Apple announced mail privacy protection, how will this affect emails sent through HubSpot?

SOLVE
DennisLooijenga
Participant

Apple announced new mail privacy functionality coming up in iOS 15: https://www.macrumors.com/2021/06/10/ios-15-mail-privacy-protection-tracking-pixels/.

 

This is how Apple describes the feature in full:

"Emails that you receive may include hidden pixels that allow the email's sender to learn information about you. As soon as you open an email, information about your Mail activity can be collected by the sender without transparency and an ability to control what information is shared. Email senders can learn when and how many times you opened their email, whether you forwarded the email, your Internet Protocol (IP) address, and other data that can be used to build a profile of your behavior and learn your location.

 

If you choose to turn it on, Mail Privacy Protection helps protect your privacy by preventing email senders, including Apple, from learning information about your Mail activity. When you receive an email in the Mail app, rather than downloading remote content when you open an email, Mail Privacy Protection downloads remote content in the background by default - regardless of how you do or don't engage with the email. Apple does not learn any information about the content.

 

In addition, all remote content downloaded by Mail is routed through multiple proxy servers, preventing the sender from learning your IP address. Rather than share your IP address, which can allow the email sender to learn your location, Apple's proxy network will randomly assign an IP address that corresponds only to the region your device is in. As a result, email senders will only receive generic information rather than information about your behavior. Apple does not access your IP address."

How will this affect emails sent through HubSpot? The majority of our audience (40-50%) opens our emails through Apple Mail, will open rates drop or fail to track?

1 Accepted solution

Accepted Solutions
TomMonaghan
Solution
HubSpot Product Team

Hi Dennis,

 

Thanks for your question.  The short answer is, it is still too early to know exactly what impact this will have on marketers and the email industry as a whole, and HubSpot and our customers specifically.

 

That said, our teams are presently testing the latest developer beta release of iOS15 and the updated Mail App with Privacy Protection to learn more about how it might work.  But there are two key words in that last sentence: “beta” and “might.”  This is new and very early, so how it works very well may change between now and the general release that is expected this coming fall.  In fact, I’d expect it to.

 

So back to your question: “How will this affect emails sent through HubSpot? The majority of our audience (40-50%) opens our emails through Apple Mail, will open rates drop or fail to track?

 

If anything, this may actually cause open rates to increase due to Apple opening on behalf of recipients who do not actually open your emails.  So for the percentage of your audience who use Apple’s mail clients, and who have updated to iOS 15, and who have this Privacy Protection feature enabled, their email might be pre-loaded by Apple.  When each of these things happen, the email would appear to have been opened, when in fact, it might not have actually been. 

 

So what does this mean for how our customers use open data today? I’d recommend you stay the course with your marketing, focus on great content that your audiences care about and want to read.  Pay close attention to what you can measure now with the understanding that open data might become less reliable in the future. Our teams are watching this very closely on a daily basis, and we will be providing more guidance as we learn more by testing the new changes ourselves.

 

One more important point to make though, is we have no indication that this will have any impact on email deliverability.  This is purely a privacy play.  Deliver great content that your contacts opt-in to receive and actually want, and you will continue to get the engagement you’ve always gotten.  You just might have to change your most watched metrics to clicks, page views, and replies.

 

-Tom

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10 Replies 10
abockler1f
Participant | Gold Partner

I'd like to know this, too. 

0 Upvotes
ridingforlife
Top Contributor

Would also like to see a response/update from HubSpot and how this will impact metrics and analysis in the platform, etc.

natsumimori
Community Manager

Thank you for your post @DennisLooijenga and for your comments @abockler1f and @ridingforlife .

 

We are aware of the recent update from Apple and the potential impact it may have on current ways you track data in HubSpot. Our Product team is exploring this and we will have an update on our plans soon. The Community team will make sure to let you know when we have more to share.

TomMonaghan
Solution
HubSpot Product Team

Hi Dennis,

 

Thanks for your question.  The short answer is, it is still too early to know exactly what impact this will have on marketers and the email industry as a whole, and HubSpot and our customers specifically.

 

That said, our teams are presently testing the latest developer beta release of iOS15 and the updated Mail App with Privacy Protection to learn more about how it might work.  But there are two key words in that last sentence: “beta” and “might.”  This is new and very early, so how it works very well may change between now and the general release that is expected this coming fall.  In fact, I’d expect it to.

 

So back to your question: “How will this affect emails sent through HubSpot? The majority of our audience (40-50%) opens our emails through Apple Mail, will open rates drop or fail to track?

 

If anything, this may actually cause open rates to increase due to Apple opening on behalf of recipients who do not actually open your emails.  So for the percentage of your audience who use Apple’s mail clients, and who have updated to iOS 15, and who have this Privacy Protection feature enabled, their email might be pre-loaded by Apple.  When each of these things happen, the email would appear to have been opened, when in fact, it might not have actually been. 

 

So what does this mean for how our customers use open data today? I’d recommend you stay the course with your marketing, focus on great content that your audiences care about and want to read.  Pay close attention to what you can measure now with the understanding that open data might become less reliable in the future. Our teams are watching this very closely on a daily basis, and we will be providing more guidance as we learn more by testing the new changes ourselves.

 

One more important point to make though, is we have no indication that this will have any impact on email deliverability.  This is purely a privacy play.  Deliver great content that your contacts opt-in to receive and actually want, and you will continue to get the engagement you’ve always gotten.  You just might have to change your most watched metrics to clicks, page views, and replies.

 

-Tom

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jaah
Participant | Platinum Partner

Hi Tom,

 

Thank you for sharing this. I have a couple of follow-up questions:

 

1) Do you know anything about how this will affect the tracking of inactive recipients? Could this mean, that recipients using Apple mail will never be flagged as inactive?

2) In workflows and when sending campaigns, we sometimes use inactivity as a trigger for sending a follow-up. Do you have any idea of whether this will still be possible for recipients using apple mail?

 

-Jacob

MattR
Participant

Great questions! Maybe hubspot can change how they determine when a recipient with iOS15 becomes inactive based on click activity instead of opens.

YvonneK
Contributor

Hi Jacob,

I recently stumbled across the same questions...

so 1) maybe HubSpot can switch to watch click activity on Apple Clients? I thought about sending a reactivation campaign just as the last mail HubSpot would use to render the contact "inactive". Maybe it helps. Otherwise it cleans the list.

2) Apple Mail was already a bit unsteady, because they preload images. So using "opened email" has been a bit unsharp so far. But it definitely will be incorrect in the future, as then all Apple Clients will look like opens. Email on Acid recently suggested to segment the list into those who you know use Apple and those who don´t.  It will be a bit of work for us Marketers, but this will be the future... 

 

So, exciting times ^^

Yvonne

0 Upvotes
DSleeper
Participant

The tracking pixels are traditionally 1x1 correct? So is one of the possible solutions just to adjust the size and dimension of the pixel? I'm imagining Apple must be adding code to search for pixels like this and weed them out. 

YvonneK
Contributor

Hi DSleeper,

as far as I am informed, Apple just preloads all images, no matter the size, and then delivers them to the customer. So tracking pixel or any other image loaded, it will always look like everybode on Apple opened the mail 😕

Cheers,

Yvonne

0 Upvotes
RonakShah
Participant

Thanks for sharing this!

0 Upvotes