The use of newsletters has increased in recent years. For customer loyalty, to increase sales or even process emails that provide information on consumption figures or invoices at regular intervals, for example. This has been accompanied by the evaluation of the newsletters. The opening rate is one of the first key figures after the delivery rate.
With the new iOS and macOS versions from Apple, the so-called tracking pixels can be misled so that they no longer provide meaningful measurement values. Here's what can happen to emails:

  • The media content of an email, i.e. also the tracking pixels, are temporarily stored on a proxy server. This means that an opening of the e-mail is displayed because the proxy server has accessed the tracking pixel and not the e-mail recipient. The recipient receives the media content from the proxy server. This leads to problems with sending time optimisation because this can no longer be measured beyond doubt - at least not for all current Apple operating system versions. Marketing automation also has a hard time with this. Previously, it was possible to send a reminder to those addressees who had not yet opened the mail. This no longer works in this form.
  • One approach is to filter out the Apple proxy accesses from the KPIs, if this can be done in your system. Then the opening rates will drop around the Apple users. However, this is not expected to be a permanent solution. Other manufacturers will surely follow suit and introduce similar privacy techniques.
  • IP addresses of subscribers are also disguised by routing the content via different proxy servers. It is then only possible to rudimentarily determine regions in which a client is located.
  • Countdown graphics can probably also no longer be used sensibly because the graphic stored on the proxy server shows the time of sending or opening the graphic and not the time of opening the newsletter.

It should be noted, however: This can all happen if you update to the new operating system versions and disable tracking. This does not necessarily apply to all Apple users from now on. Although the proportion will certainly increase.
And now? Open rates have been a popular metric in newsletter marketing. But it is by far not the most important key figure. In the end, everything revolves around the conversion anyway. Since the links in the emails are not affected, they will not be affected by the innovations. So rethink!