Apple’s iOS 15 update on privacy settings includes Mail Privacy Protection, which will affect email metrics because it allows people to mask their IP address so it can’t be linked to their open rates or used to determine their location. The same is true for the privacy settings on iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey and watchOS 8.
This change will impact both users and businesses who use email marketing. Because businesses won’t be able to directly correlate user actions to the email (such as clicks on links, CTA buttons, or graphics), they won’t be able to optimize for the user experience (UX) as easily. Without IP addresses, businesses can’t uniquely “fingerprint” users and customize their UX.
Marketing professionals will need to reevaluate and set new expectations for measuring their return on investment (ROI) since open rates could be wildly inaccurate. When users opt to mask their IP addresses, all third-party emails sent to them will appear to have been opened, which will artificially inflate open rates for campaigns. This is currently only the case with Apple Mail users and does not include those using Android or Gmail; however, we anticipate that may come in the future.
We’ve Got You Covered
Fortunately, while open rates may be skewed, we can leverage other data including click-through rates, website traffic, click or heat maps, time on page, unsubscribe rates, etc., to measure the effectiveness of email campaigns. These are all metrics we at Market Mentors have been using right along.
In addition, depending on the type of campaign we are doing, we can implement other strategies, such as incorporating a Mailchimp survey or form that requests users to self-report location information or revising the criteria for a resend campaign from “did not open” to “did not click.”