June 9

Apple Blocks Email Open Pixels in iOS 15 – Engagement Will Suffer at Gmail & Yahoo?


June 9, 2021

On June, 7th, an Apple.com press release said:

“In the Mail app, Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. The new feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email, and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.”

UPDATE: 06-10-2021 – Two major ESPs and Postmasters have said today: “Apple will destroy open data by creating an open on every email in the Apple mail app…” Other contacts have agreed with me, saying “We just don’t know…”

Apple went on to say:

“Expanding on the capabilities of Sign in with Apple, Hide My Email lets users share unique, random email addresses that forward to their personal inbox anytime they wish to keep their personal email address private. Built directly into Safari, iCloud settings, and Mail, Hide My Email also enables users to create and delete as many addresses as needed at any time, helping give users control of who is able to contact them.”

Apple introduces Mail Privacy Protection in the Mail app

Apple domains (icloud, mac and me .com) make up less than 1% of any list we have ever worked with in my email deliverability consultancy, Send13 SMTP traffic and Klean13 list scrubs, So who cares! Right?

Well here is the hitch…

The default email app that comes with every iPhone and iPad is responsible for 40.3% of all email delivery, Q1 2021, over any other email client.

This occurs because these Apple mail clients can pull in any of the Big 4 free email platforms emails, via IMAP.

Apple Mail, the desktop version is responsible for 11.5% of desktop email deliverability. But we are unsure if the mobile mail app 3rd party imports will show in desktop Mac mail.

So potentially blocking open pixels in Apple email clients, could affect Gmail, Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL, read on Apple mobile devices, Safari browsers and possibly Apple desktop mail.

“Gmail can’t be far behind in doing the same…” has been heard behind the scenes for some time now in supposition as well.

Let’s Look At Some Email Usage Facts Before The Sky Starts Falling

Email delivery client volume for 2021
Source: Q1 2021 – Nearly 3 billion email opens worldwide, anonymously collected by Litmus

“Now that we have proof of reach by Apple, what really worries you Chris?”

So this article is not about measuring opens for subject line testing and performance. Or judging list health and interests. Not even the marketing side of single digit opens vs. 25% or higher as a deliverability metric.

This is About Engagement and Deliverability!

How am I supposed to mail my client’s lists (75% on average Gmail.com addresses) and keep Gmail happy by limiting non-engagers from 60 to 90 or 120 days engagement segments (an open and or click)?

The same goes for Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL. All told The Big 4 comprise 90% of any email list our software or delivery / deliverability agency has ever worked with, in the last 10 years.

Will the Apple Email Mobile App affect the 90% of email sent by marketers? IE “The Big 4…”

(Probably but we don’t know yet)

While we don’t know the full details and probably won’t until fall and an iOS 15 release- That being September or even as late as November. Apple is located in California, under the new California Anti-Spam Law. GDPR is and has been high on every ESP and corporate radar and there will be more laws to come as a way of harvesting money. Hence privacy is high on any mailbox provider’s list.

But from a day one perspective, Apple Mail clients disrupting Gmail and the rest of the email-o-sphere’s email policies, to me seems more like one bad Apple upsetting the entire apple cart…

Or like many things we get all up in arms about, this may never come to affect most of the mail we send. We will have to wait and see this fall with iOS 15.

Find Out How Many Of Your Emails Are Going To Gmail Promotions Tab!

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