In September 2021, Apple launched Mail Privacy Protection (MPP), which gives Apple device users more control over their data. For subscribers that opt-in, email marketers will no longer be able to accurately determine:
- Whether an email has been opened
- Where a subscriber is located when they open it
How Does It Work?
Email opens are detected when the images in an email are downloaded to a user's device. Until now, images were only downloaded when an email was opened.
For subscribers that opt-in, Apple Mail will now download images when an email is received in the subscribers inbox, not when it’s opened. This means open rates may artificially increase. This will also impact other engagement metrics that rely on open rate, such as click-to-open rate (CTOR).
The IP address of the user (i.e. their location) will also be obscured. As a result our location data will be less reliable.
How It Impacts Campaign Insights
MPP does not affect your ability to deliver engaging emails to your subscribers. However, it does provide an opportunity to look beyond the open rate when measuring engagement. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Click rate — Click rate is the most reliable measure of email engagement because MPP does not impact click tracking. We recommend testing strategies to increase clicks, such as strong Calls to Action (CTAs) and surveys.
- Segmentation — Engagement segments and segments based on opens may become less reliable. Consider segmenting based on clicks instead. We don’t recommend segmenting out Apple device users because they can’t be reliably identified.
- Automation — Similar impacts may apply for automated emails triggered by opens. We recommend switching your condition rules from was opened to either had any link clicked or had a specific link clicked.
- A/B testing — A/B tests will likely have a spread of Apple device users across A and B groups, so results may not be impacted. If you notice a significant change, try switching your A/B test goal from Increase open rate to Increase click rate.
- Location data — IP address may not be a reliable indicator of location, which impacts segments based on location and features such as time zone sending. Consider asking new and existing subscribers to add their zip code, city or state in your preference center or sign up form, and manually segment based on this data (make sure you explain why you’re collecting this data).
- On-site analytics or tracking (i.e. Google Analytics) — There is no indication of analytics tags being removed from URLs.
How It's Reflected in the Dashboard
To give you the most reliable measure of email engagement, we have replaced CTOR with click rate on the Campaign and Overview pages in the Clicked column. You can still access CTOR from the Clicked column — check out the example below.
MPP has just been released, so we are still testing and studying the impacts. We will have further updates for you once we have more information.