acquire new customers through paid advertising. According to reports, brands suffered a 39% decline in revenue due to the iOS 14 update. 

To get 1000 shopping sessions, you need to spend $224 and $948 on SMS and paid ads, respectively, while push notifications are free.

iOS 16

iOS 15 angled email tracking and privacy, decreasing the efficacy of brands’ email marketing campaigns. The update allowed Apple users to: 

  • Turn off open tracking
  • Hide their IP addresses
  • Hide their email addresses

The update resulted in inflated open rates as emails were recorded as open even when they were not, rendering most email marketing strategies ineffective. 

While iOS 14 and 15 updates addressed user privacy concerns, the iOS 16 update focused on personalization and how Apple users can customize their experiences. One of which affects SMS marketing. 

Here’s how Apple’s iOS 16 affects SMS marketing:

Due to the increase in brands using SMS to reach customers, Apple has added a feature that allows users to filter messages from unknown senders. This schema automatically filters SMS into either Transactions or Junk. iPhone users can now click on any message from an unknown sender and see a “Report Junk” option. With this update, the ability to report SMS as junk is easier. 

iOS 16

Worse, when too many users mark your SMS messages as junk. SMS carriers get this metric and subsequently flag your brand as a spammer, negatively affecting how many customers you can reach. Although Apple updates’ main goal is to improve its users’ experience and not shut down your SMS strategies, there is still a high chance you can be negatively affected. 

SMS open rates are projected to decline by up to 40% – placing your retention strategy at risk. 

With the iOS 16 update, push notifications are now the only channel where open rates will continue to exceed 90%. 

Shoppers will land right on your app’s home screen and will be unaffected by the iOS 16 update –  guaranteeing that your shoppers will see your message.

Push notifications convert 10x more than email and 5x higher than SMS

When you launch your mobile app, you get the chance to engage your customers through powerful notifications. Push notifications allow users to interact with the notification without opening their phones. Since users can view your push notifications without opening their phones, they interact more with them. Just like one-on-one conversations, you will get to reach your customers on a personal note without being intrusive, which can lead to being tagged as spam or junk like SMS messages. 

With over 2000 data points through our exclusive integration with CleverTap, you can send highly relevant, personalized messages to your customers – proven to build trust & increase retention by 20%. Curious to see how it would work for your brand? 

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