How Apple’s new email privacy update reinforces the value of print

Print is a wonderful marketing tool, and email is, too. Email is fast, highly responsive, and easily tracked and tested. At least, until Apple iOS 15.

Released in September 2021, Apple’s new iOS 15 contains a feature called Mail Privacy Protection (MPP), which prevents email marketers from tracking the behavior of email recipients. For users who opt in to this feature, email marketers can no longer track opens and related data, including the device, time, and location of these opens. This makes it more challenging for email marketers to assess recipients’ engagement with a campaign, as well as to personalize emails and test different headlines, messages, and offers.

More than half of all email opens (52%) occur on Apple devices. While the MPP feature is optional, more than 97% of Apple iOS  15 users have reportedly enabled it. This means that businesses must use other methods to gain insight into the preferences and behavior of those on their lists.

What can you do?

Don’t Panic:

Email marketing is still a great way to engage with customers and prospects. Even with less visibility into engagement on certain devices, email remains an important part of the multi-channel mix.

Remember that Visibility Hasn’t Totally Disappeared:

You can integrate other tracking tools, such as clickable links and images, personalized URLs, and messaging-specific landing pages.

Invest in Other Customer Data:

If you want to learn more about your customers, consider purchasing data from third parties. This is a great way to deepen your knowledge of those customers and maintain accuracy in your email list.

Boost Your First-Party Data Strategies:

Don’t forget that you can gather your own data through surveys and other measures, too.

Rely More Heavily on Direct Mail:

Add tracking and measurement tools on your mailers, such as personalized URLs, campaign- and messaging-specific landing pages, and QR codes, barcodes, and discount codes to track conversion. Direct mail remains a powerful, highly effective way to measure engagement with your messaging and offers, and it is not impacted by privacy tools and regulations.

Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection may create tracking challenges for email marketers, but it doesn’t dampen the power of email or multichannel marketing. It just encourages businesses to be more creative and lean more heavily into other channels, especially direct mail. Maybe that’s a good thing.