Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection

In case you haven’t been following tech news this past year, Apple announced changes to privacy in its Mail app.

What is Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection?

 Apple launched Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) on September 20th, 2021.

In its announcement, Apple said this: “In the Mail app, Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect
information about the user. The new feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email, and masks their IP
address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.”

After the launch, iOS15 Apple Mail app users will be prompted about MPP. The prompt asks users to choose an option, “Protect Mail Activity”
or “Don’t Protect Mail Activity”. Users that choose “Protect Mail Activity” are opted into Mail Privacy Protection. It’s also enabled by
default on any new devices that come preloaded with iOS15.

With MPP enabled, Apple Mail app users can hide their IP address so senders can’t link it to your other online activity or determine your location. It also prevents senders from seeing if you’ve opened the email they sent you.” This affects users with devices including iPhone, Mac, and iPad.

How does open tracking work?

Opens are tracked by JangoMail placing an invisible 1×1 pixel image at the bottom of each message that has open tracking enabled.

Each time the message is opened and images are automatically enabled or downloaded in the email client, JangoMail’s server is called
and we record an open stat. The open count includes data on when the message was opened (date/time) and the location of where the message
was opened based on the IP address.

Before Apple’s new privacy updates, you could mostly rely on open data. An open would only be recorded when the recipient actually
opened the message.

With Apple’s privacy protection enabled, messages sent to Apple Mail users will automatically preload images prompting an open – whether
the user actually opened the message or not (Gmail does this as well). These changes mean that for Apple Mail users, you won’t be able
to tell who opened an email, their location where they opened an email, or when they opened an email.

What does this mean for email marketing?

These changes impact everyone that sends emails, whether you’re sending with JangoMail or a different email service provider.

Because Apple Mail can be used by different popular email services like Gmail and Yahoo as well as corporate domains, this can have
varying impacts. Its impact on your open rates is primarily affected by the percentage of users in your audience that use Apple Mail.
Email client usage varies across industries and even individual brands.

All of this means that open data is now less reliable. Depending on how many Apple Mail users you have – you may see overall open rates
increase or drastically inflate. If you have experienced an increase in opens in the last few months since these changes, this change
has likely impacted you and a portion of those are not actual opens.

Privacy is increasingly becoming more important, so Apple is likely just the beginning of changes to come.

Bottom lineyou should not use opens as the sole metric you focus your email marketing efforts.

Beyond open rates, you can use other metrics to monitor, make decisions, and accomplish your email marketing goals. Click data remains
reliable, along with other metrics like conversion rate.