If marketers noticed a drop-off in emails from prospects recently, it’s not their imagination. While it may be a fraction of potential leads, it’s a noticeable segment — Apple product users who use the new Safari application (iOS 10.2) to send to a brand’s mobile “mailto” address.
"This website has been blocked from automatically composing an email" pops up on the screen, writes Bill Harper, chief creative officer and CEO at wmHarper.
The Safari situation comes as Americans may be concerned about email security due to recently released information about CIA spying abilities published in WikiLeaks.
“The hacking tools appeared to exploit vulnerabilities in popular operating systems for desktop and laptop computers developed by Microsoft,” the Associated Press says of the CIA. “They also targeted devices that included Apple's iPhones and iPads, Google's Android cellphones, Cisco routers and Samsung Smart TVs.”
So if privacy is a concern, prospects may not email marketers after they see that notice.
“Gee, Thanks Apple. Not. Mobile Mailto: Emails Prompt 'Scary' Message for No Reason,” Harper writes on Wednesday in his LinkedIn Pulse post.
“People aren't aware of the problem and are understandably influenced by the notice,” he says of leads who then steer away from these sites. “I can only imagine that Apple is receiving email about the situation and evaluating whether it warrants a change or just time for the public to become used to the notice.”
@AppleSupport tweets and replies, as well as trouble-shooting forums show this issue has been popping up each time Safari updates since November.
Perhaps that’s part of why the browser, despite being a prevalent option on iPhones and iPads, is decreasing in popularity.
On March 3, ComputerWorld published this article: “Safari Browser Sheds Users, Mimicking IE: Chrome most likely beneficiary of 19% decline in share of Apple's browser.” (IE is Microsoft.)
So, while it may seem an odd thing for marketers to have to do, they may have to suggest any mobile emailers use any browser but Safari, says Harper. At least until Apple fixes the problem once and for all.
Harper asks: “Hey, Apple, are you listening?”
This is unlike the April 2016 problem Gmail created for marketers who hadn’t authenticated. Harper says all users see the Safari notice when they first try to email marketers via Safari on Apple devices.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.