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    Impact of Apple iOS 15 Privacy Changes on Email Marketing

    Posted by Lakshmi Narayan V Nov 24, 2021 6:32:03 AM

    Apple has announced changes in the recent release of their iOS 15 privacy features that will impact email marketers and dependent eCommerce merchants. This includes a couple of important opt-in privacy protection features- namely Mail Privacy Protection and Protection against IP-based location detection. 

    These changes will marginally affect email marketers in terms of detecting open-rate metrics and data gathered based on IP-based location information. After sending out emails from GrayFox, when the metrics of the campaign come through, there will be a marginal discrepancy in the open rate metrics, if a number of your customers who are Apple users have opted for the “Hide My Email” feature on their Apple Mail. 

    What has changed?  

    Open rates of emails may be inflated as Apple will be loading the tracking pixels on behalf of their users. This will create multiple email open events that will generate minor discrepancies on the open rate metrics of your email campaigns on GrayFox. When Apple users select the “Hide My Email” option, many fake email ids will be created for the same user, which will be included in the statistic indicating the number of emails opened. It may seem that a larger number of your Apple-using customers have opened your emails, whereas in reality only a few have done so.

    What should you do?

    Since the open rate metrics are affected by the new privacy features, it is wiser to rely on other metrics such as clicks and click through rates. You can embed a link in your email and prompt your customers to click on it which will give you more accurate information on the impact created by your marketing campaigns on GrayFox.

    How big an impact is this?

    Apple mail users make up for 35% of the total number of email users. Out of this share, only those users who opt-in for the said privacy features will be responsible for the discrepancy in the data. Outlook, Gmail and other email providers haven’t announced similar privacy restrictions. So, you can still rely on the email open rates to some extent knowing that it is marginally inflated. However, it is wiser to prioritize other metrics over open rates given the direction of changes in privacy features from service providers. Sooner or later, others may also follow suit.

    At the end of the day, this is a welcome change, as it protects the interests of buyers over sellers. It makes businesses rely more on in-bound marketing rather than depend on click-baitey email campaigns. It creates challenges in the feedback loop of your marketing strategy, but it can be overcome by reading other metrics that are more reliable. Please read the release note by Apple to understand the actual changes made in iOS 15.

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