The impact of MPP is still unclear, and it’s likely to grow over time as more users adopt iOS 15 or buy new devices. Here are the measures we and our partners are taking to protect your interests.

The end is nigh! Fire! Brimstone! DOOM! DOOM! DOOM!

No, we aren’t talking about the state of the world. We’re echoing the reaction of email marketers the world over upon the announcement this summer that Apple iOS 15 would include a feature called Mail Privacy Protection (MPP). We’ll spare you the gory details, but it boils down to this: email services like ActiveCampaign, Constant Contact, Mailchimp and Salesforce will not be able to get accurate open rate data from emails sent to contacts who have updated to iOS 15 and opted in to MPP (which is encouraged via a prompt).

That was the summer, and now iOS 15 and its industry-wrecking MPP is here and… we’re seeing remarkably little difference. That’s likely because very few people have updated, and that’s bound to change. But even as adoption of MPP increases, we don’t think this is going to justify a vast strategic shift for publishers unless other inbox providers decide to follow suit.

Still, along with our partner ActiveCampaign, we are taking a few proactive steps to assist our publishers with navigating the changes and mitigating any negative impacts.

Here’s what ActiveCampaign is doing:

  • Open rates will not include data from MPP-enabled contacts: Inboxes with MPP turned on report 100% open rates, whether the email was opened or not. So it threatens to dramatically inflate performance. ActiveCampaign has opted to exclude these contacts when calculating open rates, unless a contact also clicks on a link thereby confirming the open.
  • Automations triggered by opening an email will exclude MPP-enabled contacts: This is so it doesn’t misfire. We’ll come back to this.
  • Resend a campaign to contacts who did not open will not resend to MPP-enabled contacts: Same as above.

The theme here is clear: ActiveCampaign is treading carefully with MPP-enabled contacts, doing its best to provide you with clean data while limiting the possibility of accidental spamming of certain contacts.

Won’t this mean you’ll have incomplete open rates? Absolutely. But there are two big things we use open rate data for:

  1. Determining subject line success. You don’t need 100% data on this, you just need a good sampling. Since the majority of users are unlikely to be on MPP-enabled devices for a while, open rates will still be based on a pretty big chunk of your audience.
  2. Triggering automations. This is a problem. If you have an engagement automation that’s segmenting and labeling users by activity — or you’re resending membership messaging to those who haven’t opened — it’s going to cut out some people. So that brings us to…

…And here is what BlueLena is doing in response to MPP:

  • Limiting automations that use open-rate triggers. The most common we have of this is the engagement tagging automation mentioned above. Our most common use-case for this is to identify unengaged contacts for list-cleaning. This is still going to work — it just won’t include MPP-enabled contacts.
  • Inform our clients when open-rate triggers may have meaningful impact on their goals. If you’ve tasked us with designing an automation to meet your goal, and open rates are a trigger, we’ll make sure you know what we think the impact of may be from MPP.
  • Strategize alternative ways of reaching MPP-enabled contacts: Every time we have an automation that could be impacted, we’ll work with publishers on a plan to reach the MPP segment. In the example above of engagement tagging for list hygiene, this might include segmenting MPP users and sending occasional “Are you with us?” emails that encourage a click to stay on lists.

Finally, we’re going to be paying close attention. The impact of MPP is still unclear, and it’s likely to grow over time as more users adopt iOS 15 or buy new devices. Right now, though, we’re confident in the measures we and our partners are taking. We’ve got your back.