How to manage email performance after iOS 15.

In fall of 2021, Apple added a new default Privacy Protection setting for Apple Mail users — much to the chagrin of email marketers around the globe.

The feature is an understandable attempt to stymie the ability for any marketing automation platform (MAP) to track interactions among subscribers. iOS does this by pre-fetching email content that MAPs now recognize as user activity.

This false signal impacts email marketers’ ability to accurately assess open rates. MAPs rely on the loading of a 1×1 pixel within each delivered email to signal that the email has been opened. iOS 15 now automatically loads those pixels upon receipt.

With open rate — at least temporarily — becoming an unreliable metric at face value, there’s a creeping consensus among email marketers to just abandon the pre-click stat altogether. Bader Rutter disagrees.

While the goal posts have shifted a bit for any organization’s open-rate benchmarks, the interaction is still one that demands optimization. Email content tests for artwork or CTA messaging can’t be conclusive if you haven’t identified a ceiling for open-rate performance.

Here are three ways you can keep relying on these new unreliable open rates:

About the Author

Andy Penkalski is Marketing Automation Lead at Bader Rutter. He and his team help Bader Rutter clients hone their first-party media and data acquisition strategies that in turn allow them to maximize the impact and personalization of these owned channels and destinations. Prior to joining Bader Rutter, Andy spent much of the last decade in the Software as a Solution (SaaS) space, working as both user and promoter of essential B2B MarTech platforms. While Andy and his team love finding new ways to enhance the personalization, timeliness and relevancy of all email and SMS marketing efforts we support, they are equally passionate about helping our clients manage and track the progress and outcomes of their ever-evolving customer journeys.