Ways mail privacy protection impacts email marketing

Advice from the email pros at Constant Contact

While not much is changing in terms of how to use email marketing successfully, there are some things you should be aware of. It’s important to note that these changes aren’t specific to any email marketing provider, but will impact the world of email as a whole, no matter what platform you’re using for your email marketing.

Here are some of the top changes resulting from Apple’s new privacy features that might affect you. 

Open rates likely will increase but are no longer reliable. 

Since Apple will begin pre-loading email data regardless of whether a user actually opens an email, email open rates will become unreliable. You might see your email open rates skyrocket as a result of these changes, but those won’t be actual email opens.

Click-to-open rates likely will decrease but are also unreliable. 

A click-to-open rate (CTOR) is the number of unique clicks your email receives, divided by the number of unique opens. In the past, this was a favored metric for email marketers to measure how effective their content was at motivating their audience to click. However, since CTOR is a function of your email opens, Apple’s new privacy changes will cause your CTOR to plummet, which makes CTOR a relatively unreliable metric going forward. 

But there is some good news. Mail Privacy Protection will not have an impact on your total clicks. Clicks remains a reliable way to measure the success of your email because it simply shows the total number of email recipients who clicked a link in your email. Comparing total clicks across email campaigns with a similar number of recipients is a good way to assess which campaigns are most engaging.

Individual user data (like location, time opened, etc.) from Apple Mail users will no longer be available to email marketers. 

Since Apple is working to protect Apple Mail users’ individualized data as they beef up its Intelligent Tracking Prevention, it’s likely that marketers will have access to less and less information about an individual subscriber’s online activity.

Here’s some of the individualized subscriber data expected to become less accessible for all marketers:

  • Time an email was opened
  • Device used to open an email
  • Location from which an email was opened

Personalization isn’t going away, but it’s changing a little. 

Most forms of email personalization— like including names in email subject lines, or personalizing content based on what a subscriber has clicked on — will remain unaffected. The types of personalization you’ll need to be careful about are based on — you guessed it — email opens.

More good news: Email still has the highest return on investment of all forms of marketing and is even more likely to drive sales than other channels, such as social media marketing.

When it comes to email marketing, focus still should be on driving real results, like increasing sales, reaching new customers, and engaging existing customers. The ultimate goal has never been to get the highest possible open rate.


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