Apple announced iOS 15 during its WWDC keynote in June 2021, highlighting several features. Among them is Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection which will have significant implications for Sales Leaders.
According to Apple, “Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. [It prevents] senders from knowing when they open an email and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.”
Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection is an optional feature that the user can turn on and off:
The most relevant change in iOS for Sales Leaders is that Apple Mail will block tracking pixels from reporting back when an email is opened.
Apple is the clear market leader in email clients globally. Its three main email clients iOS Mail, Apple Mail, and iPadOS Mail cover over 50% of the market. Other email client vendors will follow Apple's move en suite and increase privacy protection in their software too.
If a user activates the “Protect Mail Activity” feature, the Apple email client will preload email images, even for emails not opened by the user. Emails sent to recipients using the Mail App will therefore show false opens.
Therefore, sales leaders and sellers can no longer rely on the open rate metric to:
Given the proportion of Apple mail clients in the market and the unclear distribution by buyer persona, measuring open rates no longer provides real insight into buyer behavior.
Stop using open rate as a KPI and remove it from your dashboards.
Most providers of lead scoring tools or propensity-to-buy models are using open rates in their algorithms. Reach out to 3rd party software providers to understand how they account for the change that comes with the iOS release. Review how you use these scores in your lead - and deal process.
Use clicks and conversions as measurements of buyer engagement to truly see how successful your sales email is. After open rates, clicks are the earliest measure-point on user engagement.
If your sales engagement software doesn’t provide detailed document tracking features, consider using software like DocSend or Highspot to measure individual content engagement.
Ultimately the only goal for outbound sales messaging is to get a positive response. If you’re currently using generic templates for your outbound messaging, start segmenting your prospects into buying personas, find trigger events for optimal timing, and personalize your sales emails.
Good luck and let me know how it worked!