Apple Mail users have not opted in to Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) as quickly as doomsayers expected, judging by numbers provided by Validity.
There was single-digit adoption during launch week starting on September 20. The number climbed to 10% last week, and this week it stands at 19.96% so far.
“Some industry commentators were expecting even more of a ‘big bang,” Validity notes.
Why hasn’t this explosion happened?
For one thing, iOS adoption is not instantaneous. Previous releases have typically achieved a two-thirds rate of adoption after 2-3 months and 90% adoption within nine months, Validity says.
Moreover, phased global release means many non-U.S. users were not immediately prompted to opt-in to MPP.
Validity has also seen some anecdotal feedback that “the level of consumers opting in to MPP isn’t as high as expected,” it says. “Mixpanel is reporting 22.3% iOS adoption — if we divide that by our 20% MPP adoption, it suggests a 9 in 10 opt-in rate.”
That’s still high, “but suggesting that there will possibly be an opt-out cohort generating ‘traditional’ metrics that is large enough to be statistically valid, and whose insights can be applied to the full Apple Mail population.”
The impact of Apple Privacy Proxy is “more clearly visible when we isolate the Apple data,” Validity writes. “While the uplift is already impressive in percentage terms, the true scale becomes apparent in the absolute numbers.”
Validity continues, “Even after day 2 we were already seeing >10M pixel fires per day from Apple mail users. Remember that part of MPP’s impact is on Gmail/Microsoft/Yahoo etc.”
It’s too early to say if brands are being hurt by MPP, or what the overall impact is. Some email senders haven’t paid much attention to it, although it has been public since June, says Kate Adams, senior vice president of marketing for Validity.
What should email marketers do?
For starters, they should look at their reputation metrics and inbox placement rates — a proxy for their open rates, Adam says.
“Mailbox providers are looking at your reputation score,” she adds. “It’s enough to look at the delivery rate from your ESP — this just means your message is sent.”
The bigger question is: Will your email end up in the promotion or spam folder?
Marketers will also have to look “further down conversion metrics” like who’s clicking or visiting your website.
And, Adams adds, “there’s nothing that says email has to be a one-sided conversation. If you send an email and someone clicks, why not start a conversation — what are your thoughts?” This leads to engagement.
In general, Validity saw a slight decrease in global mail volume in September, although it picked up again in the later weeks.
The inbox placement rate had a small but visible increase in July, August and September, leading to a small but visible decrease in the spam rate.
The MPP adoption began a steady climb on September 21, one day after launch. There was a downward trend between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m., when people were sleeping.
Last month, Validity announced it had enhanced the analytics within its Everest platform to help clients deal with MPP.
Everest will help marketers get a more complete view of campaign performance, including inbox placement rates and sender reputation signals, the firm said.
Combined with click-through rates, conversion rates and other metrics, brands will get a picture that goes beyond open rates, it adds.