Rising Email Open Rates

Dear MDT: Our email open rates are way up, our click-through-rates are way down, but we haven’t changed anything. What gives?

We have seen this too, and you may be surprised to hear the possible reason.

If your email open rates are up, but your click-through-rates are down, and you haven’t made any changes to your email campaign, you may be experiencing the Apple effect.

What’s the Apple effect?

In January 2022, Apple applied privacy updates to emails that flow through their server. These updates were designed to mask email interaction activity so that marketers, like us, can’t collect email interaction metrics.

To do this, Apple’s email server opens every single email that comes through before delivering it to the end recipient. This process is triggering Open notifications in email marketing systems, but it’s false data. Because it’s not your marketing contact who is opening the email…it’s Apple. And this doesn’t just apply to people using an Apple email account, it applies to any account that is linked through Apple’s mail server, including Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook…anything.

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What does this mean?

It really means that we have no clear way of knowing whether a user actually opened our email or not. Obviously, this causes a whole mess, especially when you consider that Apple Mail and Apple mobile devices make up over 35% of the global email provider market share.

Meanwhile, of course, your email click-through-rates are going to drop because your email marketing metrics will be showing an artificially high number of opens.

Come on Apple!

How do we recommend handling this?

Most simply, focus on other metrics that you know offer more solid performance information, like clicks and click-through-rates. If you get a click, you genuinely know you’re getting a solid interaction.

HubSpot has a great article addressing this topic in more detail – How Apple iOS 15 is Impacting Email Marketers. Check it out here: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/apple-ios-15-email-marketing-impact-data

Want some help?

MDT has been helping businesses like yours build and deploy automated, omni-channel marketing campaigns, including emails, for over 15 years. If you have questions, we probably have answers. Let us help you; schedule your call here.