When Apple announced Mail Privacy Protection, earlier this year, it threw marketers into a bit of a frenzy. No one knew exactly what the effects of the new feature would be, but we knew it’d change the way we thought about and reported email marketing metrics.
The announcement had shades of GDPR, for those in the digital marketing world who were around to remember it. And while it seems like MPP’s effects won’t be as broad, the feature still has wide-ranging implications for the future of email.
While a lot of marketers will mourn the loss of data like opens and geographic location, we’d argue that MPP is actually going to be a good thing for everyone involved in the email marketing industry.
How Mail Privacy Protection effects marketers
If you’ve heard the terms Mail Privacy Protection, MPP, or iOS 15 tossed around the past few months, but aren’t sure what they actually mean don’t worry! We’ll catch you up really quick.
In September, Apple released its new software update, iOS 15. And with it came a new feature: Mail Privacy Protection.
In short, MPP does two things:
- Effectively disables open tracking
- Obscures the user’s IP address, removing an email marketer’s ability to know their location
For more on how it works, make sure to check out our guide. But to understand what the feature actually does, those are the two things you need to know.
Now, while that might not sound too bad, there are some serious implications for email marketers. The first and most obvious implication is that MPP makes open rate tracking far less reliable, putting the future of open rates as a metric in serious jeopardy. And as if changing our metrics and reporting wasn’t enough, it also means you’ll probably want to rethink any automated journeys you have set up that have automation steps based on whether or not a person opens an email.
While the loss of geographic data might not seem quite as drastic, there are a lot of marketers who depend on that data for list segmentation purposes. For instance, if you plan on sending different emails to different subscribers based on location, that becomes a bit trickier. Rather than relying on collecting that data automatically, you’ll now have to ask your users for it first-hand.
Losing this data also means that send time optimization — a popular feature among ESPs — will be less dependable, as it won’t have location data for a lot of users.
Why this is good for the future of email
This doesn’t exactly sound like a win for marketers, does it? While we’d agree that the loss of some data and functionality is inconvenient, we do think MPP will ultimately be a good thing for the future of email.
How? Because MPP will force marketers to focus on the experience they’re creating, not optimize their campaigns for hollow metrics like open rate.
With all of the email marketing metrics available to us, it’s become too easy for marketers to define success by top-line metrics like open rate. While those metrics are helpful, they’re not the end goal.
Our hope with MPP is that marketers will feel less compelled to write a deceiving subject line that overpromises and underdelivers on what’s actually inside the email, and more compelled to deliver value and enhance their subscriber experience every chance they get.
And hey, by focusing more on the experience you’re creating with email and the value you’re giving your subscribers, odds are, your metrics will probably all start to look better anyway. Funny how that works