In case you missed it, Apple has made big changes to its email privacy services. Once these changes went into effect, Apple Mail users were able to increase their email privacy settings, making it more difficult for email marketers to track subscriber behaviors. Here's how it can affect your marketing numbers.
Who does this impact?
The change impacts a large segment of your email subscribers; according to Constant Contact, Apple devices now account for about 52% of all email opens.
Apple's new privacy service inserts 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 did the changes take effect?
The new service took effect when Apple rolled out their Mail Privacy Protection with iOS 15 in the Fall of 2021.
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Why did Apple make this change?
Apple stated that the change was motivated by an ongoing effort to provide their customers with privacy and more control over their own data.
How is this impacting your email marketing data?
Email "open rates" have become less accurate, making it harder to adjust your delivery strategies and keep your email lists clean. Further, audience segments and automations based on the "last email open date" have become ineffective. It has 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 you do?
If you haven’t already, start adjusting your marketing strategy. 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.