By now, you’ve surely heard of Apple’s new privacy policy changes. We’ve already discussed how its negatively impacted advertising on Facebook, which has sent advertisers running to Amazon. We’ve now also come to learn that how Apple manages emails has drastically changed.

Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection for iOS/iPadOS15 and Monterey OS will do two key things:

  • Every email image will load on a remote proxy server (meaning, it won’t happen on a user’s device.)
  • It will hide the IP address loads. You won’t be able to track what IP is reading your email, which makes following the customer journey complicated.

What does this mean for you?

Every email read in Apple Mail will show a 100% open rate because images are preloaded on a remote server. You’re not going to be able to tell a true open rate for these emails. You might think, sure, sounds bad, but only 39% of all email clients use Apple Mail. And while you’d be right, an estimated 93% of mobile app email clients are on an Apple device. That number is far too great to ignore.

Instead, you’re going to need to start focusing on clicks. Forget tracking A/B headlines to test open rate. Start A/B testing links within your emails to see what is getting clicks.

Using open rates to measure the best time to send an email is over. Everything you send to an Apple Mail device will show an open receipt, regardless of whether the user truly opened the email or not.

Drip campaigns triggered on opens will automatically begin, whether the individual opened that email or not. Don’t waste your effort or metrics on this. Trigger those campaigns based on clicks.

From here on out, you need to measure your email reach with these three metrics:

  • Web traffic from email clicks. Make sure every link in your email is being tracked through Google Analytics
  • App installs. If you’ve asked subscribers to download an app, check your app store analytics to follow where your installs come from.
  • New business. Survey new clients (or prospects) to see how they heard about you. Because this is now such a valuable indicator to how your emails are performing, its not a bad idea to offer something in return (a coupon code, a free webinar, early access to a new product launch, etc.).

The bottom line? Make your emails worthy of clicks. Yes, the subject line still has to make them want to read it, but your email marketing now has to push hard for those clicks to see what’s working and track where users go. Brightside is this: the new privacy policy can only force us all to improve our email marketing. And better, more effective emails mean better, more impressive sales. That’s a win in our book.