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Newsletters after Apple Mail’s privacy changes

ARE POST-MPP OPEN RATES MEANINGLESS?

AUTHOR

Melissa Turner
VP of content, SmartBrief

PUBLISHED

May 9, 2024

When Apple Mail implemented its Mail Privacy Protection framework blocking email senders from collecting certain user data in 2021, one of the most important – and straightforward – email metrics got a little more muddy.

Apple announced in July 2021 that its MPP framework would prevent email senders from collecting user activity data by way of hidden pixels that transmit information back to the sender once they are loaded, conveying not just that an email was opened, but also information about when, where and how it was viewed. Those pixels are what historically allowed calculation of open rates, a key metric for quantifying the impact of email marketing.

The upshot of the MPP change for marketers – and the platforms they use to reach inboxes – is that ORs are far less reliable than they used to be if Apple Mail users are in the mix. Any OR calculation that counts Apple Mail users is likely to be inflated, and sometimes dramatically so because any email that lands in an inbox where MPP is turned on registers as an open.

Although marketers and email service providers have adapted in various ways, consensus around how OR should be measured and interpreted remains elusive. Here’s how the team at Future B2B, where 300-plus newsletters are powered by the purpose-built SmartBrief email engine, thinks about the issue … and the upshot for marketers, however they get their message to inboxes.

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Read the full free report by Future B2B here.

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