Staff Writer

The release of iOS 14 has had mobile marketers in a tizzy, as Apple’s announcement that IDFA — which enables geotarget advertising — would become opt-in. But there is some good news for marketers. Opt-ins are on the upswing according to research.

Yes, mobile phone usage and location opt-in increased worldwide in 2020 in the months following the pandemic lockdowns. Airship, a consumer engagement company, surveyed 744 million mobile app users’ data globally and found that location opt-in trends rose during the pandemic:

“Average location opt-in rates increased every month since the pandemic began in March,

growing 39% from February 2020 to reach 10.7% globally in June 2020 — the highest average rate in years.”

Leading the path are medical, health, and fitness apps, where opt-ins are up a whopping 150% since before the pandemic. This is no surprise as contact-tracing apps, home fitness, and symptom tracking were top of mind. On other hand, tech, internet, and productivity app opt-ins are down 86% as people found themselves working from home.

Encouraging opt-ins ahead of iOS 14

If you want to stay ahead of iOS 14, you must start thinking about how to encourage your users to opt-in before a crisis hits and find new ways to reach them — and one way to stay in touch with them is through push notifications. Providing users with relevant, unobtrusive messaging it a great way to keep them engaged and happy — extra points for making them location-based and encouraging users to share their location data.

For instance, a retailer might send coupons via push notifications to users when they are in a physical store location. Or a fitness app, might send encouraging messages when it knows users are on their favorite jogging route.

Braze provides a simple strategy to persuade device users to not only opt-in for push notifications but to embrace them, calling this the “prime for push” method. Priming for push is a strategy that times the approach of asking the consumer to opt-in for when they are most likely to agree. It also leaves the door open for the opportunity to follow-up with an opt-in request again later if the consumer declines the first time.

You can also repurpose this strategy to address IDFA opt-ins. Braze suggests creating a custom opt-in prompt that asks if they are open to location opt-in. If they say yes, then you can trigger a generic prompt that will remind them to opt-in again. This becomes important as privacy regulations change the requirements for opt-in. Under iOS 14 and the generation of new location-based services, opt-ins will need to be repeated as location changes.

But as people are currently primed to embrace opt-ins, it’s a perfect time to start asking them for permission and priming them, as Braze would say, for the day when IDFA changes geotargeted ads as we know them.