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?