Apple announced in the year of 2021 at their annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 7th, that Mail Privacy Protection (MMP) was to be introduced. Fast-forward a few months and with Apple’s IOS 15 email privacy in place, this feature is now in effect.

The announcement about Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection has certainly brought into question what that means for the future of email marketing. So now that it’s here, what is the reality of MMP for email marketing? Could it be a blessing, or rather a curse?

announcement about Apples Mail Privacy Protection

3 Ways Apple’s privacy updates impact email marketing

According to a Malligen infographic, 89% of marketers use email as the primary channel for generating leads. It’s very apparent that email is a significant part of the marketing strategy that many marketers create to encourage conversions and retain their customer base.

So what ways do Apple’s hide my email iOS 15 impact email marketing?

1. Open rates are no longer reliable

As Apple pre-loads email data regardless of whether or not the user opens an email, it means email open rates are unreliable. This inaccuracy makes it difficult for marketers to see whether or not the email has performed well and how many are really engaging with it.

Email open rates are likely to increase but ultimately, it will be hard to decipher which of those have actually been opened.

Open rates used to be a great way for marketers to access how well the marketing in place is performing.

2. Individual user data is no longer available with MPP enabled

Sadly, user data of individuals like location, time opened, etc. are something that will no longer be available when this Mail Privacy Protection is enabled.

As Apple is using this feature to protect it’s Apple Mail users, its likely that marketers will have less information to utilize regarding the individual’s online activity.

Some of the individual data no longer available may include:

  • The time an email was opened
  • The device used to open the email
  • Location from which the email has been opened

All of this information can be very helpful typically for marketers who are trying to assess the right moment for delivery of emails to it’s users.

3. Open rate-powered email features are not as reliable

Some of the features that email marketing relies on when emails are opened, are also now less reliable than they once were. The data itself may no longer be available for the majority of the email recipients.

ios 15 privacy updates

A few of those features that are less reliable include email list segmentation, contact insights and engagements.

How privacy updates will require an improved email marketing

The introduction of Apple’s MMP is just one of many restrictions that may crop up in the future. We’re more protective of our personal data than ever before, with 84% of respondents in Cisco’s Consumer Privacy Survey 2019 saying they care about privacy and their own data.

The introduction of privacy-restricting laws and regulations means that email marketing will need and adapt in order to thrive.

How Email marketers can prepare for the privacy-focused future

There are many ways that email marketers can prepare for a future that will likely be privacy-heavy. As such, a few changes that you make now to your marketing, can save you a lot of pain and frustration further down the line.

Measure the success of email marketing differently

How you collect and measure metrics is something that you should focus on and reconsider. Even though email clicks are somewhat reliable, they shouldn’t be the be all and end all. With that being said, it’s good to look at other metrics such as conversion rates, overall ROI and list growth rates. Forwarding and email sharing is something else you can also look into for data.

Use clicks and time-based triggers for automation

Any automated emails that are set up should focus on any triggers that are time-based or date-based for example. Clicks on particular links or pieces of content can also be helpful in understanding the behaviours of your customers.

Make sure you motivate people to click email content

When it comes to customer experience as a differentiator, it’s all about providing the best interactions and experience with your brand. For email marketing, it’s essential that you’re creating quality content. By doing so, you’ll see more of your email subscribers motivated to click the email content.

It’s worth providing a teaser on the email and then a button to click on to continue reading elsewhere, whether that’s on a social media platform or website.

Look at interactive email features for data collection

With IOS 15 email marketing, taking advantage of interactive email features can help you collect more data. These forms of customer interaction are a great way to ensure you’re engaging with your subscribers and tracking the engagement too.

Using interactive email components like a survey or poll is going to be a good way of encouraging users to interact and that’s how you’re able to acquire additional data. Surveys are great because they can acquire a lot more data and opinion-related information from your users.

Remember there will be more changes coming your way

There will likely be many more changes coming your way. The privacy changes to Apple Mail are just a continuation of more privacy restrictions that are likely to come into place. It’s good to remember that many other big corporations are likely to make these same changes and if Apple has already, then more restrictions will come.

The impact of IOS 15 on email marketing is one that has certainly changed the marketing world for many businesses. Whether you’re looking to sell more or engage with your customers on a personal level, email marketing is always going to be highly effective.

With that being said, use the tips above to ensure your marketing strategy is changing and adapting to the privacy restrictions that have come into place. Not just Apple’s MMP but GDPR and other privacy regulations across the globe.