How Will Mail Privacy Protection Impact Your Email Marketing Metrics?

By Erin DeLong

3 min read

During Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2021 (WWDC 2021) on June 7th, the tech giant announced yet another privacy update that will roll out with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey devices sometime between September and November of 2021. Referred to as “Mail Privacy Protection,” the Apple Mail app will block senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about user behavior. Explore what this update will mean for your email marketing strategy and metrics below.

What is Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection Feature?

Under Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection feature, users of Apple Mail will have the ability to hide their IP address, privately load remote content, and block tracking pixels from collecting information about them. Users can enable this feature on both iOS and Mac devices, so no matter what device they access Apple Mail on, their data privacy is protected.

mail privacy protection notification on apple mail app

How Will iOS 15 Privacy Updates Impact Marketers?

For email marketers, this new privacy feature will have two primary implications:

1) Inability to track open rates among Apple Mail subscribers
Without the ability to use invisible pixels to track subscriber activity on Apple Mail, marketers will be unable to determine if and when an email campaign is opened. This change will undoubtedly impact the accuracy of open rate metrics, deliverability, and send time optimization (STO).

Additionally, any campaigns or content that rely on open rate may go by the wayside, including:

  • Automated lead nurturing campaigns
  • Re-engagement campaigns
  • A/B subject line tests that depend on open rate to determine a winner
  • Audience segmentation based on open data

2) Inability to track users’ online activities and locations 
Subscriber IP addresses will be masked so that advertisers cannot track subscribers’ locations or link to users’ other online activities.

mail privacy protection impact on email marketing metrics

What Can Marketers do to Prepare for iOS 15 Updates to Apple Mail?

In preparation for iOS 15 changes to Apple Mail, we need to rethink how we approach marketing emails and measure effectiveness. Gone are the days of basing success on email opens. Instead, we must focus on engagement KPIs like clickthrough rates and conversion rates. That means gearing up for increased creative testing to see what resonates most with your audience and segmenting your lists based on email engagement rather than open rate.

Do you and your team have questions about how Mail Privacy Protection might impact your company’s email service? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Front Porch Solutions! We’re staying at the forefront of Apple’s latest data privacy updates, including the iOS 14 app tracking transparency update, so that we can help our email clients continue to succeed.

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