What happened with Apple Mail and privacy changes?
During the recent Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple revealed that a big privacy update was coming to Apple Mail. This update, known as “Mail Privacy Protection” will have a big impact on email marketers.
- Apple will, by default, hide IP address information in its native Mail app, Safari browser, and iCloud services. Email content that previously relied on location data from IP addresses (for weather or store location, for example) will no longer work.
- Tracking pixels within Apple Mail will be disabled, meaning that you will no longer be able to reliably tell when an email is opened. This will also affect any email triggers that fire upon actions like an email being opened or unopened.
The bad news: this will majorly impact some marketers. Especially those marketers who live and die by open rate tracking to judge the success of their emails. According to Litmus, Apple Mail owns 13% of the email client market, with Gmail ahead of it at 18.6%, and Outlook behind Apple Mail at 9%. We anticipate that Google will soon be following suite with their own mail privacy changes on Android.
The good news: marketers who’ve been doing things the “right” way will see this as merely a minor bump in the road.
What we recommend for marketers
There will always be disruption on the path ahead for marketers. It’s just the way of technology. Our job as a platform and service provider is to anticipate those changes and future-proof our technology as well as our client strategies to make sure that these disruptions are not world-ending for our clients.
And this one isn’t. Because as we’ve been advising over the last several years — as GDPR started to put teeth behind privacy laws; as it washed up on the shores of the U.S. in the form of the CCPA; as Google announced the depreciation of cookies; as Apple announced privacy changes and warred with Facebook over data tracking sharing; as Mozilla and other browsers put their collective foot down about what should and shouldn’t be tracked within their browsers — there is going to be a monumental shift in how we, as marketers, market and those who do not shift their strategies will be left behind.
That shift is happening now. We are in the midst of it. But if you’ve been investing in a zero-party data strategy, working to build your own database and staying out of the walled-garden-only databases, using personalization techniques, or loyalty programs, you’re already ahead of the shift. Those email batch-and-blast marketers who spam consumers with no regard for the art or nuance of marketing? They’ll fall by the wayside, as they should.
Staying ahead of change
It’s moments like this when we feel the work we are doing on the Cheetah Customer Engagement Suite (CES) is really rewarding. We have been innovating and scaling our CES well in advance to be the solution to changes exactly like this one.
The CES is a unified platform with natively integrated applications that simplify a marketer’s complex task of acquiring, engaging, and retaining customers for the long term. It seamlessly combines email, loyalty, personalization, and zero-party data platforms into one solution that is powered by our Engagement Data Platform (EDP). This is not a marketing cloud — it is not an outdated platform that requires an entire IT department to get it integrated into your current tech stack and then fails to work with your other programs even after that. It is a single platform that works throughout the entire customer lifecycle, handling the data that comes with your first touchpoint with a customer, all the way through them becoming a brand advocate. To get a real deep-dive into how the CES deals with Apple’s new changes, watch the video below.
Here’s to the next “disruption”
We’re confident our clients will ride out these changes as successfully as they have others in the past. If you have any questions, as always you can reach out to your Cheetah customer service rep or contact us here.
Richard Jones is the CMO at Cheetah Digital, where he oversees a global team that is responsible for all aspects of the brand, demand generation, digital marketing, corporate communications, and sales development. With more than 20 years of marketing, sales and strategy experience, Jones was previously the CEO of Wayin, a global leader in zero-party data collection and activation. There, he helped many of the world’s leading brands such as Daily Mail Group, NHL, Bauer Media, Vodafone, Priceline.com, Reckitt Benckiser, Air New Zealand, and Manchester City FC create zero-party data strategies.