Last month, Apple released its newest versions of its operating systems (iOS 15, macOS Monterey and watchOS8). With the update, users are able to use a feature called Mail Privacy Protection (MPP), which will likely cause significant changes to the way email programs are tracked.
The technical details of Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection feature suggest that Apple will pre-fetch the content of all messages delivered to mailboxes configured to the Apple Mail application. When the content is pre-fetched, this will also fetch remote images which include open tracking pixels (images that tell you when a recipient opens an email).
What this means for email senders is that every message you send to an Apple Mail user with MPP will appear to have been opened - despite whether or not the message was actually opened by the recipient. This change also could make tracking email open rates a mute point as the data will be vastly skewed as to how recipients are actually engaging with their emails.
What should you do about it?
Since open rate data is likely to become less and less reliable, it’s important to come up with alternative methods to measure the performance of your email campaigns.
We suggest using click data as a better measure of email performance. Clicks are intentional and a stronger, more reliable signal of positive engagement than open rates.
Building benchmarks from previous email campaigns to figure out what your current click data looks like is a great place to start.
Another tactic you will likely want to implement is increasing your use of CTAs. Clicks are obviously harder to come by than email opens, but you can encourage more engagement and click activity from your users to increase your click rates.
One way to do this is to develop shorter emails with more prominent CTAs. This strategy allows you to get the recipient onto your website or application and allows for a more personalized, and overall better user experience.
Have questions about Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection feature? Reach out to your Account team to chat about what you can do to make sure you’re utilizing your email data most efficiently.