With the arrival of the iOS 15 update in September 2021, Apple once again proved its desire to prioritize the confidentiality of the data of its users. The brand has presented Mail Privacy Protection, a feature specially designed to protect the confidentiality of emails. Good news for users in terms of data protection, but what about emailing specialists? What impact on their campaigns?

What does the Apple Mail Privacy Protection?

The English term “ Mail Privacy Protection” refers to the protection of email confidentiality. This feature, specific to the Apple Mail app, aims to better protect the privacy of Apple users and prevent email shippers from using hidden pixels to retrieve information about the email activity of these same users.

Once activated, this feature hides the IP address of the contact. Shippers are then unable to associate this address with other online activities and to know the location of the person. They can not check if the sent email has been opened or not.

The Mail Privacy Protection feature only has open emails from the Apple Mail app, regardless of the messaging service used. It is available on the email application of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 devices (since September 2021), as well as on the MacBooks.

Mail Privacy Protection: How does it work for users?

When you open an email, the data related to your activity can be retrieved by the sender without the slightest transparency and without request, do not even know what type of information has been shared. The sender can then know when you opened his message, how many times, if you transferred it, and so on. It can also recover your IP address as well as other data that will allow it to determine your user behavior and geolocation.

By choosing the Mail Privacy Protection option, email shippers (Apple included) can no longer access this information about your activity in the App Mail.

Install Mail Privacy Protection on iPhone and iPad

iphone mail privacy protection
Go to “Settings”, then “Mail”, then “Protection of Privacy”. Enable “Protect your activity in Mail”.

Install Mail Privacy Protection on Mac

app mail privacy protection
Go to your Mac’s app mail, choose “Mail”, “Preferences”, and then click “Privacy”. Select “Protect Mail Activity”.

The “Protect Mail Activity” option is not enabled by default, it is up to you to decide on its installation or not. At the same time, few are those who would refuse additional protection for their data.

If you choose to activate Mail Privacy Protection, your IP address will be hidden to shippers. The content of the messages will be downloaded in private mode in the background when you receive a message, and this even if you do not open the emails. The sender will not be able to know how you interact with the email (actual opening, transfer, etc.). In addition, instead of sharing your email address with the sender, Apple’s agent network will assign you a random IP address, preventing the sender of knowing exactly where you are.

What impact for emailing?

Although this feature is very positive for Apple users, it does not jump with the professionals of emailing, far from it. Why ? Simply because Mail Privacy Protection prevents from determining precisely which users have opened the email sent since all are noted as “open”, thus distorting the calculation of the opening rate. A major problem since campaign analyzes and the resulting strategies are largely influenced by this same opening rate that needs to be fair.

The sender only receives general information, not more information related to the recipient’s activity (opening of emails, geographic location and type of device used to read the email), which makes the task to send more arduous custom content.

This new privacy feature on iOS 15 and Mac OS Monterey is certainly binding for marketers emails, but nothing is lost if you are part of it. First because the user’s share of the Apple Mail application is not necessarily the majority in your contact lists. In addition, even if your visibility is bad, your emails still continue to be distributed. Finally, you can always choose to base yourself on the clicking rate, so on the commitment of users, rather than on the opening rate. Same for rebounds, unsubscriptions and conversions that are also good indices. All is to know adapt.