Reevaluating Open Rates and Email Marketing Success One Year After Apple’s Privacy Changes

← Back to blogPublishing

It’s been just over a year since Apple implemented its much-discussed-about, much-fussed-about Mail Privacy Protection feature, and the initial first-year findings confirm many of the impacts that email marketers predicted.

Apple’s intent was to provide iPhone iOS15 users who wished to opt-in with “even more transparency and control over the data users provide to apps.” To those third-party marketers, Apple’s feature would prevent them from knowing whether their emails had been opened by automatically impacting the open-rate and thus upending one of the most important metrics for email-marketing success. Additionally, email-senders would no longer be able to discover unique digital details that would otherwise help them create user profiles (such as IP addresses and location).

Omnisend, an ecommerce-focused marketing platform, analyzed 15 billion promotional-campaign emails sent by its customers in the year since Apple’s update as well as 20 billion emails sent in the year prior to Apple’s update. Of the somewhat-expected-but-still-shocking numbers:

  • The average open rate was 93.6% higher since the update
  • Q4 open rates saw minimal differences when compared to the first nine months of 2019 and 2020 (a 1.9% decline and an 0.8% increase, respectively), but increased 59% after the update in 2021
  • Looking at just the first 8 months of each year, the average year-over-year open rates increased by 21.8% from 2019 to 2020, by 18.9% from 2020 to 2021, and 93.5% from 2021 to 2022

Best CRM for Magazine Publishers

“The results are clear,” Omnisend’s research concludes. “iOS 15 has changed the game for ecommerce email marketers by impacting the ways email marketers view open rates. Like all of the other Apple innovations, brands need to evolve to account for this new email marketing normal.” Omnisend offers a number of recommendations, from “evolving “to a more engagement-based strategy” to looking at the finer details such as email subject lines.

What users’ actions are you paying attention to? Are you optimizing your newsletters for meaningful opt-in engagement? Is your advertising team looking at programmatic advertising options that are less dependent on third-party cookies? How else are you measuring the marketing-campaign success of your digital editions?

Share your successes in the comments below, and stay up-to-date on email marketing trends with The Magazine Manager Blog.


The Magazine Manager is a web-based CRM solution designed to help digital and print publishers manage sales, production, and marketing in a centralized platform.

Request a Demo

Schedule a free demo with an experienced software consultant to help make your publishing efforts successful.

Related Articles