New privacy features: What you should know

The open rate is one of the most popular metrics. It provides a rough overview of the success of an email campaign and is often used in A/B testing. In fact, it is indispensable. But Apple's new privacy features are now set to throw a spanner in the works. We clarify.

Written by Hannah Krüger

Apple prevents Email Tracking


Open rate is one of the most popular and widely used metrics. It is easy to track, quickly recognizable and provides a rough overview of the success of an email campaign. If it is high, the subject line as well as the sending time have been convincing. The number of opens is also enormously important in A/B testing and decides which subject line is best received. But what if all this is no longer possible due to Apple's new data protection regulations?



What is Apple Mail Privacy Protection?

Apple announced Apple Mail Privacy Protection, or email privacy features, in June 2021. With the iOS 15 update, Apple users will have more control over their data within the Apple Mail app in the future. Starting with the fall 2021 release, they will be able to decide whether to share their IP address as well as other data such as their location. If the features are activated, it will be more difficult for senders to track subscribers' activities.

“In the Mail app, email privacy prevents senders from collecting information about users using invisible pixels. The new feature allows users to prevent senders from knowing when they open an email. It also masks your IP address, so it cannot be linked to other online activities or used to determine your location.”
Official announcement from Apple


Apple Is Blocking The Tracking Of Email Openings 

With the new feature, sent emails are first routed to the proxy server at Apple. This stores all media files of the e-mail. This also includes the invisible pixel that stores the openings of an e-mail. 

As a result, since Apple opens the emails before the recipient, the email is also indicated as opened. The open rate is thus permanently at 100% among Apple users. That clicks great at first, but it's not. Because the actual opening by the recipient can no longer be counted. 


And this has consequences for email marketing due to falsified KPIs. 

Which Functions Are Affected?

  • A/B Testing: Testing different subject lines for open rate is limited

  • Email automation: The opening is a popular trigger. If emails are opened without the recipients, automation campaigns are played out incorrectly

  • Personalization: Location-specific content is displayed incorrectly

  • Email lists: Cleaning up inactive users using open rate is limited


Which Recipients Are Affected?

Affected are Apple users who have installed the iOS 15 update and use the Apple Mail app and have activated Mail Privacy Protection. Subscribers who read their newsletters with Gmail, Outlook & Co. (regardless of their device) are not affected. Tracking remains unchanged for them. 



With JUNE It's (Much) Easier 

You use JUNE for your online marketing activities? Then we can reassure you. With JUNE, you don't have to worry about falsified KPIs and faulty content. Tracking of all KPIs (including open rate) will still be there. Despite the iOS 15 update, you can still track the opens of your Apple Mail users with JUNE. The location of your users also remains visible. Most of your dynamic content continues to work. So you can create, run and analyze your campaigns as before. 


These functions are still possible with JUNE:


  • Tracking of all KPIs (including open rate)
  • Location information 
  • Carousel 
  • Video 
  • Surveys 
  • Forms / Opt-in
  • Appointment booking 


Successful email campaigns thanks to A/B testing