The Promotions tab is coming to Apple Mail in IOS18. What does this mean for marketeers? |

The Promotions tab is coming to Apple Mail in IOS18. What does this mean for marketeers?

IOS 18 tabs Apple Mail

About 14 years after tabs appeared in Gmail, Apple is now adding tabs to Apple Mail with the launch of IOS18 in September 2024. What does this mean for marketeers?

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At an Apple developer event in 2021, the email industry was horrified to learn that Apple, the champion of privacy, decided to dress up email marketing, and on iOS 15 it introduced its privacy change Apple MPP (Mail Privacy Protection). The Privacy Change claimed that in Apple’s opinion, an email opening indication constitutes an infringement of its users’ privacy, and so in September 2021, Apple completely disrupted the email opening uniforms that email systems receive. Apple is actually blinding the mailing systems and inflating the opening figures.

Two years later, at the launch of IOS17, there was concern that Apple would disrupt click-through data, but the change did not affect email but clicks on advertising links.

At the Apple Developer Event (WWDC) on June 10, 2024, Apple announced another major change that will take effect in September 2024 with the launch of IOS18 and will introduce tabs and filtering by content in its popular email app Apple Mail.

Apple WWDC Video Source 2024 1/06/2024. Watch the full announcement on Youtube

Tab division is performed on processing on the device itself

A new Apple Mail feature that will be introduced in the iOS 18 update is called on-device categorization.

In 2013, the Gmail inbox transformed and divided the main email inbox into seven selectable categories, five of which are tabs (main, social, promotions, updates, and forums). The Promotions tab has become the horror ofmarketeers.

Automatic tab distribution helps Gmail users organize their inboxes by automatically sorting emails by content and sender.

The sorting feature on the device presented at Apple’s developer event looks very similar to the Gmail  mailbox and at first sight the sorting in Apple’s new email app looks like it was inspired by the familiar Gmail mailbox  .

Apple will divide the main box into the following categories:

Primary – which will show the emails that are important to the user at this moment, such as emails from people the user knows or emails that need to be handled now.

Transaction – for invoices, receipts and orders.

Updates – for newsletters and updates from social networks.

Promotion – for marketing and sales emails.

Apple cites the benefits of the new interface as a way for users to stay in control and manage their mailbox.

What does adding tabs to Apple Mail mean in terms of email marketing?

Unlike what Google does in Gmail, Apple’s processing and categorization should be done on the device itself, which may preserve user privacy but can create inconsistency if the user has multiple Apple devices.

As far as is currently known, the change will only be on iOS and not on Mac computers.

When Gmail introduced tabs in 2013, marketers felt the sky had fallen. 11 years later, the power of email continues to grow and email marketing has not become a thing of the past. Vice versa.

Here’s an excerpt from the podcast I edited with Chad S. White, head of research at the Oracle digital experience agency and author of the bestseller (some call it the bible for email marketing) email marketing rules.
Listen to the podcast

According to Chad S. White, due to the huge amount of emails people receive, the promotional tab has created a positive effect. People expect their main tab to be attended by urgent emails, emails from friends and people – not branded. The goal is not necessarily for the emails to open, but for people to be engaged with them. Wandering around the promotional tab is like wandering through stores in a mall. People are in Kenya mode and will be more available. Arriving at the main tab is like a salesperson knocking on doors and it can actually be intrusive and disruptive.

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Sella Yoffe
CEO , 

Email Deliverability & Email Marketing Expert 

working with global email senders, startups, and ESPs to improve their deliverability and email authentication

Podcast host & Blogger @ CRM.BUZZ & EmailGeeks.Show

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