Mail icon with unread email count

How does Apple’s new ‘Mail Privacy Protection’ affect Email Marketing?

In Apple’s new iOS 15 and macOS Monteray releases, they have announced ‘Mail Privacy Protection’. This has been done to protect email data that is used by email marketers – so what does this actually mean for email marketers?

This blog post will highlight what changes Apple has introduced and the changes this will bring to the email marketing industry.

What is Mail Privacy Protection?

Mail Privacy Protection is something that will be available to all Apple Mail users on both iOS and macOS.

It will limit the ability for email marketers to accurately determine:

  • Whether or when an email has been opened
  • Where the contact is located when the email was opened
  • What type of device and client was used to open the email

What changes will this bring to engagement?

All emails being sent to contact using Apple Mail will still be delivered.

Engagement within an email, like click activity and open rate, will still be reported – but the statistics will not be correct in most cases!

How does tracking currently work?

In most email marketing trackers, there is an empty pixel, which loads when the email is opened, and this will then report data back.

How will tracking now work in Apple Mail?

In Apple Mail now, it will preload pixels even if the email hasn’t been opened – this will mean that there are now unreliable open metrics.

It is also looking likely that pixels will be pre-loaded as soon as the email is sent, even if the user doesn’t have Apple Mail open – further decreasing the reliability of this data.

How does this affect your email marketing data?

  • Campaign reports may show distorted numbers, lower ‘Clicks per unique open’ rate and potentially inaccurate geolocation and email client reporting.
  • Less location data as IP addresses are obscured, so fewer contacts in a segment targeted to a location.
  • Resend to non-openers will not be delivered.
  • Contact ratings will be higher than expected due to inflated open rates.

Does this affect any other Mail applications that are used on iOS or macOS devices?

Not at the moment. Only Apple Mail users can use Mail Privacy Protection.

Read more about this big change

If you would like to read more into what Mail Privacy Protection means for you, MailChimp has a great article here as do Litmus here!

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