The dreaded emergence of Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) may not be as bad as predicted — yet. But give it time.
Only 48% of Apple users have upgraded to
iOS15, which brings MPP with it, according to Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection: How Email Senders Can Adapt, a study by Twilio SendGrid.
But that could be because iOS 14 still
provides popular features. Typically, it takes six to eight months to achieve 80% user adoption, says Luke Martinez, manager, delivery operations at Twilio SendGrid.
The study points to
serious challenges as the open rate becomes a less viable metric because of the prevalence of machine opens caused by MPP.
MPP has triggered 18.2% of the unique opens —
machine opens that do not reflect human engagement — processed by Twilio SendGrid since September 20, when the program went into effect.
With that in mind, Twilio SendGrid
lists these issues that every email sender should be aware of:
- MPP could affect any mailbox configured with Apple Mail, even if recipients don’t regularly use it. Case in
point: “If your customer tends to check their Gmail account via a Safari browser on their phone, their messages can still be marked as a false open provided they’ve given Apple permission
to ‘protect Mail activity,’ the study warns.
- Email open rates may now be inflated and less reliable — Apple Mail will load all email content sent to MPP
opt-ins regardless of user engagement, resulting in nonhuman, machine or false opens.
- Hidden IP addresses will make it impossible for brands to use subscribers’
geolocations to send localized content.
- Machine opens will interfere with email automations triggered by the open rate — i.e., sending the next email in the cadence
based on opens.
- Machine opens will interfere with good list hygiene — i.e, the removal of inactive subscribers.
What can brands do about all
this? Twilio SendGrid advises email senders to:
- Look beyond the open rate as a metric — utilize such measurements as click-through, conversion and revenue per email.
Also, study negative engagement metrics: the bounce rate delivery rate, unsubscribe rate and spam complaints.
- Benchmark your data — Review historical data and track
changes over time. Twilio SendGrid offers this data on MPP-influenced total opens by mailbox provider: Google (8.5%), Microsoft (10%), Yahoo/mail
(18.7%) and Apple (32%).
- Rethink engagement campaigns — Win-back emails gives recipients a final chance to engage. Still, it may no longer suffice to use
the fact that a recipient never opened your email as the criteria for a win-back campaign.
- Ask for user preferences upfront — That is, ask subscribers for choices
that you may have been able to infer through A/B testing in the past, like send time.
- Adopt SMS and MMS — SMS can be a powerful tool when used in combination with
Here are some tips from another source: Melissa Coleman, vice president of customer success at Adjust. Coleman advises marketers to create a double opt-in in
the initial sign-up, using these devices to drive subscriptions:
- Offer a coupon or discount — Beauty
brand Bliss offers a 20% discount toward a subscriber’s first order when they opt-in to receive emails.
- Ask for an
opt-in with a pop-up or in-app message.
- Test and improve — Use A/B testing to find which creative has the biggest impact your conversion rate.
- Time it right — test to find the best timing to make the ask. “Launching a pop-up right after install may lead to a user to instantly opt-out, but
the same user may be more willing to receive emails once you’ve demonstrated the value of your app,” Coleman writes.
- Use clear and compelling
copy — Let users know the value your emails provide, and give them a reason to say yes.