What’s Important About Apple’s iOS15 Update for Email Marketing?

Nov 26, 2021 | Uncategorized

I have been getting a lot of questions on this topic lately, I want to share that good email marketing is still good email marketing.

I believe the most important thing to keep in mind is that if you are following best practices and creating valuable content for your subscribers that they engage with, this won’t change that. So, do NOT worry about this.

Apple’s Mail app and iOS15 have kicked off some interesting privacy updates. If you are looking to learn more about the other privacy features rolling out, be sure to check out my other article here.

What is Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection?

Basically, the summary is that it gives Apple’s Mail app users the ability to hide the fact that they opened your email.

If you like detail, here it is:

In the past, email marketers have used invisible pixels to collect information about when and where an email was opened, what device was used to open the email and other information.

To give you an idea of the size of a pixel, see the image below:

Now, the data used to be collected only when the images were downloaded from the servers, and most of the time it happened automatically, but sometimes you would have to download the images. Apple, with its Mail Privacy Protection will preload the images and the content of the email including the tracking pixel, whether you opened it or not.

Therefore, this data isn’t reliable anymore.

But, my list doesn’t have that many Apple email addresses (@icloud.com, @me.com, @mac.com)

Unfortunately, that doesn’t matter. This affects the Mail App which is the app on the iPhone and iPad, etc.

According to Litmus, 52% of all email opens in 2021 were in the Apple Mail App.

You may not notice a significant change for a while, as users opt-in, but most users are choosing to enable privacy protection whenever these new features launch.

I know that “Opens” are no longer a good metric, but what else does it affect?

Anything based on “opens” really isn’t reliable anymore.

Now that the open rate is higher, your click-through rate will most likely show a lower rate because it has been based on opens.

So what should you measure?


• Email list growth rate – how fast are people signing up?
• Clicks and Engagement– how many people are clicking on your email links?
• Conversion rate – how many readers answer your call to action?
• Unsubscribes– are you keeping people on your list or are they leaving and why?

Anything else to be aware of?

Now, I am a big fan of Constant Contact and if you have questions about email marketing systems I am here to answer those questions for you, but…some other Constant Contact features may be impacted and these features apply to many other email marketing systems, so if you don’t use Constant Contact but use another vendor, these metrics may be similar and impacted accordingly:

  •  Resend to non-openers – Since all contacts using Apple Mail will show as having opened the email, any email set to resend to non-openers will never send to these contacts.
  • Automated email series – If you set up an automated email series to send when a contact opens a specific email, all contacts who use Apple Mail will trigger the series and be added to the queue to receive the emails, whether they actually open the Trigger Email or not. Consider setting up your series to send when a contact clicks on a link in your Trigger Email instead, rather than when they open it.
  • Contact Insights – When viewing your Contact Insights, you might see an inflated number for your High Engagement contacts because the contacts who use Apple Mail will always be recorded as having opened your emails.
  • Segmentation – If you’re creating a segment of your most engaged contacts or based on contacts who opened an email, the segment may include some contacts who don’t actually fit the criteria. Create custom segments of your contacts based on their click or purchase behavior instead.

Consider focusing on your content and creating more personalized content and always answer the question, What’s in it for me?

Should I Just Forget About Email Marketing?

NO! Definitely not!

The reason I am such a fan of email marketing? Social media is rented land, you own your email marketing list.

It is probably one of, if not THE MOST VALUABLE asset your business has.

Want to know how to turn on Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection?

Here is the information from Apple’s support site on iOS15:

In the Mail app , Mail Privacy Protection helps protect your privacy by preventing email senders from learning information about your Mail activity. When you turn it on, it hides your IP address so senders can’t link it to your other online activity or determine your location. It also prevents senders from seeing if you’ve opened the email they sent you.

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