Changes to Apple mail privacy and the future of email marketing

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By Taylor

5 min read

Apple has caused quite a stir in the marketing world. Their recent changes to MPP (Mail Privacy Protection) means Apple Mail users can choose how their data is shared – if at all. Are we saying R.I.P to open rates altogether? And how will it affect our email marketing strategies moving forward? A topic we’ve been keenly considering at True, as we continue to work with clients on their digital media strategy.

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“The average email open rates for all industries we analysed is 21.33%.”


What is Mail Privacy Protection?

MPP hides your IP address, so senders can’t track email open rates or your location. Now, we’re all about privacy, but you might see how this makes things tricky when we use data like this to check good email marketing open rates.

The changes are now in effect – you might have already noticed them – across Apple devices such as iOS and MacOS. Simply explained, when opening an email in Apple Mail, users will be asked whether they’d like to “Protect Mail activity” or “Don’t protect Mail activity”.

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100% open rates? Think Again.

If users click “Protect Mail activity” then mail is protected. It will display as ‘opened’, regardless of whether the email has been ignored. You might think that’s awesome as you have a good email marketing open rate (nearly 100%), but you’d be wrong. The new Apple mail privacy feature means that we can no longer complete email performance tracking using open rates. Email testing will also be difficult to report, suggesting a high proportion of each test email was opened, when we know that might not be the case. We won’t know which test was most successful with our target audience.

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What is a good open rate for an email newsletter?

In a report by MailChimp across the range of industries, the average open rate was 21.33%. The average click rate for all industries is 2.62%. So, if you’re getting between 25-30% open rate, that’s a sign of having a good email marketing open rate.

The good news.

Though the changes to Apple mail privacy have affected the way we analyse what is a good email marketing open rate, we can tell you that there are many other metrics that we can use.

Take click-through rates and conversions for example. If you’re getting more website activity and sales off the back of an email newsletter, then that’s a positive sign we can measure. How do we get those click-throughs? It comes down to content carefully curated for your email subscribers.

This is not the end of email marketing as we know it. With only 13.3% of those taking part in the 2021 email engagement report saying they use the Mail app, we’ve still got the metrics of Gmail, Outlook and others to go by. Gmail alone made up 52.3% of respondents in the report, and that’s a great pool of data we’re still able to track.

With so many marketing capabilities at True agency including social media, advertising and digital media, we’re optimistic about the future of email marketing. In the meantime, we’ll keep you up to date with Apple mail privacy changes.

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