Is Email Marketing Dead? What Apple’s New Privacy Settings Mean for Your Analytics

This summer, Apple announced it is doubling down on privacy in its 2021 iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac updates. This change is a big deal for anyone who uses email marketing. Why? Well, after the updates, people with Apple Mail will have a LOT more power. They’ll be able to kill your ability to track their open rates and IP addresses with just a few clicks. 

There’s a huge movement around privacy right now. Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection feature is just the beginning. Our guess is that it won’t be long before other email platforms like Outlook and maybe even Google follow suit, making email marketing harder. 

We’re still wrapping our heads around the full implications of the IP address piece of Apple’s announcement. But from what we know so far, if you have a lot of Apple Mail users on your email list and they enable this new feature … 

  • You won’t know who opens your emails.
  • You won’t be able to accurately track open rates.
  • You won’t be able to tie follow-up emails to opened/unopened status.
  • Your email-based A/B testing won’t work anymore.
  • You won’t be able to use tracking pixels to gather data.
  • You won’t be able to use IP addresses to track user behavior after opening emails. 
  • And to add insult to injury, you may not be able to track click-through rates or retarget ads accurately. 

Are you freaking out yet? 

To navigate this new reality, you need to accept that any email marketing you do based on open rates just got a lot more difficult. The old rules don’t apply any more, especially if a large percentage of your email list uses Apple Mail. 

(If you don’t send emails to many Apple Mail users you might be able to ride this privacy protection wave out a little bit longer. But like we said, we think these updates are going to make their way to other email platforms any day.) 

So, what can you do to adapt? How can you track the effectiveness of your email marketing now? In our view, the biggest tool in your arsenal is the landing page. Click-through and open rates may be out of your control, but you can still make sure your emails direct readers to landing pages decked out with analytics. You can set these up yourself, or create them with Leadpages or Unbounce. Even the Google Analytics on your website will do the trick. 

To really take this tactic to the next level, create a dedicated landing page for your email marketing (or ask us to create one for you). That way you’ll know exactly how many leads your email marketing generates, because they’ll all come from that same page. 

At this point, you might be wondering whether email marketing is even worth it any more. Are those extra steps worth the hassle? How many more “updates” should you roll with before you give up? We’ll tackle that in a future post!

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is an internet marketing and branding firm for lawyers. Our goal is to help our clients create an online presence that positions them as a credible expert in their field, keeps them connected with their network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find them!

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