Important Changes to Email Marketing - Due to Apple IOS 15

| August


See below what you need to know along with recommendations to what you need to do now to be proactive and remain calm.


Apple announced many new features for IOS 15, including updates to data and privacy aiming at email specifically.


See and understand what is changing for Apple users:

  • Open tracking can now be disabled
  • Apple users can hide their email address


From an Apple Statement:


“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 behaviour. Apple does not access your IP address.”


Open tracking can now be disabled


When Mail Privacy Protection is turned on, open data tracking will be rendered useless for marketers, since Apple will purportedly show a roughly 100% open rate for all Apple Mail recipients. This “proxy open” being done by Apple Mail will negatively impact any email marketer’s ability to accurately gauge recipient behaviour.



  • Instead of open rates, try combining conditions like the recency of sign up, purchase, last received email date, on-site behaviour, and email engagement (clicks and replies)
  • Make it a priority to focus your content around a call to action, you can still track clicks!
  • Encourage your subscribers to disable the Mail Privacy Protection (Settings > Mail > Privacy Protection)


Apple users can hide their email address


This has been available for a while now. This will have a much larger role in this upcoming update.

You will still be able to send emails to those users but you won’t have access to their real email. All you will see will be a random email with a “cloud” address.



  • Segment your contacts using a cloud address and run a campaign to encourage them to update their email subscription to their personal address instead
  • Manage the clicks and replies of those segmented contacts closely so you avoid issues with email deliverability in the future


Final thoughts and considerations

  • Open rates don’t mean much if the email isn’t delivered in the first place. So now’s the time to check in on your deliverability
  • Inactive users will be classified by lack of clicks, instead of opens
  • If you are not taking advantage of SMS, now is the time to add it to your marketing arsenal
  • Relevant, behaviour-based automations will always generate more engagement, so you should rely on them, instead of ad-hoc email campaigns
  • Although open rates won’t matter anymore, getting your contacts to open your emails still does. Rely on subjects and pre-headers to entice them to open your campaigns
  • Before the changes take effect, you should clean up your list and unsubscribe anyone that is inactive for longer than 60 days
  • Create a segment of your most engaging contacts, so you have a baseline once you start tracking clicks (instead of opens)
  • Customer education should be at the forefront of your marketing efforts, so your subscribers know what to do and expect