What SMS Marketers Actually Need to Know About iOS 16
News, Compliance

What SMS Marketers Actually Need to Know About iOS 16

Brooke Andrus
September 16, 2022
Reading Time: 1 minute

If iOS 16 were a Shakespeare play, it’d be “Much Ado About Nothing”—or maybe “Much Ado About Not a Lot.”

Theater jokes aside, from a marketer’s point of view, the immediate impact of iOS 16 pales in comparison to iOS 15—which introduced privacy measures with drastic implications for email marketing and paid advertising.

Still, there are a handful of changes worth mentioning, as they might foreshadow more meaningful updates down the road. Here’s what SMS marketers should know about iOS 16, which officially launched on September 12, 2022. 

More Spam Filtering Categories

First up: more categories for spam filters. Various APIs already allow third-party apps to detect—and alert users about—spam calls and texts. With iOS 16, several subcategories will be added within the “Transactions” and “Promotions” categories. These include “Reminders,” “Orders,” and “Rewards” for Transactions, and “Offers” and “Coupons” for Promotions.

The catch here is that these filtering options are currently available in Brazil and India only. That being said, depending on how the rollout goes in those countries, iPhone users in the US could expect to see similar changes in the future—which means it’s important for SMS marketers to keep eyes on this situation as it develops.

Ability to Undo or Edit Sent Messages

Next: the ability to undo text message sends or edit message content (both within the first 15 minutes of sending). Before you get too excited about being able to fix that typo you noticed only after you pressed send in Postscript (or any other SMS platform), keep in mind that this iOS 16 feature is only available for iPhone-to-iPhone message sends—not app-to-iPhone message sends. (Note: iPhone-to-iPhone is a specific type of person-to-person, or P2P, messaging—whereas app-to-iPhone is a type of application-to-person, or A2P, messaging.)

So, it’s not super relevant for marketers using platforms like Postscript to deploy their SMS marketing sends.

Still, I think we can all share in the relief of being able to retract that kissy-face emoji we accidentally sent to our manager instead of our spouse 😉.

Streamlined Junk Reporting for Unknown Senders

Finally: easier spam reporting. Technically, Apple uses the word “junk” instead of “spam,” but that doesn’t mean brands shouldn’t take note. Users can now click on any message from an unknown sender and immediately see a “Report Junk” option. This information is then transferred to carriers—which could lead to filtering if your brand’s number is reported beyond the carrier’s threshold.

This is perhaps the most important iOS 16 change for SMS marketers to consider, because even if a subscriber opted into your SMS list compliantly, they’ll still have quick access to this “Report Junk” option if your brand is an unknown sender. Even though this change is meant to target scams like phishing attempts, to iOS, an unknown sender is an unknown sender. So, this theoretically makes sending contact cards and getting subscribers to save your brand as a contact even more important moving forward.

Luckily, Postscript makes it super easy for brands to send contact cards to their subscribers. Simply follow the instructions here. (We highly recommend building several reminders for this into your welcome series and hitting your full list with a contact card campaign several times a year.)

We also have strong relationships with carriers, which puts us in a great position to help quickly resolve any mistaken spam complaints on behalf of the brands we work with. This is not the case for every SMS platform, so it’s an important question to ask any SMS marketing providers you’re considering for your business.

It also brings up the issue of message content and brand identification. You should always begin each message with your brand name so recipients know the text is coming from you (and also because it’s a CTIA and carrier requirement), and your message content should always be written in a way that aligns with your brand and sounds human—not spammy. Check out our tips for writing great texts here.

Have questions about any of these iOS 16 changes? Hit us up here or find us on social.

Curious how Postscript can help your brand send higher-quality, more contextual text messages—and thus minimize the impact of these and other changes? Start your free trial now, or request a free tour with one of our textperts.

Brooke Andrus
Brooke Andrus
Senior Content Marketing Manager
Brooke Andrus is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Postscript. A journalist by trade, Brooke now uses her nose for news to keep ecommerce merchants informed on industry trends and business best practices.