Prepare for Apple's Mail Privacy Protection

July 29 2021

“A wake-up call for email marketers,” that is what email experts call Apple's upcoming iOS update, which introduces Mail Privacy Protection. It prevents senders seeing if, where and when an email is opened by users. Technically, Apple will download all images in emails immediately after sending, including the tracking pixel. The 'Open' senders will register is therefore no longer similar with the actual users open. The Open Rate, the percentage of users who open an email, will become largely unreliable. It is now an important metric to determine engagement for email campaigns. The real IP address of users is also protected by Apple in the privacy setting.

  • Impact on your campaigns
  • Extra help for our customers
  • Tips to prepare

Impact on your campaigns

In the United States, 45% of all emails sent are received on an Apple device (iPhone, iPad, iMac). It is expected that this will be similar in the Netherlands and that 80 to 90% of these users will choose the privacy setting. It will therefore have a major impact on email marketing strategies:

  • Openrates becomes significantly less reliable as statistic
  • Campaign and automation workflows dependent on Opens and Non-opens needs adjustment
  • Customer segments based on engagement, with Opens as a condition must needs adjustment
  • List hygiene determined based on recency of whether the number of Opens needs adjustment
  • IP-based geo-segmentation from email wil be useless, as the real IP address is no longer shown

Email experts expect that other tech giants will follow Apple in time. As marketers, as always, we continue to look for the best channels, KPIs, segmentation techniques and automations to determine engagement and behavior, where our users get the experience they expect.


Extra help for our customer

Everyone involved in email will be affected by Apple’s changes. And to quote an old advertising slogan in the Netherlands, we can’t make it more fun for marketers, but we can make it easier. When interested we will set up a video conference with your Ternair consultant in which you can address the problems you will face with the new update.

Please, let us know by e-mail or phone when you are interested.


Tips to prepare, what you need to consider now

  • It is important to consider new KPIs to measure engagement and behavior of your (email) campaigns. For example, assessing bounce and unsubscribe rates more emphatically
  • For A/B testing of email subject lines, you may want to shift to measuring clicks. Clicks in emails remain measurable and traceable as before. And ultimately, the goal of your campaigns is usually to generate conversions.
  • Clear out inactive contacts in your lists: recipients who don’t open emails.
  • Where you determine customer segments on the basis of engagement, you can no longer take the Openrate into account. Alternatively, consider clicks, purchases, and customer contacts to expand the criteria. The numbers may shrink, but it’s a good way to maintain engagement segments.
  • Check out new channels again. Now is the time to look at channels like SMS and Web Push notifications and include them in your marketing strategy. They are often relatively easy to use, they help increase your reach and conversion rates are often higher than expected. For example, you can send a text message if someone hasn’t clicked in an email yet.
  • Now is the time to fully measure your email conversion to the point of purchase. Instead of involvement, it takes actual purchasing behavior into account.



  • Apple’s iOS 15 update is going to be an email marketing challenge.
  • As a marketer you need to rethink the way you measure customer engagement, creating (personalized) user experiences is becoming increasingly important.
  • Ternair will provide a video conference consultancy for all clients (interested, let us know at
  • Decide which KPIs you want to improve, which campaigns need adjustments and which new (personalized) channels you want to use, such as SMS.
  • We’ll see how Apple Mail users actually use the iOS 15 update and how it will affect campaigns. But creative marketers don’t wait, they get ready!

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