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Apple privacy changes coming and how it will affect Email Marketers

Started ‎07-12-2021 by
Modified ‎09-16-2021 by
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Apple announced recently a change coming with the IOS 15 update. This new mail privacy protection applies to anyone using the native Mail app on their iPhone and iPads. In the press release, Apple says the following: “In the Mail app, Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. The new feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.” 


Apple Mail privacy change: why it’s a challenge for marketers 


What does this mean for marketers? It means that every email will automatically be opened so marketers will have no way of knowing if the contact really opened the email or not. Opens was always a vanity metric, but a metric that, while not perfect, revealed if customers were seeing your message or not. Low open rates meant poor engagement and possible spam folder placement. Now it will undoubtedly be harder to know that. According to Litmus, 38% of email opens in June were from Apple iPhone. We got advice from two experts on how to adapt.   


Apple Mail privacy change: two experts’ advice 


Lauren Meyer, EVP at Socketlabs, says: “Mailbox providers are looking at both positive and negative actions taken by recipients to determine if your emails are wanted. While tracking open rates at the destination-level directionally over time can help email marketers proactively spot deliverability issues, be sure to monitor all of your metrics, including your unsubscribe and spam complaint rates to gain a more holistic view of your inbox placement.” 


Kath Pay, of Holistic Email Marketing, says: “Click rate is now going to become your primary engagement metric to measure instead of opens or click-to-opens. You can, of course, still measure the open rate, taking into account the impact of this change. Ensure your analytics software is set up correctly to track and attribute email and begin to add clicks, web traffic/site visits, conversions, AOV (if applicable), etc. to your weekly/monthly reports, as well as the negative metrics such as bounces, unsubscribes and complaints. These metrics will measure not only the health of your campaigns but also your list.” 


Apple Mail privacy change: prepare now 


This is a BIG change, and you’ll need to be ready when it happens. Consider these steps: 


  • Shore up your opt-in process, focus on quality not quantity. 
  • Make sure you are providing value in your email to keep your contacts coming back. 
  • Look at other metrics more closely and get used to the fact that open rates will be  less reliable.  
  • Begin to focus your split testing on other things besides subject line. Try different buttons and copy text to see how they affect clicks and conversions.   

Your deliverability specialist can work with you after the change to keep you updated on how the changes are affecting your results.  


Peter Ansbacher

Email Deliverability Specialist

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Last update:
‎09-16-2021 10:02 AM
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