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How Apple's Mail Privacy Protection May Impact Your MailChimp and QCP Results


Apple’s release of iOS 15 and macOS Monterey will offer a new feature called Mail Privacy Protection. If an Apple Mail user enables this feature, it will limit the ability for marketing software providers, like Mailchimp, to accurately determine the following:

• Whether or when an email has been opened
• The estimated location of the recipient when they open the email
• The type of device and email client a recipient is using when they open the email

This is a big change for email marketers, but we’re here to help. Here’s more information about this change for the email marketing industry and how you can prepare.

About Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection

Mail Privacy Protection impacts open tracking, which is used for familiar metrics, like open rates in your campaign reports, but open tracking also helps email service providers determine a contact’s estimated location, device, and email client. When someone who has Mail Privacy Protection enabled receives an email, Apple preloads all of the email content—this includes what email service providers use to track opens, regardless of whether the recipient opens the email or not. As a result, it’s likely that all emails sent to your contacts using Apple Mail with Mail Privacy Protection turned on will be reported as “opened.”

How You Can Prepare

We’ve been testing how this change may impact Mailchimp features. While there’s still a lot we won’t know until people begin to enable Mail Privacy Protection, we want you to know that we’re closely monitoring these changes and plan to make adjustments to our platform and keep you updated on impacts to your account and what to do next. For now, here are some steps you can take.

These are some Mailchimp features that will be affected by this change:

• Open rates on reports may appear inflated
• Journeys and automations based on open behavior may include contacts who didn’t open the email
• A/B testing based on open behavior may include contacts who didn’t open the email
• Segments based on open activity, contact rating, email client, campaign engagement, or location may be inaccurate

There are a couple of ways you can think about this change and what you should do. A good first step is to take some time soon to see how many contacts in your audience use Apple Mail, before some of your contacts enable Mail Privacy Protection. If it’s not many, you may want to wait and see how your engagement is impacted. If your audience includes a lot of Apple Mail users, you may want to adjust how you use certain features and analyze your results.

 To help you better understand these changes and what next steps may work best for you, MailChimp created an Apple Mail Privacy Protection FAQ. It lists the impacted features, what changes you can expect to see, what you can do going forward to help measure the success of your campaigns, and where you can go for additional help.

MailChimp will also keep their Apple Mail Privacy Protection Resources page updated as they learn more and have additional recommendations.

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