Don’t Let Email Open Rates Fool You

Communication has continually grown from the first email in 1971 to the present. Emails have evolved throughout the years, becoming a critical tool for many businesses to connect with their audience. The ability to collect data on the audiences’ interactions with the emails is one of the reasons email marketing has been valuable. It is no secret that businesses are always looking to utilize technology to gather important information about their audience to increase conversions and generate more revenue.

Email marketers now face a new obstacle that will require a shift in email strategy. This obstacle is Apple’s Mail Privacy Policy Protection (MPP) which became available to Apple users in September 2021. So, what is it? Apple’s MPP is a new feature that provides the option to protect privacy by hiding the IP address and preventing email senders from seeing who opened the email.

For those of you that laugh because you have been seeing a massive increase in your open rate, congratulations you have already seen the impact of Apple’s MPP. Essentially the MPP loads the email in the background, this will make it appear as opened from a randomly generated IP address, meaning the email will appear opened regardless of any action by the user. 

A report by Campaign Monitor showed an increase of 3.5% in average open rate and a decrease of 3.6% in average click-to-open rate from 2020 to 2021. So, is it time to panic and abandon email marketing? NO! It is time to shift thinking on the measurement, optimization, and creation of email campaigns.

These changes only apply to users of Apple Mail, and measurement from your audience on other platforms can still be viewed in the more traditional sense. When analyzing email performance, understand that any metric factoring open rate has been skewed. Metrics like “click-to-open” rates will likely appear down so do not panic. 

Platforms that offer delivery time optimization, email triggers, and user flows that rely on users opening or clicking on specific components of an email will need to be adjusted. Geolocation dependencies are another feature that is impacted. Be aware of how your email platform is currently being used and ensure you adapt.

Understanding Apple’s MPP is the first step one, adapting to accommodate is step two, and step three is evolving to flourish in the ever-changing landscape. At IOI, we are always here to help our clients understand the landscape of email marketing and thrive in reaching their customers.