Mail Protection

Apple’s New Mail Privacy Setting you should consider changing

John PhillipsIndustry Updates

Apple have recently announced the launch of Mail Privacy Protection which is changing how companies and advertisers can interact with your emails.

What is Mail Privacy Protection?

Mail Privacy Protection has recently been introduced as part of Apple’s latest updates to their iPhone and iPad operating systems. This feature prevents senders from seeing when you’ve opened an email because it hides your IP address which is linked to your location and other online activity.

Currently, unsolicited marketing email senders will sometimes know whether you’ve opened their email and companies can even obtain information regarding where you were at the time – which might be a worrying invasion of privacy for some people.

This is usually achieved by using remote images which load when viewing an email or more sneakily, invisible tracking pixels. When the message is opened in your email, a code within the pixel silently sends identifying information such as your IP address back to the sender. Mail Privacy Protection prevents this by rerouting your IP address through multiple proxy servers and randomly assigning you to another IP address.

How do I apply this setting?

As of September 20th 2021, Mail Privacy Protection is available for the Mail app on iOS 15 and iPad iOS 15 devices. It is not currently available for MacBooks—but will be when macOS Monterey launches later this year.

This setting can be applied when someone first opens the Apple Mail app, a message will pop up prompting the user to either protect their mail activity or select to not protect their mail activity.

iOS 15 Mail Privacy

This setting can also be applied manually through launching the settings menu on your iPhone or iPad. Privacy Protection can then be found under “Mail” and “Privacy Protection” options.

iPhone Settings

An important piece of information to remember is that Mail Privacy Protection affects any email opened from the Apple Mail app on any device—no matter which email service used. However, Mail Privacy Protection does not apply to other email apps used on Apple devices, such as the Outlook app on an iPhone.

What does this mean for Email Marketers?

It is expected that many users will enable Mail Privacy Protection after they upgrade to the latest iOS. It is therefore likely that email marketers will begin to see their open rates slightly decline. However, open rate is already seen as an unreliable metric amongst marketers. This is because Apple now pre-loads email data regardless of whether the user has actually opened the email or not.

Instead of open rate, businesses are encouraged to focus on more valuable metrics that can still be measured despite the introduction of Mail Privacy Protection. Some of these metrics include:

  1. Conversion Rate – The percentage of email recipients who take a specific action, such as making a purchase.
  2. List Growth Rate – How fast you’re adding new email subscribers versus losing people by clicking unsubscribe.
  3. Click Rate – The percentage of your email recipients who click a link in your email.
  4. Forwarding/Email Sharing – How often your subscribers forward and share your emails with their own contacts, expanding the reach of your email campaign.


With Mail Privacy Protection enabled the inconspicuous tracking of your emails will no longer occur. However, it is important to bear in mind that this feature does not fully protect users from companies tracking your behaviour, and for email marketers, there is no need to panic either. Email Marketing remains as popular as ever and privacy changes are constantly evolving. It is best to embrace these changes and focus on gaining other productive statistics to measure the success of your email campaigns. If you would like to discuss Marketing Automation solutions for Dynamics 365, including ClickDimensions, feel free to get in touch.

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