Updates to Apple Mail Privacy with iOS 15

The push for more user privacy continues as Apple has announced plans to launch Mail Privacy Protection for its Mail app, which is set to roll out with iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey sometime between September and November 2021.

What is Apple Mail Privacy Protection?

Apple’s upcoming updates to the Apple Mail app will prevent senders from using invisible pixels to gather information about a user. It also prevents senders from knowing when a user opens an email and hides their IP address so it cannot be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location. Users will be asked to select “Protect Mail activity” or “Don’t protect Mail activity” upon opening the Apple Mail app for the first time after the iOS 15 update has been installed. These features will not affect other direct email apps used on Apple devices such as the Gmail or Yahoo mail app.

What does this mean for email marketers?

As users opt in to Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection, it may be challenging to:

  • Target or segment users based on the last open date
  • Optimize send times
  • Create automated journeys that are based on opens
  • Test A/B subject lines, email content, etc., based on opens
  • Personalize data (such as weather or nearest store location) based on location

Although this does provide some challenges to marketers with a large Apple Mail audience, this does not mean an end to email as a powerful marketing tool.

Before iOS 15 is released in the fall, consider doing these four things to optimize your email marketing efforts.

  • Determine how much of your audience uses Apple Mail. A small Apple Mail audience will mean a smaller impact to your email marketing programs and efforts.
  • Test and analyze different creatives. Understand what is most compelling to your audience so you can confidently create content that drives engagement.
  • Track other metrics outside of opens. Consider tracking click-through or delivered rates. You’ll want to have baseline data for future performance tracking.
  • Check in on your lead quality, list hygiene and sender reputation. You may not be able to rely on opens as a sign of a deliverability problem.

Interested in learning more or need support optimizing your digital channels and campaigns? Contact our Digital team at digital@akhia.com.