Optimists once wondered if the impact of Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection on email open rates would stabilize over time.
It hasn’t happened. On the contrary, open rates — a defining metric for many marketers — rose by 93.5% YoY in the first eight months of 2022.
The difference can be seen in a comparison of the first eight months of the past four years:
The effect was seen from the very beginning. Apple MPP went into effect on September 20, 2021, and open rates were affected as follows:
Was that lift in December a seasonal trend? No, it did not exist in previous years. In fact, the average rate in Q4 2021 was 59% higher than that of the first nine months of the year.
Omnisend analyzed 15 billion marketing emails sent by its clients from the iOD 15 release on September 20, 2021 to September 1, 2022, along with 20 billion emails sent prior to that dating back to 2019.
All these emails were promotional, featuring special offers, discounts, new products, and other offerings. Automated behavior-based messages were not included since these rates are typically 80% higher than those of scheduled campaign emails.
What can email marketers make of these findings?
“It’s definitive: iOS 15 has significantly impacted email marketing open rates for ecommerce brands and the reliance on open rate, a primary email marketing metric, is a thing of the past,” Omnisend writes.
“Evolving from an open-based strategy to a more engagement-based strategy is not a bad thing. In fact, the opposite is true,” the study says.
Omnisend recommends this five-point program for dealing with the problem:
- Combine open and click activity to identify unengaged contacts.
- Optimize email subject lines and preheader text.
- Use AB Testing criteria.
- Use click activity inside of automated workflows.
- Incorporate SMS.