Learn more about the Apple iOS 15 Mail Privacy Protection update and what it means for you.
What is Mail Privacy Protection?
Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) is one of the privacy settings available to all Apple Mail users who use iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS8.
Users who launch the Mail app on their device can opt-in to this privacy setting. Once opted in, the Mail app on their device will mask their IP address and block third parties from tracking email opens and other IP data. This privacy setting is per device.
What is the impact of Mail Privacy Protection?
The Apple Mail app will report 100% open rates on emails for contacts who have MPP enabled. This is because MPP opens every email a contact receives regardless of their behavior.
Since every email is automatically opened, you can no longer confidently rely on email opens as a key performance indicator (KPI). It also means that any action you use in your ActiveCampaign account that relies on opens tracking can be affected.
How we track email opens
Industry-wide and across any platform that tracks open rates, all marketers will receive a 100% open rate report on any emails for contacts using their Apple Mail app with MPP enabled. These are considered "false" opens.
Our platform can distinguish between MPP opens among all email opens. With the change from Apple late last year, we made the initial decision to filter out MPP opens to ensure open accuracy. After listening to customer feedback and evaluating market responses to this, as of August 9, 2022, we are introducing a change to include MPP Opens in our normal open reporting.
This change will only affect Open Reporting and will not be applied to other areas like Automations and Segmentation, where we are evaluating other ways of supporting this. Please see the below sections for more details on the changes being made.
As was the case before the above update, if a contact using the Apple Mail app with MPP enabled clicks a link in your email, we'll track that link click and record an open. The reason being, that if a contact clicked a link in the email, then they also opened it. Learn how ActiveCampaign tracks email opens.
While we are actively monitoring customer feedback around this, no changes have been made to include Apple MPP Opens as triggering events for automations with our August updates.
If a contact opens your email from their Apple Mail app with MPP enabled, they will not be added to any automation that uses the "Opens/reads email" trigger.
In addition, contacts with MPP opens are excluded from segments that use the following conditions: "Has opened any campaign" and "Has not opened any campaign." This affects the following features:
- Advanced segmentation within a start trigger
- If/Else forks
- Conditional waits
- Split actions
However, if a contact using the Apple Mail app with MPP enabled clicks a link in your email, we'll track that link click and record an open. They will then meet the automation trigger or action criteria.
Split Testing campaign type
The Split Testing campaign type allows you to send multiple versions of a campaign to portions of your list to determine which version generates more opens or clicks. The version of the campaign that performs the best, or the winner, can be sent to the remainder of your list.
When you set up sending, and you use the “Determine (and send using) the winner” option to calculate the winner, you can choose to send based on either:
- Best Click Rate
- Best Open Rate
For the “Determine (and send using) the winner by Best Open Rate,” any contacts using the Apple Mail app with MPP enabled will be excluded from the winner calculation.
The "Resend a campaign" feature
The "Resend a campaign" feature lets you resend your campaign in the following ways:
- Create a new campaign based on this campaign
- Send to new contacts since the email was originally sent
- Send to contacts who have not read/opened this campaign
For the "Send to contacts who have not read/opened this campaign" option, any contacts using the Apple Mail app with MPP enabled will be excluded from the campaign resend.
Engagement Management tool
The Engagement Management tool lets you remove all "Unengaged" contacts ever or all "Unengaged" contacts from a specific point in time. Unengaged contacts are contacts who do not open or click links in your email.
Apple MPP Opens will NOT be treated as engagements when evaluating what contacts should be removed when using this tool. To learn more about Apple MPP Opens, visit ActiveCampaign and Apple Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) and campaign opens.
With the August 2022 updates, Predictive Sending will include MPP open data when deciding when to send your email.
Predictive sending uses a machine-learning algorithm to calculate when to send an email to a specific contact based on their previous engagements. Most engagements rely on email opens and link clicks to identify the optimal time to send an email.
Opens coming from Apple Mail traffic with MPP enabled will be excluded from the machine learning dataset. This means that predictive sending will be less accurate for contacts if all of their email interactions are on an MPP-enabled device. When this happens, we'll select a random send window based on our model's known peak engagement times.
With the change being released on August 9, 2022, Open Reports for Campaigns sent after this date will now reflect verified opens and MPP opens. Additionally, added on September 6, 2022, all relevant reports containing Email Opens will now include a new filter for Apply Privacy Opens.
When the box is checked, Opens Reports will reflect total unique opens including both MPP opens and verified opens. When the box is unchecked, only verified opens will be counted.
As for Open Reports for Campaigns sent before August 9th, 2022 will remain unchanged.
As was the case before the above updates, however, if a contact using the Apple Mail app with MPP enabled clicks a link in your email, we'll track that link click and record an open. The reason being, that if a contact clicked a link in the email, then they also opened it.
What do the August 9th and September 6th changes mean for my reporting?
It means you can expect to see a rise in Open Rates as indicated by our Open Reporting for Campaigns sent beyond August 6th. The addition of the toggles on September 6th should enable users to adjust their open rates to reflect this rise or not based on preference.
Best practices moving forward
Email is still a valuable and lucrative part of your overall customer lifecycle. And the best path forward to measure engagement is to rely on email link clicks, first-party data, and to have an end goal in mind. Having the correct data will help you make better decisions, will help you understand what your customers care about, and will help you build stronger customer relationships.
Create new baselines - focus on email link clicks
Email link clicks are a meaningful metric because they are actionable, measure engagement, and can lead to more conversions. Emails with high clicks can signify that your email was engaging and valuable. You'll want to ensure your emails contain clear, enticing calls-to-action (CTA) that get contacts to take the following action in their customer journey.
Collect and store first-party data
You can collect and store first-party data in your ActiveCampaign account. Some of this data can include:
- Identifying website visits with Site Tracking
- Collecting email addresses or additional data a contact provides when they submit a form
- A purchase made on your site
You'll want to identify as many opportunities as possible for tracking first-party data. Then use this data and link clicks to understand what drives engagement and how your marketing strategy is performing overall.
Track towards your end goal
What do you want to achieve with your email marketing? Do you want to convert a lead to a customer?
Do you want a contact to take a specific action on your site?
Successful engagement doesn't end with an email open. It happens at the point of conversion. If you have multiple conversion points, identify what they are, learn how to measure them, and measure them over time.
Will Mail Privacy Protection affect other email clients such as Outlook or Gmail?
No, it will not. This only applies to contacts who use an Apple device with iOS 15 with MPP enabled.
Contacts using an Apple device with iOS 15 must opt-in to MPP actively.
Here are some additional resources you can use to learn more about Mail Privacy Protection:
- Apple iOS 15 Updates: What You Need to Know and How ActiveCampaign Supports You
- Think Beyond Email Opens: 10 Customer Engagement Automations to Use Now
- iOS 15 - What it is, what it means, and what you can do about it