Adapting to iOS 15 Mail Privacy Protection: Strategies for Email Marketers

Created by NotifyVisitors Team, Modified on Fri, 26 May 2023 at 07:19 AM by NotifyVisitors Team

Apple's Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) has sparked extensive discussions among email marketing professionals since its announcement at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2021. With Apple's subsequent update in September 2021, three critical components have emerged that will have a significant impact on email marketing: 

› the ability to disable open tracking, 

› the blocking of IP addresses, and 

› the hiding of email addresses. 

These changes have been implemented to prioritize user privacy and offer individuals greater control over their digital footprint.

Email Marketer’s Perspective

From the perspective of email marketers, these changes imply that certain data regarding their email campaigns may not be collectible from devices with MPP enabled. Considering the vast user base of Apple devices worldwide, which encompasses millions of users, the implications of these alterations on email marketing practices are expected to be substantial.

It is essential to note that Mail Privacy Protection is available on Apple devices running iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS8 or later versions. Moreover, it's worth emphasizing that enabling the MPP feature remains the user's choice, as they can toggle it on or off at any time through their device settings. By default, MPP is turned off, meaning users need to proactively enable it.

Recognizing the impact of Apple's changes in iOS 15 and the consequent need for adaptation in marketing strategies, NotifyVisitors has introduced a new segment attribute called MPP.  By incorporating the MPP attribute into their segmentation strategies, marketers can effectively differentiate between users with and without MPP.

Differentiating users with and without Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) is crucial for obtaining accurate analytical data, particularly in terms of email opens. MPP introduces a behavior where emails are preloaded by the system, resulting in them being considered as opened even if the user hasn't actively opened them. This behavior can lead to inflated email open rates and inaccurate analysis of user engagement.

Creating Segments using MPP attribute

Here's a step-by-step guide to create segments using the MPP attribute in order to differentiate MPP and non MPP users, and avoid inflated emails and inaccurate analysis of user engagement.

  1. Access the segments section in the left panel of the NotifyVisitors platform and click on "Create New Segment.
  2. Next, choose any past behaviour segment as per your preference. ”Action” and “inaction” option allows you to create a segment based on attributes, while “action with user properties“ allows you to create a segment based on user actions and attributes.
  3. In the segment creation interface, specify the criteria for your segment. Select People who “did performed" and choose the event as "Email Opened" to identify users who have opened your emails.
  4. Further refine the criteria by selecting "In the Last" and set the time frame to "30 days." This ensures that users who have performed the selected action within the specified timeframe are included in the segment.
  5. To differentiate users with MPP enabled, select "MPP" from the "Where Attribute" dropdown list. Then, choose either "True" or "False" as the attribute value. This step allows you to segregate users based on whether they have MPP enabled or disabled.

Adding all MPP users

To add all MPP users to a segment, you can create a segment using the steps outlined above. Start by creating a segment with the MPP attribute and select the attribute value as "true" to specifically target users with MPP enabled on their devices.

Once the segment is created, it will include all users who have MPP enabled on their devices. However, when using this segment in your campaigns, the email open counts of these users will only be included as one per user. This ensures that your open rates are not inflated due to the behavior of preloaded emails in MPP enabled devices.

Nevertheless, you can still view the total number of profiles that have been affected by MPP, providing insights into the portion of your user base whose emails are counted as only one per user instead of actual open counts.

Note: When creating a segment for MPP enabled users based on email opens within the last 30 days or any other time frame, the users added to the segment will include all-time users. This is because the system preloads content for unengaged users, making them appear as engaged within the specified time frame.

Removing all MPP users

To exclude all MPP users, you can create a segment by following the previously mentioned process and select the MPP attribute value as "false" at the end.

By creating this segment, all engaged users i.e, the ones who have opened emails within the last 365 days will be included, except for those with MPP enabled. This segment is particularly useful when you want to target campaigns exclusively to non-MPP users, ensuring that your messaging reaches users who have actively engaged with your emails without being affected by the preloading behavior of MPP-enabled devices.

Identify Unengaged MPP users

Due to the preloading behavior of emails on devices with MPP enabled, it becomes challenging to accurately determine user engagement. However, identifying unengaged MPP users is crucial for maintaining domain and IP reputation, as well as avoiding spam traps.

To create a segment of unengaged MPP users, we can leverage tactics that only a real person can perform, such as clicking links within emails or opening emails from other devices. By identifying MPP users who have not demonstrated these actions, we can classify them as unengaged. 

To do this, follow the steps mentioned earlier to create a segment based on action with user properties. Include the following three rules to accurately identify unengaged MPP users:

Rule 1: The user must have MPP enabled on one of their devices.

Under "Users who did," click on "Add Rules" and fill in the fields as specified in the image

This rule ensures that only users with MPP enabled on their devices are considered.

Rule 2: The user shouldn't have clicked on links provided in email in the last 30 days.

Under "Users who did not," click on "Add Rules" and fill in the fields as specified below

This rule helps identify users who haven't actively engaged by clicking on links in the emails.

Rule 3: An MPP user shouldn't have opened an email on another device in the last 30 days.

Add one more rule under the "Users who did not" section as specified below.

This rule ensures that MPP users who haven't engaged with the emails in the last 30 days on any other device are included in the segment.

By adding these three rules with the condition "All rules must satisfy," the segment will include only those MPP users who haven't clicked on email links and haven't opened emails on non-MPP devices within the last 30 days. 

This combination of rules allows you to identify unengaged MPP users more accurately and narrow down the scope of including engaged MPP users.

This segment can then be utilized to adjust campaign strategies and prevent sending further emails to unresponsive MPP users, ensuring better deliverability and targeting efforts on users who are actively engaging with the content.

Email Campaign Analytics

To prevent inflated open counts of emails caused by Mail Privacy Protection's (MPP) preloading behavior, we ensure that only one count per MPP user is included in email campaign analytics reports. 

This means that the unique opens and total opens of MPP users will be the same, as we only include one count per user. By doing so, we provide a more accurate analysis of email campaign performance, which is not skewed by MPP's preloading behavior.


Q. What happens if a user has two devices, and only one of them has MPP enabled?

A. If a user has multiple devices and only one of them is MPP enabled, they will still be included in the list of MPP users when you create a segment for all MPP users. This means that having at least one device with MPP enabled qualifies them as an MPP user for the segment.

Q. Does MPP impact the count of email clicks as well?

A. MPP does not affect the email click count. The preloading behavior of MPP only impacts the email open counts. 

Q. If a user disables Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) after the creation of a segment or switches to a device without MPP enabled, will they be excluded from the segment automatically?

A. Such users will still remain in the segment until the specified time defined in the segment rule is elapsed. For example, we have selected to include last 30 day MPP users in the above all MPP users and unengaged MPP users segments. In such a case when the user disables MPP or transitions to a non MPP device he will be removed from the segment after 30 days. If you have the precomputed option enabled the segment will be updated automatically and the user will be removed otherwise you have to manually update the segment after 30 days.

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