Holiday Apple Pie: MPP Is Having An Impact At A Bad Time

Apple’s MPP has not yet destroyed email marketing, as some pundits feared it would. Nor is it helping, judging by “Apple MPP: Squeezing Until The Engagement Pips Squeak!,” a report posted last week by Validity. 

For one thing, 32% of all email “opens” are now generated by pixel files from Apple’s proxy.

For another, complaint rates have doubled, although this may be largely due to the one piece of good news reported by Validity -- that unsubscribe rates have decreased by a third from the prior 12-month benchmark of 0.09%. 

Why this decline in unsubscribes? One possible reason is that MPP has given people more trust in the emails they do get. Or it could be that “pre-loaded images are making unsubscribe links (often located in email footers) less accessible in fully rendered emails,” writes Guy Hanson, vice president of customer engagement for Validity. 



Still, the hike in complaint rates points right to Apple. A major Validity client analyzed the data from recent complaints and found that 97% of the increased volume came from the iOS Mail app.  

And there is a higher likelihood that inactive email subscribers will end up as recycled spam traps because it will be harder to identify them when all emails are reported as opened. Recycled spam traps are old email addresses that are no longer used and redesignated by mailbox providers.

Either way, there has been an increase in recycled spam trap hits. This could reflect “senders mailing to less-active subscribers as they scale up for the peak sales season.” But it could also be related to MPP and to  “the increasing challenges around maintaining high-quality data.”

Of course, email subscriber fatigue was apparent even before MPP. 

Hanson wryly notes this change in Apple’s privacy policy.  

This is the old one:  

“Pixel tags enable us to send email messages in a format that you can read, and they tell us whether mail has been opened. We may use this data to reduce or eliminate messages sent to customers.”  This was removed. 

Add it all up, and it shows that “MPP is taking root quickly, jeopardizing sender reputations and deliverability just when companies can least afford it—the business-critical peak sales season,” Hanson concludes. 

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