Apple iOS 15 Features: Push Notifications

Back in June, we shared a preview of Apple’s new iOS 15 privacy protection features that will affect your brand’s marketing strategy — specifically regarding your approach to email. Now, after the release of iOS 15 in late September, our team is diving into the new push notification features that may have an impact on customer experience on mobile.

Curious about how Apple’s new iOS 15 features that impact push notifications will change how your customers interact with your brand’s mobile marketing? Keep reading to learn more.

PERSONAL DATA CONTROL

App Privacy Report

Not only has Apple launched Mail Privacy Protection so that users can hide their IP addresses from senders, but they have also introduced App Privacy Report. The App Privacy Report overview displays the past seven days of user data and app activity to provide insight into how apps have used the access that has been granted to them (e.g., data on location, photos, camera, microphone, contacts, etc.). This feature is yet another way to help customers feel more in control of their personal data, aligning with industry chatter about the death of third-party cookies.

DO NOT DISTURB

Focus Mode

Users’ demand for greater control had a direct effect on the Mail Privacy Protection feature mentioned earlier, and they play into the new Focus feature released with iOS 15. This aptly named tool allows users to create a custom Focus mode or select a suggested Focus based on their schedule, such as their work hours or bedtime.

When Focus is activated, it applies to all other Apple products belonging to that customer. Users can also block incoming notifications — which displays an automatic Do Not Disturb status in Messages — and customize their Home Screen page to only display apps relevant to their Focus.

With screen time — and, consequently, anxiety — on the rise during the COVID pandemic, smartphone users are seeking ways to disconnect instead of getting overwhelmed by notifications. One of the most prominent themes of Apple’s iOS 15 update is putting a user’s privacy and focus at the center, therefore reducing distractions and allowing mobile users to be present in their day-to-day lives.

PRIORITIZED INTERRUPTION LEVELS

Notification Redesign

In addition to giving users an in-depth view into the ways their data is used and allowing users to reduce distractions, Apple has also released a notification redesign that will determine which notifications are time-sensitive and which are not, making personalization even more important for capturing your customers’ attention.

Push notifications are now categorized into four interruption levels on iOS 15:

  • Passive: Automatically — and silently — gets directed to your Notification Center
  • Active: Wakes your phone but does not interrupt Focus mode when enabled
  • Time-sensitive: Breaks through Focus mode by default
  • Critical: Notifies you regardless of settings (typically reserved for emergency alerts)

As an effort to reduce distraction, iOS 15 devices will now collect non-time-critical notifications to deliver at a more ideal time, such as the morning or evening. Using on-device intelligence, this new feature will also arrange notifications by priority based on the frequency of a user’s app interactions, as well as allowing users to temporarily mute an app or messaging thread.

FOCUS ON OMNICHANNEL

Blueshift’s Hot Take

While the new iOS 15 features enable users to feel more empowered, they present additional anxiety to marketers: How are we going to connect with our customers if they silence our notifications? Will we still be able to create valuable touchpoints with our customers on mobile? Does this mean we need to completely change our mobile marketing strategy?

These concerns are totally valid, and we are right there with you. However, there are ways you can make your mobile marketing strategy work smarter and harder for you, even with Apple’s new distraction-limiting push notification features. After all, you want your brand touchpoints to be more meaningful to customers than a mere distraction. Taking a privacy-first stance doesn’t mean that your customers come second; with the right customer data platform, your brand can be empowered to put privacy and customers first.

When your brand focuses on a holistic omnichannel approach to customer journeys, your success on a certain channel is no longer limited to a singular form of communication or notification. With a customer-focused omnichannel strategy in place, your brand has the ability to become an essential part of an individual’s daily routine based on their specific preferences. To discover more about Blueshift’s upcoming omnichannel features — the reimagined Journey Builder and new App Hub — click here.

Please note that since iOS 15 launched less than a month ago, early data doesn’t reflect any changes in engagement metrics yet, which will likely take some time. It is too early to have clear data on how the iOS 15 updates affect engagement, but we will publish a follow-up post once trends become clearer over the coming months.

Deliver seamless omnichannel experiences to your customers using our SmartHub Customer Data Platform (CDP). Chat with a Blueshift expert by scheduling a demo today.

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