News and tips from the industry leaders in email compliance.

By Tom Wozniak, Head of Marketing – published on on 7/14/21

If you’re in the email marketing industry, you have almost certainly heard about Apple’s announcement regarding a variety of new features designed to help users of various iOS devices control how certain apps access and leverage their data, including the Apple Mail app. Specifically, the new email feature — The Mail Privacy Protection — will launch later in 2021 and will block the ability of email senders from using tracking pixels to collect information about the user. This is accomplished by having the system actually download and store all of the images (including that tracking pixel) on a remote server and then making it available to the user if and when they open the email. But, this insulates the email recipient from sending any of their data back to the sender.

For years, email marketers have used these tiny tracking pixels as a way to measure certain actions on the part of the email recipient. These include actions like opening the email, as well as gathering information about their location and IP address. That data has become the backbone of certain parts of email campaign tracking and analysis (tracking open rates, etc.). Additionally, having the email platform “call” the email sender’s platform when the email is opened has enabled a variety of dynamic and real-time content to be delivered to email recipients. The assumption at this point is those capabilities are likely to go away for Apple Mail users who enable this feature. We won’t really know for sure until the feature is readily available. However, let’s assume the impact is exactly what is being predicted at this point.

How Will This Impact Email Marketers?

1. The way we track email campaign metrics is going to change. It appears that because the Apple Mail system will proactively call the email sender’s server for the email content, that every email to an Apple Mail user who has enabled the new features will appear to be opened by the recipient. Once enough users activate the feature, it will make tracking open rates in campaigns difficult, if not impossible. So, any testing, cleansing or email segmentation based on open rates will be impacted.

2. Many email marketers leverage various types of personalized, real-time content in their campaigns. Think of those live-package trackers we see in our emails sometimes, that show us where a package is in the delivery process when we open the email. Countdown timers and other similar dynamic content may also become inoperable.

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Tom Wozniak heads up Marketing and Communications for OPTIZMO Technologies.

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