Apple Throws a Spanner into Email Marketing

With its' upcoming updates to iOS on all platforms, Apple throws a spanner into email marketing. According to the announcement:

Apple advances its privacy leadership with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8.

New features help users control and monitor apps’ use of their data

In its latest privacy push, Apple aims to cut down on email tracking. In the updated Mail app, Mail Privacy Protection will stop senders from using tracking pixels to collect information about the recipient. The new feature prevents senders knowing if an email is opened, masking their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.

It's a big step forward in data privacy, and a huge step back, not only for email marketing but for anyone who runs email newsletters. Creating and measuring effective campaigns is about to take a big hit. The emphasis is likely to swing back onto proactive response measurement and a lot more guesswork about the response rate to email.

Looks like we're heading back to the bad old days:
“Half my advertising spend is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half.”
(Retailer John Wanamaker - probably)

Apple itself does little with email and newsletters to market its products, so it can claim the win for data privacy without harming its own business.

The pressure is now on the likes of Microsoft and Google to follow suit and this will impact their marketing and advertising businesses significantly.