February 4th, 2021
If you’re reading this, you likely already know that Apple recently announced that all apps must gain consent for ad tracking via their new App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework only. If the user does not opt in via this method, Apple has ruled that SKAdNetwork will be the only acceptable alternative for ad tracking. These changes are likely to come into effect with the release of iOS 14.5 this spring.
Apple’s new changes highlighted.
This leaves two choices for brands:
Clearly, it’s in brands’ best interest for users to opt in. Doing so will preserve granular data like the IDFA that allows you to better understand user journeys, better understand your campaign performance, serve more relevant ads, and keep your app free for users.
We’ve compiled a guide to help you optimize the chances of user opt in, with some tips from brands currently testing and succeeding with these practices.
We recommend that you test a prompt that provides users information on why you’re asking for their data before they see Apple’s ATT modal. By creating a context-providing prompt, you can control the language and messaging, placement, and design to optimize the chances of user opt-in to ATT. This is key to fully explain to users the benefits they gain from opting in, explain what you are asking them for, address privacy concerns, and prime them to take action.
In the image below, a fictional gaming app shows their own modal that provides context to Apple’s ATT modal. The brand explains why they are asking users to opt in, and demonstrates the value users receive from opting in, such as keeping the app free and improving the user’s ads experience. By taking the time to explain why they are asking for users’ data, the gaming app puts users’ minds at ease and prepares them to click “Allow” on the next screen.
It’s important to note that Apple is cracking down on showing your own pre-permission prompts that require users to opt in to an additional modal outside of the ATT modal:
For example, you wouldn’t be allowed to show your users this prompt, because it asks users to opt in via a mechanism other than the ATT framework:
Take caution with the language in your prompt by refraining from asking users to opt in via your own framework. Rather, use your prompt to give context about Apple’s ATT modal, and use call to action buttons such as “Proceed” or “Next” or “Continue” rather than “Allow” to take users to the ATT modal.
Users likely won’t willingly share their data with you unless they receive some tangible benefit. Show users why opting in brings them value by explaining how their data will be used and how opting in improves their experience. This could be through:
When a user can see how sharing their data will benefit them personally, you’re more likely to get their informed consent.
Getting the timing right to ask users the big question is critical. It might not be the most optimal to ask users to opt in the moment they open your app or sign up, for example (although you should test to find out). There are likely steps in your user flow where it makes more sense to place Apple’s modal and your context-providing modal, such as after a purchase, time frame, or other event or trigger.
We recommend placing both your context-providing modal and the Apple ATT modal where users are most primed to give consent. This could be after moments after achievement, such as completing a game, after they spend a certain amount of time in the app, or after onboarding. Don’t show the modal when users are in the middle of completing a task, such as playing a game or filling in a form. Interrupting users in high-stakes moments is more likely to lead to frustration and drop off than opt-in.
Show users your modal after the user successfully completes an action that ties into the value of your app.
If you choose to show your context-providing modal to users before Apple’s modal, mitigate confusion by telling users what to expect when going through the permission flow. Clarify that users will be taken through two prompts and clarify where users will be giving consent. This could look like:
Walk users through the permission flow, explaining where and when to take action.
If you have other privacy permissions you need to gain user consent for, test grouping Apple’s permission prompt with those notices to see if they result in higher rates of opt in. However, ensure you are GDPR compliant — you cannot pre-select opt-in checkboxes for users, for example.
Rigorously A/B test the effectiveness of your modal(s) with a smaller number of users before launching at full scale. Separate testing by user segments to discover if certain ones are more likely to opt in. Group by characteristics such as spending X amount of time in the app, prior data consent behavior, purchase amount, etc. Test the effectiveness of your context-providing modal vs. showing the Apple modal only, as well as the timing and placement of when both modals are shown (after or before a certain event, or after a certain time.). After determining the opt-in rates achieved by testing these key variables, you should also test:
The time is now to start testing various methods of obtaining user opt in. By building trust, showing value, and explaining to users how providing their data enables them to have a better in-app experience, the more likely they are to opt in.
For more information on Apple’s latest attribution policy on iOS 14, read our latest blog post and reference our iOS 14 resource hub. Register for our webinar (held at both North America/AUS and EMEA times) to discover more about how this change impacts mobile advertising and what you should do next.