On June 7th Apple had their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC21) and email marketers have been teetering ever since. Why you ask? It’s simple: Mail Privacy Protection. Come September email marketing as we know it is set to change.
So, what is Mail Privacy Protection? Mail Privacy Protection is a new tab that Apple will add to the Mail app on its products during the next iOS update. In this new tab, users can choose to stop email senders from using invisible pixels that collect recipient data in their emails. This data includes knowing whether a recipient opened an email, the time they opened it, their device type, location, and IP address.
While the average user may consider this to be good news (and understandably so — many people have no idea these tracking pixels exist), it has come as bad news for marketers who rely on this data for a good proportion of their decision-making process.
With Apple’s iPhone leading the way of all email clients overall with over 38% control of the market this impacts a significantly massive population.
Much of the outcry over the most recent update has understandably been from email marketers. Open rates are a widely used KPI for measuring user engagement and the effectiveness of specific email campaigns. Aside from open rates, email marketers will no longer be able to improve their campaigns as easily based on user behavior—from send-time location optimization to re-engaging with those who do not open.
Email marketing will continue to evolve In a nutshell: Don’t panic. Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection is certainly a blow to marketing and to consumers who desire a personalized experience from the brands they trust (you can’t customize which brands you use privacy protection for—it’s all or nothing). Our hope is that it inspires the email industry to continually innovate so brands can deliver the best experience for their subscribers and customers. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about the people receiving our emails.
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