Email marketing is often the cornerstone of a small business owner’s online marketing plan. Among the many reasons is the ability to know and track how many people have opened your email, where and how.
However, the new Apple privacy changes will have an effect on the accuracy of your statistics going forward.
Apple has announced that it will be rolling out privacy changes to its mail app that will be taking place between now and November, with iOS 15.
The changes are similar to the app tracking privacy they introduced earlier this year and will affect people using an iPhone, iPad, Mac computers, and Apple Watch.
It’s called Protect Mail Activity and if people choose to activate it, when an email is received, their device will automatically download images but block information about when and how the email was opened.
How does this impact your email marketing?
This matters because software such as Constant Contact and MailChimp rely on a user downloading a one-pixel image which pings back to the server marking the email as opened. So now, everybody on your list who uses the Apple mail app and has activated the privacy option will appear to have opened your email. Litmus estimates that 52 percent of emails are opened on an Apple device.
As an email marketer, your two key metrics are open rate (the percentage of people who open an email) and click rate (the percentage of those who open an email AND click a link).
This means your open rates are going to skyrocket and your click rate is going to plummet. The new Protect Mail Activity renders these two metrics useless.
Here’s the thing though, nothing is changing in the real world. When somebody clicks on a link in your email, they’re still tracked, which is something you’ve likely been paying attention to all along.
It may be important for some businesses to know where their emails are being opened and on which device, but as a realtor, chances are you’re working in a specific geographic area, and this will not have a great impact at all.
What can you do?
You’ll have to change your thinking around measuring success with your email marketing.
Start paying more attention to people who are clicking links – and what links they are clicking. These are real people telling you what they have found interesting in your email. If you’re looking to segment your list to get more targeted with what you’re sending out, this is where you’ll want to look, rather than only targeting people who have opened your email.
It’s worth paying attention to your open rates for the first few months after these changes roll out, this will give you a baseline. Once you have this baseline, you will know if the number of people opening your email is moving up or down and you can start to respond accordingly.
If you have any questions about this or anything else email related, please get in touch!