If you’ve noticed inflated open rates for your marketing emails recently, Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) may be to blame. On September 20, Apple launched MPP for the Apple Mail app on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 devices. According to Apple, “Mail Privacy Protection hides your IP address, so senders can’t link it to your other online activity or determine your location. And it prevents senders from seeing if and when you’ve opened their email.”

If a user enables MPP, Apple Mail content is loaded automatically after delivery, so the time that email is viewed won’t be correct. Marketers will see that an email was opened regardless of if the customer read it or not and the location and type of device used won’t be revealed.

This affects any email opened from the Apple Mail app on any device no matter which email service is used like Gmail or your work account.

How does MPP impact my email marketing?

After marketers press send on an email campaign, they are used to gathering metrics that help aid in building future campaigns. For example, email analytics like open rates often guide how to optimize content, design, subject lines, and email send times. Now, with MPP, marketers may observe a misleading open rate near 100% from Apple Mail users.

How many of your customers actually use Apple Mail? According to Litmus Labs email client market share (calculated from 1.2 billion opens tracked by Litmus Email Analytics in August 2021), about half of all email opens are attributed to Apple iPhone, Apple Mail, and Apple iPad users. So, open rates won’t be a helpful metric moving forward, however, deeper metrics like clicks and conversions will be.

How can you adapt to MPP?

Open rates help marketers understand content relevance and campaign performance. With unreliable open rates due to MPP, marketers will need to broaden their attribution metrics. Skyfii can help you measure visitation and conversion which can serve as an alternative attribution metric to an email open rate.

Data sources like WIFI, BLE, Point-of-Sale, and GPS can measure customer behavior in the physical world. By correlating campaign send data with physical behavior data like visitation or sales transactions, you can measure the attribution and performance of your email campaigns.

What to tell your customers about MPP

You can educate your customers about MPP and what it means for the marketing emails they receive. Customers have the option to opt into MPP in their Apple Mail settings. After the update took place, a message prompted all users in their Apple Mail app to choose either to “Protect mail activity” or “Don’t protect mail activity.” It’s important to let your customers know that if they enjoy receiving marketing emails that are timely and relevant to their interests, they may not want to enable MPP. Afterall, if a customer receives your marketing email, it is because they opted into receiving those targeted communications.

We can help you adapt

With privacy often at the forefront of the tech industry, it’s important to remember that protections like MPP will become more prevalent. This provides us an opportunity to innovate with you and deliver the best possible customer experience. If you have additional questions or concerns about how MPP will impact your email marketing, please reach out.