As announced at their annual Worldwide Developers Conference back in June, Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection feature came into effect on the 20th of September 2021.

But what does it mean?

Firstly, Mail Privacy Protection (MPP), according to Apple: “Hides your IP address, so senders can’t link it to your other online activity or determine your location. And it prevents senders from seeing if and when you’ve opened their email.”

The MPP is available for the Mail app on iOS 15 and iPad iOS15 devices.

This means that it affects any email opened from the Apple Mail app on any device, and it doesn’t matter which email service is used. So, if you use any other email apps on an Apple device like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail, etc., you won’t have Mail Privacy Protection.

What does it mean for the subscribers?

The MPP is to help give users more control over their data when it comes to their inbox. When users first open the Apple Mail app, they will receive a message asking them to either “Protect mail activity” or “Don’t protect mail activity.” This will be their decision, and once made, this will automatically sync to all devices associated with the same Apple ID.

“Protect mail activity” means that Apple will first route the email through a proxy server to pre-load message content (including tracking pixels) before sending it to the user. This happens even if the user doesn’t open the email.

What does this mean for email marketers?

Privacy has become more critical in recent years, so it is not unusual to see these effects come into place in the email industry.

As mentioned previously, it does only affect the users who are using Apple Mail. Litmus Email Analytics reported that Apple Mail ranked 3rd as the most used email platform.

This could mean that any of your audience who are using Apple Mail will not be in your email reporting and could affect the accuracy of the reports. As a result, it may deflate your email’s open rate and, consequently, lower the click-through rate shown in your reporting.

Emails sent via the ‘resend to non-openers’ option, will never go to any Apple Mail users. Also, the automated email series will be affected, as the Apple Mail users will be added to the queue even if they haven’t opened the trigger email.

In this instance, it would be good practice to set up a series to send when a contact clicks on a link in your trigger email instead, rather than when they open.

Email Marketing is still an effective channel for communicating with your target audience but privacy regulations and tech are making it more difficult.

Maybe it is time to get creative and combine email marketing with other ways of communicating with your prospects?