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Apple's new privacy update and your Analytics
Apple's new privacy update and your Analytics

Understand how Apple's new privacy update could impact your Analytics and what to do about it

Nella avatar
Written by Nella
Updated over a week ago

*** NB: This update only affects Apple Mail users, therefore it will not impact recipients who use other email providers such as Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo etc… ***

Following the release of Apple new privacy feature in iOS 15 and Mac OS Monterey, your contacts using Apple Mail now have the option to enable a new feature called Mail Privacy Protection. This will limit the ability to accurately determine:

  • Whether or when an email has been opened

  • Where your contact is located when they open it

  • The type of device your contact is using

Still, rest assured that:

  • Your emails will continue to be available to your readers using Apple Mail

  • Engagement within an email (click activity and click rate) will still be collected

  • This doesn’t affect other email providers as it only applies to Apple Mail users

How it works:

Currently, with open tracking enabled, Publicate places a tiny, transparent image (a single-pixel that isn't visible in the email) into each newsletter. The pixel loads each time an email is opened, which we count and report. Opens help us estimate a contact's location and determine their device type.

If a contact enables Apple Mail Privacy Protection, Apple Mail will preload pixels, even if your contact hasn’t opened the email. That means we will not be able to accurately count opens, estimate location, or determine device type for these contacts and likely all emails present in Apple Mail will be reported as "opened" regardless of the contact's activity, resulting in inflated and inaccurate open rates.

Impacts to anticipate:

  • You might notice distorted numbers for opens, a lower “Clicks per unique open” rate, and potentially inaccurate geolocation and email client reporting but only for any contacts who use Apple Mail and enable the Mail Privacy Protection feature.

  • Although reported opens by Apple Mail users may inflate your overall open rates, you’ll still be able to see other analytics data. Clicks are stronger signs of engagement than opens anyway, and we don’t expect these to be impacted by Apple Mail Privacy Protection.

Our advice to measure engagement without relying exclusively on Opens:

We recommend expanding your measurements using other winning metrics such as clicks, click-through rates, newsletter and content shares.

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