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With the launch of iOS 14.5 and Apple's App Transparency Tracking (ATT) in 2021, end-users with Apple devices are explicitly asked if they wish to allow apps to track their interactions. If an end-user denies consent the IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) will not be shared with vendors and personalized ads are not possible. 

Your organization can use iOS tracking messages to inform the end-user how their data will be used to deliver more personalized ads and help keep your app free to use. The design and language of the iOS tracking messages can be tailored to persuade the end-user to grant consent for app tracking.

This article shares best practices to help your organization increase the ATT message consent rates.

Message appearance and content

Your organization's iOS tracking messages should inform end-users the reasons to allow your app to track their interactions. A persuasive iOS tracking messages is very important.

Here are a few points to consider:

Message element Suggestion
Size Use modal messages large enough to cover the entire screen. Large messages:
  • can be better branded and more seamlessly integrated into the user journey
  • feel more trustworthy thus achieve higher consent rates
  • Sourcepoint suggests a text size of 16px
  • Use 2 - 3 short and succinct sentences
  • Use the fewest words to say the most. Choose the easiest words to understand.
  • Be clear & transparent with your message.
  • If a logo is available, set the width and height size to Auto.
  • Use a static image as a background behind the ATT prompt.
Spacing Provide adequate spacing between elements.
ATT prompt

The ATT prompt message provides your organization an option to show a custom message. This is an additional opportunity to persuade end-users to opt-in.


Sourcepoint's iOS tracking messages only supports one button, Next/Continue, with an action to the show the native ATT message.

  Note: Sourcepoint does not allow a Not Now/Do Not Allow button nor allow any action that prevents the ATT message being shown. This would contravene the App Store guidelines.

Scenario (IDFA best practice)

A separate scenario should be created for the iOS 14.5 pre-prompt message.

For example, if a client is using GDPR and the iOS 14.5 pre-prompt messages, there should be one scenario for GDPR and a separate one for the iOS 14.5 pre-prompt message.


A simple example of the iOS 14.5 pre-prompt message scenario would be:

  • Select "Condition/IDFA gate", select "Unset (No response registered)"
  • Select "Show Message Always", select your iOS pre prompt message


Partition (IDFA best practice)

A separate partition set should be created for the iOS 14.5 pre-prompt messages.

For example, if a client is using GDPR and the iOS 14.5 pre-prompt messages, there should be separate partition set for GDPR and iOS 14.5 pre-prompt messages which are linked to the corresponding scenarios.


Campaign (IDFA best practice)

Separate campaigns should be created for each message following the logic of the partition set. Additionally:

  • the 'Maxiumum Number of Messages Per Page view' should be set to '2' for multi-campaign with GDPR and pre-prompt message (this also covers the native ATT message).
  • the pre-prompt message should be set to Priority 1, the ATT message should appear before the first layer message.


Vendor List & Apple Data Broker

We suggest that your organization examines the vendor lists and check the Apple Data Broker box for vendors that require the IDFA tracking permission from end-users to show ads (it is optional).


When this check box is ticked the vendor will have a grey dot symbol in the vendor list (and in the privacy manager the vendor will appear alongside a grey dot with an 'A' inside):


A vendor designated as an Apple Data Broker is only impacted when an end-user selects Do not allow tracking in the ATT message. In this situation:

  • the vendor grants will return a FALSE value
  • the end-user will be unable to enable the vendor from the privacy manager.

A/B tests

Your organization has one chance to ask users to allow your app to track their interactions. It is not possible to display the message again once an end-user has decided on consent. End-users who change their minds regarding tracking can only do so by reinstalling the app or navigating through the Apple device system settings.

Your organization should design different messages to inform and persuade the end-user to grant permission for the ATT message. With A/B tests your organization can find which message provides the best consent rate.

  Note: Your organization can A/B test different message designs using partition sets. More information can be found here.

There are several iOS tracking and ATT message designs for your organization to consider and compare. Here are a few examples:

Parameter Comparison
Standalone ATT opt-in only? Pre-prompt message vs. Apple ATT prompt only
Format Full screen vs. modal window
Language Formal vs. informal
Design Brand colours vs. non-brand colours
ATT prompt body text Requesting language vs. informative language

Display alternative message based on end-user consent

Your organization may decide that a first layer should not be shown or an alternative message is displayed if an end-user rejects tracking through the ATT pre-prompt message.

  Note: Apple may reject applications if they are not satisfied that an app respects the wishes of the end-user given at the pre-prompt message.

Sourcepoint's scenario builder allows your organization to check if an end-user has accepted or rejected tracking on the pre-prompt message. If an end-user allows tracking a first layer message can be displayed. If the end-user rejects tracking then the first layer message should not be shown. Alternatively an alternative first layer message may be displayed that clarifies your organization collects data but will not track the end-user.

The scenario builder has the IDFA logic gate that records the end-user's consent. The IDFA logic gate has three settings:

  • Unset (No response registered)
  • Yes (Tracking allowed)
  • No (Tracking not allowed)

If the IDFA value is Yes, the end-user accepts app tracking thus a first layer may be displayed. If the IDFA value is No, the end-user rejects app tracking thus a first layer message should not be shown or an alternative first layer message may be displayed.


  Note: Your organization should consult with data protection officers and/or lawyers the content of any alternative first layer message. To comply with GDPR or U.S. privacy regulations (like CCPA) and App Store guidelines they would need to assess what remaining data is collected after rejection and how the end-user should be informed.

Message designs to avoid

Your organization's ATT message should persuade the end-user to allow their app to track interactions. However, the iOS tracking and ATT messages must comply with Apple's rules since failure to do so can result in your app being blocked.

There are designs, called “dark patterns'', where designers use their understanding of human behavior and design psychology to influence end-user decisions that may not be in the end-user's best interests. Apple will not allow iOS tracking messages that use such practices. 

Types of message designs that Apple discourage include:

Bad design Description
Nagging Repeated intrusion where the end-user is interrupted one or more times by another message not directly related to the task they are focusing on.
Obstruction Making a process more difficult that it needs to be to dissuade end-users from certain decisions.
Sneaking Attempt to hide, disguise or delay divulging information relevant to the user. Sneaking often occurs in order to make the user perform an action they may have objected to if they knew of additional relevant information.
Interface interference Any manipulation of the user interface that favours specific actions over others, thereby confusing the user or limiting discoverability of important alternative actions.
Forced action Requiring users to perform specific actions to access (or continue to access) certain functionality.
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