Mail Privacy Protection: Apple iOS 15 and Mac OS Monterey

Apple announced the release of the Mail Privacy Protection in iOS 15. This new privacy feature stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user, and prevents senders from knowing when they open an email.

As Mailmunch users, your contacts using Apple Mail (iOS 15) are now presented with an opt-in Mail Privacy Protection feature when they enter the app.

This change may affect how marketers measure the success of their email campaigns, and their ability to serve subscribers by:

  1. Limiting the ability to accurately track open rates,

  2. Hiding the user's IP address, and limiting the ability to determine the location of the contact,

  3. Allowing the user's to mask their real email address, and hiding the device information.

How does the Apple Mail Privacy Protection impact the open tracking?

Mailmunch inserts a transparent pixel into each email campaign which loads each time an email is opened. These opens are then counted and reported, and helps us estimate a contact's location, as well as determine the device type.

Now, with Mail Privacy Protection enabled, Apple Mail will pre-load that image when the email is received, rather than when it is opened. This will result in the appearance of an email open, where one may not have actually occurred, providing inlfated open metrics.

Therefore, open rates will no longer be considered the primary metric when measuring the engagement levels of your subscribers. Clicks, and purchases are stronger signs of engagement than opens, and we don’t expect these to be impacted by Apple Mail Privacy Protection.

How does this affect the products I use at Mailmunch?

Here are a few ways your Mailmunch account may be impacted:

  1. Open rates may be heightened (inflated)

  2. Location tracking may be less reliable at the city, and region/state level

What if the user has iOS 15, but is using some other mail service? Does this affect email opens in any other apps?

It’s only in effect when the user has iOS 15, and checks their mail through the native Apple Mail app. If the user is on Gmail, or another mail app, even if on iOS 15, the privacy controls will not be in effect. If an email is opened on the Apple Mail app on iOS 15, it will have an option to protect mail privacy.

How can I prepare for this update?

While opens have been a great measurement for engagement, there are far more precise ways to segment your emails. Here's a list of information that you can still use to continue making the most of your email campaigns:

  1. Update existing email benchmarks and goals.

  2. Review your segments and use appropriate parameters.

  3. Obtain first-party data using website forms and landing pages.

  4. Send emails with relevant content to the right customer segment.

  5. Collect location information directly from your contacts using Mailmunch forms.

  6. Monitor your bounces, the size of your email list, conversions, and purchases.

  7. Identify new email benchmarks, and change how you measure success in your email campaigns.

    • The number of clicks, and your click-through rates give you insights on how many, or how often email readers engaged with and clicked on your content.

    • Low unsubscribe rate hints that you're continuing to retain or even gain subscribers.

Mailmunch understands the importance of email marketing for your business, and we are constantly working to ensure our customers are well prepared for these iOS 15 email updates. If you have other concerns, please contact our customer support team.

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