Apple Mail Privacy Update and its Effects on Internal Communication

25 October 2021

Trends & Industry News

Internal communication without email campaigns? Almost impossible! Although we always say that you need to look for alternatives to reach your internal target audience with your message, email remains a very important channel for some of them. And it's a good one, too. After all, it gives you the possibility to collect quite some data about your target audience. Do they actually open the email? Did they click through? When using an emailing tool, you know it all. However, with the new privacy update from Apple Mail, this kind of data possibly won't be accessible much longer. But how can you make sure to keep your internal email campaigns efficient without it?


Apple has made the users' privacy a priority for quite some time now. The new Apple Mail privacy update is not the first one interfering with marketing and the data that is often being used to optimize campaigns: In the past, Apple introduced the feature for users to decide if they want to share data with certain apps, such as Facebook. Although Facebook users had previously agreed to the terms and conditions of Facebook stating that the platform was allowed to use their data, they could now decide that they smartphones were not allowed to share this kind of data with the platform. What sounds like a small change was actually quite huge: Users got the power over their data back. And Facebook? Those guys probably weren't happy about it. After all, Facebook earns money by using the data to enable marketers to target their audiences as specifically as possible. When users don't share this kind of data anymore, marketers can't target as efficiently anymore. They might miss out on a part of their target audiences. 

However, Apple didn't stop there. So far, the privacy update didn't concern internal communication, but the new privacy update of Apple Mail does: From now on, Apple Mail users are able to decide if they want to share data about their email behaviour with the sender. This includes opening emails, for example, or information if they clicked on a link you included in your email. Again, this might not sound too bad, but it is pretty annoying for everybody working with email campaigns and using mailing programs. Usually, opening and click-through rates are seen as an important indicator if a campaign was successful or not. When users can decide to not share this kind of data with the sender of those campaigns anymore, they need to find a different way to measure the success of a campaign.


What data do you need to know if your email campaign was efficient?

Let's take a small detour: What data do you need if you want to know if your campaign was efficient? If you send out a simple email from your private email account to everybody in the company, you most likely don't know if people received, opened or read your email. Or if they clicked the link you included. You simply don't have any idea if your 'campaign' was a success or not.


That's why we keep saying that it's important to use tools. When it comes to email campaigns, we are talking about emailing programs that marketers have been using for years: That software that helps you create a campaign, maybe even with dynamic content, and send it out and provides you with information about opening rates, click-through rates and more. By looking at the data, you can draw conclusions if your campaign was successful or if, maybe, your target audience needs a reminder. And it doesn't only help you to improve the campaign at hand. You can also use the data to make your next email campaign even more awesome.


That sounds great, doesn't it? However, with the new privacy update of Apple Mail, you simply won’t have this kind of data anymore. When users are asked if they want to share the activities in their email provider, they'll most likely choose not to. That means, you won't know if people opened your email, clicked the link or downloaded the attachment, even if you use the most fancy emailing program. So, if you only use email statistics to measure if your email campaign was successful, you might have a problem in the future. Because without the data you need, how would you know?


How to keep measuring the efficiency of your email campaign

You might say that this doesn't apply to your internal communication campaigns, as your company doesn't work with Apple or your employees don't use Apple Mail. As Microsoft hasn't rolled out a comparable privacy update yet, that might be true for now. But let's assume for a second that Apple won't stay the only one protecting the privacy of its users more and more. How can you possibly keep tracking the efficiency of your email campaign?


Before you start to rethink all internal communication campaigns and try to find alternatives for emails, think about this: Although the data emailing programs provide you with is certainly useful and a good indicator if your target audience received your message, it's not the only measurable data you can use to determine the efficiency of your email campaign. While the opening rate might tell you more about who opened the email and who didn't, technically, it doesn't say much about if people actually read the content of the email. The same goes for the click-through rate: Although you know people read enough to click through, it doesn't give you a lot of information about their behaviour on the landing page. Did they spend enough time there to read the information you prepared? Did they download the infographic or watch the animation you put on the page for them? The opening rate and click-through rate are great indicators, but they are not the only way to measure an email campaigns' efficiency.


When linking a landing page in your email campaign, there is actually a very easy way to still gather the right data insights about your target audience. By linking the page to Google Analytics, for example, you can track exactly how much time your audience spends on the page, how often they come back and what their behaviour on the landing page is. Depending on your overall goal, this way, you can easily keep an eye on the progress of your campaign and determine if it's efficient or not. But at the same time, you are less dependend on the users' choices if they want to keep sharing data on their email behaviour with you.

Need help to set up your next internal communication (email) campaign? Get in touch! Our consultants can help you find the ideal solution to reach your internal target audience with your message!

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