Apple is hard to pin down as a company. They’re either doing something really innovative and cool, or they’re making your life needlessly complicated for seemingly no reason. For example, the iPhone was revolutionary when it was released, ushering in a new era of mobile technology that changed the world as we know it… They also released a mouse that needs to be charged from the bottom when it runs out of battery, rendering it completely useless for the charge time. That was certainly a choice.

Well, near the end of last year, Apple debuted a new privacy feature for its mail app called “Mail Privacy Protection” (MPP), and while their intentions were noble, it’s been a bit of a pain for email marketers. We wanted to make sure you were aware of the implications of this feature, and know what to do about it. Let’s get into it.

What Is MPP?

It begins with an opt-in prompt. Your Apple device will give the user the option to “Protect Mail Activity”, and if they

choose to do so, their IP address will be hidden, leaving you unable to determine their location or link their mail activity to their other online activities. It also prevents you as a marketer from seeing if and when the recipient opened your email message. What essentially happens is that Apple is receiving the email, opening it automatically, and downloading the content, preventing you from accurately tracking your opens. They’re all going to look like opens. It also downloads the content through proxy servers, so any device behavior reports will also be inaccurate.

In Terms Of Privacy, That Sounds… Good?

It is. Prioritizing privacy for your users is extremely important, and the shift towards protecting private data is

not only good but necessary. Does this put a hiccup in your email marketing, though? It does. Both those things can be true. This privacy measure is needed, AND it can mess with your A/B testing, automated workflows, and just general reporting based on open rates. So what can you do about it?

Do Your Best!

Your best is all you can do, and you can do that by analyzing the data you’ve got. Check your analytics, and figure out how

much of your database is using Apple Mail. Marketing Cloud Account Engagement now even has a feature that will show you which percent of users have opted into MPP! Once you have that information, you can adjust your automation rules to be better suited for your lists, and you can minimize the impact on your reporting data.

This post was about a specific concern within your marketing environment, but one that should be taken into account when using open rates for your ongoing strategies. It’s one of those nuances that–if you aren’t paying attention–you can easily miss and see your data skewed. We make it our business to be aware of these changes, and prepare you for them. To see what else can be achieved using our Marketing Cloud Expertise, sign up for a free demo today. Let us make your data beautiful.

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