Open rates

Tip 96 – Your open rates are lying to you

Privacy-focused email clients can skew your open rates.

Learn what’s no longer reliable in iOS15 and Apple’s Mail app:

  • By default, all tracking pixels are opened, altering the open rate.
  • IPs are also blocked. So you won’t know where users are coming from.
  • Device tracking doesn’t work so you no longer know if your email was opened on an iPhone, iPad or desktop.
  • Users can now generate one-off emails in Apple Mail to hide their actual email. This makes it difficult to link emails to purchases or third-party data.

Note: Gmail is also pre-opening emails, but this is a small issue (~2% open rate inflation for Gmail users) compared to Apple.

What can you do?

  • Stop measuring open rates
  • Stop using subject line open rates as a metric for A/B testing
  • Stop optimising for send times
  • Stop building email sequences that trigger on opens
  • Count your subscribers that use Apple devices. If small, you may not need to worry!
  • Update segments that are reliant on open rates to use a different metric.
  • Focus on click and reply metrics.
  • Focus on growth and retention metrics.
  • Regularly clean up your mailing list.
  • Ensure double opt-ins and confirmation campaigns are in place.

To learn more, read Simon Harper’s extensive documentation on iOS15 and Apple Mail privacy changes.

Hope you enjoyed today’s tip. Seeya tomorrow!

Lesley Sim
Diehard newsletter nerd

Want to know how I built this? Each email was first built in Newsletter Glue (a WordPress plugin I created), then automated in MailerLite. Learn more about how I built

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