Apple Mail Privacy Protection fallout : Looking for meaningful metrics beyond opens
Written by
Kanika Sreen
Kanika Sreen

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Apple Mail Privacy Protection fallout : Looking for meaningful metrics beyond opens

Published : May 19, 2022

When it comes to email marketing, opens have been the north star metric for a very long time. That is, till Apple decided to strike the fatal below with its MPP.  

Overnight, the most dependable customer engagement marker became sort of an outcast. Marketers got wary of including it in their strategies and performance reports; they needed other metrics that could tell them how well their email campaigns were engaging the customers. Some of them fit the bill, some did not.

In this post, we look at some action plans that can fix your email engagement analytics.

1. A quick overview of Apple MPP

Apple MPP was introduced with iOS 15 on September 20, 2021, and here is what has happened so far.

What is Apple MPP ?

Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) is a feature that prevents senders from following users’ mail activity. It opens tracking pixels in the background resulting in a 100% open rate, which is a false positive. It also hides the IP location of the user and caches all the images remotely. The industry expects MPP adoption among Apple clients to be above 90%.

How does it impact you ?

With open time and location data gone for a toss, email tracking is much more challenging now. You can no longer understand a customer’s journey to give personalized offers, execute send-time optimization, test subject lines, etc. It requires you to innovate and develop new strategies while excluding open rates.

2. How can you overcome the impact ?

Tracking the customer journey from engagement to conversion can provide a lot of insights from metrics and analytics other than mail opens. Learn how to best engage the customers with these practices :

Make changes within the email

Email opens do not necessarily mean interaction but email clicks do. They also indicate that the recipient’s email account is active and engaging. Include clicks in your email that are interesting and relevant.

Use AMP for in-email experiences

AMP-enabled elements like accordions, carousels, payment buttons, audio, forms, etc., generate instant responses from email recipients. You can add these to create rich and engaging content in your email campaigns.


Create mini-games like wordle or wheel spinner inside emails to increase interaction with the recipients.

In-email responses

Make responses quick and easy for the customers; introduce ratings, comments, or surveys that can be completed within the email.

Monitoring the click rates and customer interactions from the above elements will help you understand the email campaign performance and success. When directing users to an outside link, ensure that the destination page experience matches the expectations created in the email.

Make observations outside of the email

While you can’t track email opens directly, you can still learn a lot by observing the outcome post an email campaign !

Website footfalls and conversions

Monitor the footfalls, browsing patterns, and purchases on your website after sending out an email marketing campaign.

Gaming links to the website

Add links that take the user to compelling games or contests on your website. Not everything needs to be about selling!

If the engagement metrics for the above show a rise, it implies your campaign is working well for you.

Focus on outreach programs in your email

In the absence of email opens, the results of the outreach programs can be an effective way to gauge your customer engagement.

Referral programs

Incentivize users to refer your brand to their contacts. If the subscriptions increase, you measure the email campaign as a success.

Shout out on social media

Run a rewards promotion through email, asking users to mention you on their social media handles. In addition to expanding your userbase, you strengthen existing customers’ loyalty.

3. Conclusion

Apple MPP has nullified opens as an engagement metric for customers using Apple email clients. While a quick remedy could be to treat Apple and non-Apple users distinctively in the email campaigns, it will not be a viable solution in the long run. Why? Because even Gmail is expected to follow suit with its own privacy policies in the near future.

You need to start looking at cross-channel customer behavior. Your email will still influence engagement but you will have to appraise how well it did by looking outside of the email and its opens metric. 

Your email will still influence engagement; you will just have to look outside of the opens metric to appraise how well it performed. 
Netcore has an AI-driven email platform that can help you plan, execute, and monitor the performance of your email programs. More importantly, it can deliver actionable insights through customer behavioral analysis that ensure campaign success and increased ROI. Book a demo to know more.

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Written By: Kanika Sreen
Kanika Sreen
Assistant Manager - Content Strategist