June 24, 2022
Are you feeling cozy with your email analytics? Get ready for a blast of cold arctic air because stats like open rate and click-thru rate no longer work. Blame it on Apple. In September 2021, Apple introduced its Mail Privacy Protection on all new devices. Here's how it works: Any message sent through the Apple Mail application is cached on an Apple server. The server downloads all the images and keeps them handy in a cache, preventing email marketers from collecting information about user email habits.
With the old analytics scheme, it appears that all emails are open, when sent through MAIL. And that's why your email open rates have soared over the past year. Sorry about that. Note: There is evidence that Google's Gmail is starting to pre-open messages, too.
New Apple devices ship with MPP activated, and there is a setting to turn it off. But that's as likely as an igloo in your backyard surviving July.
What you need to know.
You can no longer judge the success of a campaign by open rates. Operations that depend on open rates, like time of day and location, are kaput, too, which affects:
- Re-engagement campaigns sent to lapsed subscribers
- Automated nurture cycles which trigger subsequent emails
- Campaigns that depend on time optimization, for example you want all subscribers in all time zones to receive an email an hour before Happy Hour
- A/B tests that depend on an open rate to select a winner
- When targeting that depends on the last opened date or time of day
Switch to Clicks
Overall, clicks will become the key metric to measure engagement. CTOR (click-thru rate to opens) looks attractive, too. You can calculate CTOR by dividing unique clicks by unique opens multiplied by 100 (unique clicks/unique opens x 100); for example, if there are 2000 unique opens and 150 unique clicks the CTOR would be 7.6%. Google Analytics can be your friend, too, by tracking the amount of traffic to your website and conversions generated by your campaign.
Focus on Engagement
With the advent of MPP, email marketers need to focus on generating clicks from their campaigns. Try designing more interactive emails, like polls, surveys, and trivia quizzes to engage your audience, and design emails that visually and textually drive users to the call to action. A/B can help, too, by evaluating the components of your email that could increase clicks, like button colors and labels, design, graphics, and copy.
The silver lining is that MPP is good for consumers, and it pushes email marketers to create more effective campaigns.
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