How To Fight Back Against New Email Privacy Changes

How To Fight Back Against New Email Privacy Changes

October 1, 2021
(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

Did you notice anything recently about your email open rates? On September 20, 2021, Apple rolled out their new iOS 15 privacy features that includes Mail Privacy Protection. This is great when it comes to customer privacy but will impact your marketing efforts, especially email marketing.

Many elements may affect your email open rate (subject line, preview text, body content, personalization, and more), but in this case, it’s all Apple. doesn’t

How Does Mail Privacy Protection Work?

Email providers like MailChimp, HubSpot, and Constant Contact use tracking pixels in emails to collect information about customer mail activity. If Apple Mail users opt into this new update, it will hide their IP address, location and prevent senders from seeing when and if they’ve opened an email.

What Does This Mean for Marketers?

This update may hinder your ability to accurately target emails based on location and will inflate your email open rates — since emails will be pre-loaded by Apple. Other marketing efforts that rely on open tracking, like list and workflow enrollment, will be impacted.

Who Will Opt Into This Privacy?

According to Flurry Analytics, it turns out that 96% of users have opted into the privacy setting. Already, marketers are leading the change to try to get users to opt-out of privacy. However, this is not the right way to go about it. Don’t ask your email audience to give up their privacy so that you can keep open-rate analytics.

What Should I Do About It?

1. Establish a New Open Rate Benchmark

Create a new open rate target based on activities since September 20, 2021. If you send out emails at least once a week, take a look at the average open rate through October 20 and use that as your new standard benchmark. If you send emails fewer than once a week, look at the average open rate for November 20.

2. Monitor Open Rate for Non-Apple Mail Clients

Stop using open rates as an evaluator right away. Take note of the difference in your analytics report. Inform any sponsors or other partners that rely on that data that you will no longer be utilizing open rates as the key metric of efficacy.

3. Stop Using Open Rates as an Informative Metric

Stop utilizing open rates as an evaluator immediately. Take note of the differences in your most recent analytics report. Inform any partners or other sponsors that rely on that data that you will no longer be utilizing open rates as the key metric of efficacy.

4. Create More Click Opportunities

Increase the value of your click-through rate to learn what content connects with and encourages your email subscribers to act. Increase the number of clickable links in your content by:

  • Including excerpts of your content that will entice the reader to click to read the rest of the story.
  • Incorporating internal links to relevant articles, videos, or graphics within your site.
  • Adding external links for every reference to a company, product, attributable sources, etc.
  • Inserting polls that your audience will want to take (and learn what others think, too).
  • Hosting giveaways and other contests, linking to the entry form and rules in the email.

5. Ask for More Than an Email Address

The easier the opt-in form, the more probable it is that someone will fill it out. It doesn’t get any easier than just asking for an email address. Consider whether you want to add another or two fields for new subscribers to fill out, such as first and last names.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that if you create great content – content your subscribers really want – and use enticing subject lines; these privacy changes should have a limited effect on your end results.

For metrics, consider using more reliable engagement metrics like click rate or reply rate.

Adam Bennett

Written by:  |  October 1, 2021

Adam is the president and founder of Cube Creative Design and specializes in private school marketing. Since starting the business in 2005, he has created individual relationships with clients in Western North Carolina and across the United States. He places great value on the needs, expectations, and goals of the client.

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