How Mail Privacy Protection Works
According to Apple, when someone selects the "Protect Mail activity" option in Apple Mail, here's what will happen moving forward:
All emails will be routed through a proxy server to pre-load message content, which includes pixels that contain information about the user. Whether or not someone physically opens an email, it will be registered as an open across all email marketing service platforms.
This upgrade will also limit the ability to accurately determine where a contact is located when they open your email and the type of device in use.
Click activity and click rate will still be reported for contacts who use iOS 15 Apple Mail.
What Does This Mean for Email Marketing Campaigns?
This Mail Privacy Protection process will likely be refined - and potentially more widespread - moving forward, but these changes will certainly alter email marketing reports right away.
Imagine sending an email to 1,000 people who use Apple Mail on iOS 15 (who have not opted out of the MPP), and 500 of them open your email and the other 500 don't. Your email marketing metrics are going to register a 100% open rate. That kind of inflated data could obviously skew your metrics and create some frustrating analysis.
Additionally, since a user's IP address can be hidden, device, geographic targeting, and client segmentation metrics will be less reliable than before.
There is still hope for marketers, though. It's just going to take a little extra effort when it comes to email marketing campaign management, analytics and measurement, and segmentation and targeting.