Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection news continues to be a source of confusion, questions, and more for email marketers like you. So, we took your questions to a roundtable of email experts to get the answers you need to move forward. In this blog you can see top questions and their answers, but check out the full recording for everything covered.
Meet our panel of experts
Steve Atkins, Word to the Wise
Marcel Becker, Yahoo
Lauren Meyer, SocketLabs
Matt Dionne, Constant Contact
Brian Sisolak, PeakInBox
A big thank you to all who submitted questions ahead of time. Here’s a recap of our answers to the most popular ones. Have more? Ask us in the comments below.
Does Apple’s MPP apply to the Apple Mail macOS app for Apple computers?
Brian shared that MPP will impact iOS, macOS, and iPadOS. The adoption curve will be much slower for subscribers that have added email accounts to macOS Monterey than iOS and iPadOS however. Also, MPP will likely only apply when the computer is running, so the impact might be reduced. There is a lot unknown.
Is there a way to segment users using Apple Mail today? How about new future users (who would have never engaged with our emails and hence would not have any open data)?
Matt brought up an important scenario to consider: An email address may be set up in multiple email clients. For example I have my work email set up in Apple Mail on my iPhone and also Outlook on my laptop. So just because an open or a click is identified as coming from Apple Mail doesn’t mean that email address will always be generating opens and clicks from that email client.
And that was a great point. Steve also shared with us that you should be able to at least segment people who open their mails on iOS devices today, which may be close enough. In the future you’ll still have image load data from iOS users, and the ones that are loading images via Apple proxies are likely using Apple Mail.
But Lauren also shared a word of caution with us when it comes to segmenting out Apple users in an effort to do engagement targeting: In the future, it may be hard to tell who within that segment DID (as well as did not) actually open your email. You won’t be able to tell the engaged from the unengaged using opens anymore.
Since we can’t rely on opens, what do you recommend? And how can I convince my boss that open rate doesn’t matter?
Lauren shared that opens have always been used best as a directional metric. It will be tough to win over a boss that truly believes the open rate is THE magical metric to beat them all, but most bosses actually just care about results, so providing them with alternate (ahem, better) ways to track performance of your email program should be adopted if you bring data into the conversation. It really depends on what your goals are with email, but I’m confident that for most senders, it’s not just about getting people to open. So consider what you really want your audience to do when they receive an email from you, and then set up your list of key performance indicators (KPIs) accordingly. In general, I would suggest tracking your clicks, your conversions (if you have access), and revenue per email (RPE). If you’re generally just hoping people will open (i.e. informational emails), get creative about how you can gauge interest or the perceived usefulness of those emails through other channels, like surveys, in-app or on-website activity, purchase or login activity, etc.
Would it make sense to prioritize A/B testing for send time, preheader, subject line, etc. right now, before iOS 15?
Matt said, “Yes” but with a caveat. The window for this is closing quickly. We are already seeing traffic from iOS beta releases which can already impact your tests depending on your audience.
Lauren mentioned to us that it really depends on the types of emails you’re sending, but yes— the more information you can gather now to understand the interests of your audience, the better informed you’ll be once the changes are rolled out.
What useful information can we get from MPP image loads?
Lauren said initial testing suggests that opens will not be registered for emails that land in the spam/junk folder, so it’s fair to conclude (at least for now) that if an open is registered, the email went to the inbox (yay!). I’ve long suggested senders to review their open rates at the destination level (i.e. Gmail vs Hotmail vs Yahoo, etc) as a way to potentially identify a deliverability issue (i.e. your open rate is ~30% at all destinations, but 6% at Hotmail). This will continue to be a useful way to identify if your email program is potentially facing a deliverability issue.
Steve also shared with us that it’s likely that Apple Mail will only load images through the Apple proxies. Meaning—if we see an image load via an Apple proxy we know that the recipient has chosen to read that email account on their iPhone. That means they’re a real user, not any sort of spamtrap or monitoring account. It also means that it’s probably a recipient’s main email account, not a disposable, throwaway or junk mail account, as they’re unlikely to configure their phone to read those. It also tells us that it’s being read in Apple Mail, not on some non-Apple Mail mail client.