What are the consequences of Mail Privacy Protection on my deliverability within MailBlue?

In this article, you will learn more about Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) and what it means for you.

What is Mail Privacy Protection?

In September 2021, Apple introduced iOS 15 for the first time, which includes a new feature for users: Mail Privacy Protection (also known as MPP). In short, MPP provides more data privacy for iOS users. In this blog post, you can read about the impact of iOS 15 on your email marketing.

Users of Apple Mail can enable or disable this privacy setting on a per-device basis according to their personal preference. When enabled, the application masks the user's IP address, and the opening of an email is no longer tracked. This provides Apple Mail app users with additional privacy for their personal data.


What is the impact of Mail Privacy Protection?

When an Apple Mail user has MPP enabled on their device, it means that an open rate of 100% is recorded for all incoming emails. This is because Apple (through MPP) downloads all incoming emails. This download is recorded as an 'open', regardless of whether the user actually opens the email or not.

Since every email is automatically considered 'opened', the email open rate is not a completely reliable indicator. This also means that actions triggered in your MailBlue account based on an 'open' may provide a distorted view.

Due to MPP, the opening of an email cannot be accurately tracked within MailBlue. When Apple Mail users have MPP enabled on their device, an 'open' will only be registered when the recipient clicks on a link included in the email. This is because at that moment, a manual action by the recipient confirms that the email has been opened.

To determine whether an email has actually been opened by the contact or if it has been recorded with MPP, we have added a functionality to the software. When you hover over the opened email within 'recent activities' of a contact, you will see an indication of how the open was recorded.



How are opened emails measured in MailBlue?

You will see a 100% open rate in your reports when all recipients use Apple Mail and have MPP enabled, regardless of the software they use or the industry they work in. Since these emails are 'opened' with MPP, they are actually incorrect 'opens'.

MailBlue helps you gain more control over these 'opens' by distinguishing between emails opened with MPP and emails opened by the recipient themselves. This way, the MPP opens are filtered out from the actual opened emails, providing a more accurate open rate.

Since 9th August 2022, this filter can be found in the campaign reports within MailBlue. This change only affects the open rate of your campaigns and is not applied to open rates of automations, for example.

When we can guarantee that a contact has actually opened the respective email, for example by clicking on a link in the email, then the 'open' is recorded.

When an incoming email is opened by the recipient from the MPP settings, it will not trigger any automations or other actions within MailBlue. Only when it is directed that the recipient has opened the email themselves, can an action be taken by a contact.

Furthermore, contacts will not be counted when segmenting based on the condition "Has opened" if an email is opened using MPP. In this case, the contact has not actually opened the email themselves, but it has only been downloaded upon receipt. The condition "Has not opened" is considered correct when an email is only opened based on MPP settings.

Opening an email affects the following functions:

  • Advanced segmentation within a start trigger
  • Goal steps
  • If/Else steps
  • Conditional wait steps
  • Split actions

If a contact has MPP enabled and then clicks on a link in your email, this will be recorded as both an 'open' and a 'click'. You can use both actions as conditions for a follow-up action.


The 'Resend a Campaign' functionality

With the 'Resend a Campaign' feature, you can resend your campaign in the following ways:

  • Create a new campaign based on the old campaign
  • Send to new contacts since the email was originally sent
  • Send to contacts who have not read/opened this campaign

For the option 'Send to contacts who have not read/opened this campaign', all contacts using Apple Mail with MPP enabled will be excluded from the campaign resend.


Engagement Management Tool

With the Engagement Management Tool, you can remove all unengaged contacts or all unengaged contacts from a specific point onwards. Unengaged contacts are those who do not open your emails or click on the links in the email.

This tool does not remove contacts who use the Apple Mail app and have MPP enabled.


Predictive Sending

With the updates of August 2022, predictive sending will include data from emails opened with MPP enabled.

Predictive sending uses a machine learning algorithm to calculate when an email should be sent to a specific contact based on their past behaviour. 'Predictive sending' finds the most ideal time to send an email to a specific contact, in order to increase the chances of an 'open' or 'click'.

Opened emails originating from Apple Mail with MPP enabled are excluded from the machine learning algorithm. This means that predictive sending is less accurate for contacts who only open emails from a device with MPP enabled. In such cases, MailBlue will use a random sending time based on known peak times and engagement.



Campaigns sent after the update of August 9, 2022, will include the MPP open ratio in the reports, which can be seen under the name 'Apple Privacy opens' in the reports.

If the display of 'Apple Privacy opens' is enabled, the familiar open ratio will show the total number of unique opens. This is a combination of all actual 'opens' by contacts and the emails opened through MPP. Under 'Apple Privacy opens', you will then see the percentage of 'opens' resulting from MPP.

The campaign reports of campaigns sent before August 9, 2022, will remain unchanged.

When a contact, using Apple Mail with MPP enabled, clicks on a link in your email, we will track that 'click' and register an open just like before the update.

The future with Mail Privacy Protection

Email remains a valuable part of the overall customer journey. The best way to measure engagement is by using click reports as a starting point, keeping data in any proprietary systems, and having a clear end goal in mind. With the right data combined with a clear vision, you will better understand what is valuable to your customers and can build stronger customer relationships.

Focus on clicks in email links

Statistics showing how often a specific link in an email has been clicked provide a reliable picture of engagement with your customers. This is because this 'click' requires a manual action that the recipient needs to perform. Including a link in your email not only ensures reliable reporting but can also lead to more conversions.

When an email has many 'clicks', it means that the email resonates with your target audience and is considered valuable. You can encourage the action of clicking by placing a call-to-action (CTA) and clearly stating the benefits for your recipients. This way, they are more likely to take action in their customer journey.

Collect and store data from your own systems

Within your MailBlue account, you can collect initial data. This could include:

  • Identifying website visits with site-tracking
  • Collecting contact information through a form
  • A purchase made in your webshop

It is valuable to gather as much data as possible to gain insights into your contacts, both from MailBlue and your own systems (such as a webshop). The contact information you collect, combined with MailBlue insights, will give you a clear view of the engagement of your contacts. These are crucial for how you present the continuation of your marketing strategy.

Follow your end goal

What do you want to achieve with your email marketing? Do you want to convert a lead into a customer? Do you want a contact to take a specific action on your website?

Successful engagement does not end with opening an email; it occurs at every point where a new conversion takes place. If you have multiple conversion points, it is important to clearly map them out. This way, you will understand the customer journey, know which points you can make measurable, and derive insights from these measurable reports.

Does Mail Privacy Protection also affect email providers like Outlook and Gmail?

No, this only applies to contacts using an Apple device with iOS 15 (or higher) with MPP enabled.

Contacts using an Apple device with iOS 15 (or higher) must actively opt-in to MPP.

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