Apple recently made waves at their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2021) with the announcement of new privacy advancements for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8. As the world tuned in to the unveiling of enhanced protections in app permissions, Siri, and iCloud+, there was one feature that had email marketers on the edge of their seat: Mail Privacy Protection within the Mail app.
With the new Mail Privacy Protection feature, senders are no longer able to use invisible pixels in their emails to collect user information. For most marketers, the use of invisible pixels is the key to understanding their customers and what they are doing. These pixels allow marketers to know not only who is opening their emails, but also in which email platform, where they are physically located, and even how long they spend looking at the email. When these changes are implemented by Apple, any customer or prospect that opens an email campaign within the Apple Mail application will no longer provide these data points back to the marketer.
One thing that interests me about this topic is how our end customers want their privacy and don’t like the idea of being tracked, but from the marketer’s perspective, we utilize these metrics to make sure we are targeting the customers that want our campaigns and not sending campaigns to those that don’t. It will be definitively harder for marketers to ensure the right message reaches the right people with these privacy updates on Apple Mail, and even more-so if other email platforms make similar changes to their settings.
So, what does this truly mean for email marketers?
User protections will continue to evolve, and rightfully so, creating inevitable unknowns within the email marketing world– just like with Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection feature. As we learn more about what will be implemented, there are things we can be thinking about now to prepare for impact.
How will we change the way we measure the effectiveness of campaigns?
How will we continue to improve the customer experience?
Where do we go from here? What should we be looking at?
Over the past 15 years of working in the email industry, I can look back at numerous times where marketers thought a change from a major mail provider was going to either kill email or make our jobs more difficult. For example, the inception of the spam folder, or Gmail’s “promotions” tab separating emails into a different view within the user’s inbox.
No matter what the overall impact from this specific change ends up being, we as email marketers must always find better ways to engage our customers and respect their privacy at the same time. As a leading innovator in email marketing, Ansira works with clients to create results-oriented strategies that go beyond the basic email metrics. To speak with one of our experts about your position amid Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection update and learn more about our email and eCRM capabilities, contact us today.