A guide to the user opt-in

With iOS 14, Apple chose to enhance its protection of app users’ privacy rights. This is handled by an explicit request for tracking authorization by the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework. This page outlines what steps you can take to optimize your user opt-in rates.

A breakdown of Apple’s privacy policy

Apple introduced various updates with iOS 14. Here’s a breakdown of the key points you need to know about. 

Changes to the App Store design

Apple's redesign of its App Store places an emphasis on each app’s privacy information. This includes callouts on an app’s product page to inform users about what data the app may collect. App publishers will need to provide this information and details of how they work with third-party partners whose code they integrate into their app. Find out more

Defined scope of user consent

Apple’s privacy policy makes it clear that it is not just the sharing of an IDFA that requires user consent. In fact, any of the following activities require explicit user consent via the ATT pop-up:

  • Sharing of emails,
  • Sharing of Advertising IDs
  • Sharing of any other ID with a third-party advertising network that uses that information to retarget those users in other developers’ apps or to find similar users. 

Refined policy on SDK use

Apple has refined its policy for apps using SDKs and the requirement for user consent. Now, any app that has a third-party SDK combining its user data with the user data from other developers’ apps to target advertising or measure advertising efficiency, will need to serve an ATT pop-up requesting consent.

This applies even if you do not use the SDK for these purposes. For example, using an analytics SDK that repurposes data from your app to enable targeted advertising in other developers’ apps.

Guidelines on how you may request user consent

Apple has issued guidelines clearly outlining the specific parameters you may work within when requesting user consent. We urge you to strictly consult and adhere to these when planning your strategy. Read the guidelines

Outcome of user consent refusal

Once you begin to serve the ATT pop-up requesting tracking consent, you will actively be working with the ATT framework. At this point your app will be included in a list under the device’s Privacy Settings. From this moment onward, if a user chooses not to allow tracking, you will no longer receive IDFA information. 

Recommended next steps

Define a strategy

Apple will require every iOS app to serve the ATT consent pop-up. Get ahead and start thinking about your strategy today. Define a UX strategy that details how you can optimize your chances to persuade users to opt-in. Begin by auditing the type of data your app collects. What data is business-critical and what data could you do without?  

Consider permission prompts

To help encourage users to opt-in, Adjust recommends that you display a pre-permission prompt before showing Apple's ATT consent request. This prompt gives users an early indication about an upcoming consent request. This context makes them feel more comfortable and is an opportunity for you to explain exactly how data is used to their benefit. Their response can also inform whether to follow with the Apple pop-up immediately. 

The pre-permission prompt should not act as a consent prompt on its own. Apple maintains that pre-prompts should serve only to educate the end user about their decision and not influence the action they take.

Start testing

Put your strategy into action and start testing as soon as possible. Examples of the different dimensions you can test are:

  • Behavioral messaging
  • Message frequency
  • Tone
  • Vocabulary
  • Design
  • Format (full screen, banner)
  • Sequencing (serving after a user completes a specific action)
  • Onboarding (serving during onboarding)

We recommend A/B testing if you want to compare two categorical variables. For example, to assess the impact of two different pre-permission prompt designs on the opt-in rate. If, however, you would like to see how multiple different categorical variables compare with one another, it is best to use a log-linear analysis model. Here for example, you might compare the prompt’s design, with its placement in the app journey, relative to the opt-in rate. 

Want 1:1 guidance with your testing? At Adjust, our UX and Data Science experts are running a global project to get data insights on the most important messaging factors. Leading up to Apple’s enforcement of the ATT consent pop-up, and beyond, we will be detailing our in-depth recommendations for consent techniques based on a variety of factors, such as vertical and region. If you’d like to get involved, reach out to your Adjust liaison. 

Further resources on user opt-in

Since the announcement of iOS 14 and the introduction of the the ATT framework, Adjust has worked with many app developers around the globe in an effort to understand the consent flow. Based on our extensive communication and testing with these developers, we've collected our learnings in the posts below: