By Tom Wozniak, Head of Marketing – published on Business2Community on 6/11/21
Email marketing has been one of the most effective digital marketing channels for decades (over 43 years in all) and over that time it has constantly evolved to meet the changing needs of users, developments in technology, and various regulations around the world that impact marketers. With such a strong track record of adapting and thriving amidst changing conditions, email marketers are typically quite optimistic and focused on growing and optimizing their programs over time.
That positivity is being tested a bit by an upcoming change in Apple’s iOS 15, called Mail Privacy Protection. Without getting too deep in the technical weeds, this new feature provides users of Apple’s Mail app (which makes up a significant percentage of email users worldwide) with the ability to limit the amount of information they provide to email senders (marketers) with regard to their interactions with any email message. Activating the feature will mean that every email sent to an Apple Mail user’s inbox, will first be routed to a remote Apple server where all of the contents of the email are downloaded and stored. Then, when the user wants to open one of these emails, the graphics and content will actually be downloaded from the Apple server, rather than the sender’s email service provider or email platform.
Why does this matter?
This revised process from Apple impacts a few aspects of email marketing.
- The ability to track Email Opens. Traditionally, email marketers have either used the graphics included in an email message or a simple 1×1 transparent pixel to track when a recipient opens an email. This happens when the user’s email application downloads the graphic from the sender’s email platform or service. The call for the graphic is counted as an Open and is often attached to the specific recipient’s email address in the sending system. So, the email sender knows which recipients opened the email.
- When the user’s email application makes that call to download graphics or any other content for the email from the sender’s system, it is attached to the user’s IP address. This IP address has been used traditionally as one means of determining the geographic location of the recipient.
- Many email marketers use certain types of real-time or interactive content in their email messages. One good example of this is when you receive an email about the status of a delivery to your house. Every time you open that email, it makes a call to the sender’s platform and gathers the current status. So, you will actually see the content of that email change from one day to the next, making for a very simple user experience.
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Tom Wozniak heads up Marketing and Communications for OPTIZMO Technologies.