Apple is Ending Email Open Rates. I Argue It’s a Good Thing

Apple recently announced Mail Privacy Protection which threatens to take away marketers’ data on email open rates. 

The update will hit when people update their phones to iOS 15 this Fall. Much like the iOS 14 update that wrecked Facebook tracking, iPhone users will have the option to opt in or out of email tracking. 

Here’s how Apple describes Mail Privacy Protection:

In the Mail app, Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. The new feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email, and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.

According to data from Litmus on Apple Mail users, this update could affect:

  • 94% of phone-based email opens
  • 58% of desktop-based email opens

In My Opinion The Update Will Mostly Affect:

  • Cold email outreach.
  • People trying to get the most out of poor performing lists.
  • Out of touch executives looking at vanity metrics.
  • Marketers trying to optimize the heck out of their list via subject lines and sender name modifications. (This is the only group I kinda feel bad about.

My Verdict

Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection is not taking away click through rates. You will still be able to create a UTMs for every email and see which campaigns performed.

Open rates are a nice micro-conversion but if I know I have a legitimate list, my measure of success is always click through rates and leads and/or revenue. 

Ultimately I think these changes will favor marketers who legitimately engage their audiences with strong content and incredible storytelling. In other words, it’s a change but it’s actually kind of a good thing. 

Agree? Disagree? 

About the author: Entrepreneur with ten years of experience running a digital marketing agency out of New York City. I work with startups and brands such as Virgin Airlines, L2 Inc (Gartner), American Express, Fabletics, LOFT, and more. When I’m not helping companies increase their audience and revenues, I love to travel, sail, and read. I also moonlight as a bartender at a classic cocktail bar.