Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection Effect on Email Marketing
Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection feature is here and it’ll certainly change the way we measure our email campaigns. Or maybe, how we approach email marketing, both as a marketer and service provider.
- What’s the deal with Apple Mail Privacy
- Which email clients will get affected
- How will Mail Privacy Protection Works
- What will be the impact of Apple Mail Privacy Protection
- A list of possible effects of Apple Mail Privacy Protection
- What You Should do to Prepare as an Email Marketer
- How DirectIQ is Adapting
What’s the deal with Apple Mail Privacy
Currently, DirectIQ (like all other email marketing services) places a single pixel that isn’t visible in the email into all email campaigns. The pixel loads each time the email gets opened, which helps us create reports showing Open Rates, Geological Location and other useful information:
- Whether or when an email has been opened
- Where a contact is located when they open it
- The type of device and client a contact is using when they open it
Which email clients will get affected
Mail Privacy Protection will be available to the Mail app on iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey devices. This is important because independent email client market share research by Litmus shows Apple iPhone (iOS Mail), Apple Mail (macOS Mail), and Apple iPad (iPadOS Mail) with over 50.4% of combined email opens in 1st quarter 2021.
How Will Mail Privacy Protection Work
When someone first opens up the Apple Mail app, they’ll get a message prompting them to either “Protect Mail activity” or “Don’t protect Mail activity.”
This affects any email opened from the Apple Mail app on any device—no matter which email service is used such as Gmail or a work account. However, this shouldn’t affect other email apps used on Apple devices. For example the Gmail app on an iPhone won’t be affected by this change.
What will be the impact of Apple Mail Privacy Protection
When a contact enables Apple Mail Privacy Protection, Apple Mail will always preload pixels even if your contact has not opened the email. That will prevent us (and all other Email Service Providers) from getting reliable open rate metrics.
We will not only be able to precisely count email opens but we won’t be able to estimate geolocation by IP or generate accurate email client reports either. Because, with Apple Mail Privacy Protection enabled, it is likely that all emails in Apple Mail will be reported as “opened” by default.
A list of possible effects of Apple Mail Privacy Protection
- Email campaign reports will show deceiving open rates if recipients use Apple Mail and enabled the Mail Privacy Protection.
- IP addresses of those same contacts will be inaccurate so any segmentation based on location might get distorted.
- Email automation campaigns which use opens as triggers will absolutely get affected.
- All A/B campaigns with open-rate criteria will also be inconclusive
What You Should do to Prepare as an Email Marketer
First of all don’t panic. Be sure you review this small checklist and keep your cool. We’ll keep informing you and adapting DirectIQ tools to fit your needs.
- Login to your DirectIQ account and change how you measure engagement in your campaigns. Click-thru rates (CTR) are much better indicators of engagement compared to open rates, don’t forget to monitor your bounces and unsubscribes.
- Modify your DirectIQ contact segments. If you’ve defined segments based on open rates, go and change them to click-thru rates.
- Review your automated campaigns and A/B tests. Consider using click rates instead of open rates.
How DirectIQ is Adapting
At DirectIQ we always follow the latest email technologies. we constantly update our system to be compatible with all the changes and updates. We have been monitoring Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection since it has been announced, and preparing for it. It is expected that mail open reports to show opens by Apple Mail clients as well as iCloud mail recipients. This will inflate your open percentage, but it will not impact click reports, therefore it won’t have an affect on your business.
The change will have a negative impact on automation campaigns with triggers based on opens. We are evaluating some potential changes, and we recommend our users not to set up automation campaigns with open triggers at the moment. We will post more updates as we make changes to announce them.
Baris is the founder of DirectIQ with over 20 years of experience in email marketing campaigns. Baris is an expert in all aspects of email marketing, and he created DirectIQ as an alternative to mass marketing tools like Mailchimp because he knows how to deliver individualized experience en masse to niches like hotel and real estate marketing, where a personal touch means everything.