Apple has always said that they are privacy focused and they usually are except when they are not.
Here is a case where they are and if you do email marketing, it is going to spell trouble.
Version 15 of the iPhone, Mac and Watch OSes are coming out on September 20th. For users of Apple mail, amount 50% of the market, Apple is going to do several things to enhance their privacy and reduce your ability to track them.
If you have a negative attitude, you might think that Apple did this on purpose to mess with Facebook and Google. Nah, probably not. Hah!
There is an option that will be added to Apple mail with that release so that users can opt in to proxying all of their mail through Apple’s proxy servers in Mountain View.
When Apple required users to opt IN to tracking in third party apps a couple of months ago, ONLY FOUR PERCENT OPTED IN. Said differently, 96% said that they did not want to be tracked.
If that even closely translates to the email world, 90+ percent of the users will ask Apple to add privacy to their emails.
What is going to happen?
Apple will open all emails in Mountain View (and other data centers) and that will trigger tracking pixels. That means that it will look like 100% of your emails were opened. If you do A/B email testing, it will look like each option was exactly as effective as the next one.
If your email has links that are location sensitive (i.e. Colorado users get Colorado ads), then everyone will look like they live in Mountain View.
If you do targeting by IP address, that won’t work either.
The actual tracking beacons will be deleted by Apple and not passed on to the user.
If you use any form of countdown timers, the countdown will start when the proxy server opens the email.
Other email tricks such as lead-nurturing, auto resend and others will need to be rethought.
On the other side, this will force senders to be more GDPR and CCPA compliant with respect to recipient’s privacy.
There are likely some things that you can do, but it is going to require rethinking things. Now is a good time to start thinking about what you are going to do.
For more info, check out Mailerlite’s blog post here.