It’s been over a year since Apple released Mail Privacy Protection (MPP), a privacy feature that has disrupted how email marketers collect, activate, and measure email data. In Forrester’s Q2 B2C Marketing CMO Pulse Survey, 2022, 68% of respondents were concerned about MPP’s impact on their email marketing efforts — and we expect marketer agitation to continue this holiday season. Here are the key points you need to know about MPP so that misconceptions don’t further aggravate existing challenges:

  • MPP obfuscates tracking pixels and IP addresses. Proxy servers intercept and preload message content before recipients actually see or interact with the email. Servers automatically fire the tracking pixels and randomly assign a new IP address to the recipient. In essence, the servers now masquerade as the user, so the pixels capture inaccurate and unreliable data. For example, all delivered mail looks “opened,” time stamps are incorrect, and device information is absent.
  • MPP isn’t available to everyone. It is an option for only those using Apple’s Mail application on devices with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, or watchOS 8.5 or later. While it’s not a default setting, around 90% of Apple Mail users have opted in.

Ensure That MPP-Proof Solutions Are In Your Holiday Planning

MPP will be especially challenging during the holiday for two reasons: (1) Marketers struggle for visibility into the behavioral data they used historically to guide holiday communications and (2) more consumers receive more updated Apple devices as holiday gifts. To mitigate MPP’s negative impact on your holiday season, be sure to:

  • Benchmark MPP’s impact on your organization. Litmus’ monthly reports have showed that the MPP client has consistently accounted for over 50% of opens since February 2022. Understanding which recipients are “reliably unreliable” will help you diagnose open-rate inflation and create separate audiences for testing.
  • Measure beyond the open rate. Across measurement, deliverability, and activation, take inventory of the tactics that depend on open data and swap in alternate indicators. Instead: prioritize lower-funnel metrics, such as revenue per email.
  • Create experiences that work for all audiences. Your holiday countdown timers, store locators, or any other dynamic content that relies on open data or IP addresses won’t render correctly for MPP recipients. Instead: Create dual experiences for Apple and non-Apple audiences, or base content on send time rather than open time. Even better: Double down on your permissioned data collection strategies and base email content on zero– and first-party data.

Interested in learning more about MPP and how to handle it? Schedule an inquiry with us! And be on the lookout for our soon-to-be-published report, Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection Complicates A Trusted Channel.