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Preparing for Apple Mail Privacy Protection

Apple is making big changes to its email privacy services this fall. Once these changes go into effect, Apple Mail users will be able to increase their email privacy settings, making it more difficult for email marketers to track subscriber behaviors. Here's what you need to know.

Who will this impact?

The change is likely to impact a large segment of your email subscribers; according to Constant Contact, Apple devices now account for about 52% of all email opens.

What's changing?

Apple's new privacy service will insert itself between email servers and the email client to "scrub" a subscriber's behavior data; this impairs the ability of a third party (such as MailChimp or Constant Contact) to track subscriber engagement such as whether they opened an email, when it was opened, what device it was opened on, and where they are located.

When will the changes take effect?

The new service will take effect when Apple rolls out their Mail Privacy Protection with iOS 15 in the Fall of 2021. Apple has not announced an exact date.

Why is Apple making this change?

Apple has stated that the change is motivated by an ongoing effort to provide their customers with privacy and more control over their own data.

How will this impact my email marketing data?

Email "open rates" will become less accurate, making it harder to adjust your delivery strategies and keep your email lists clean. Further, audience segments and automations that are based on the "last email open date" will become ineffective. It will also become harder to determine the best time to send your emails and who to remove from your subscriber list based on lack of engagement.

What can I do?

Start adjusting your marketing strategy now. Because users are connected to their devices all day, optimal send times are becoming less important, so don’t stress too much about this aspect of the change. But do shift your focus away from industry benchmarks for open rates and instead, monitor your click-through rates to evaluate engagement.

If you’re still feeling uneasy about the Apple Mail privacy changes, contact us for help with your email marketing strategy.

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