What Mail Privacy will Mean for Marketers

You might have read our post on mail privacy, Apple’s Mail iOS Upcoming Updates and Privacy Changes: What it Means for Hospitality Marketersguiding you on how to shift email marketing strategies as a result of Apple’s jarring new policies.

This article revisits our original discussion with updated information about the most recent changes from Apple, enabling hospitality leaders to make calculated decisions amidst an evolving guest data landscape.

What You Will See Here

The Mail Privacy Recap

Why This Recap Matters for Hospitality Marketers

What’s New in Mail Privacy

Important Mail Privacy Considerations

What’s Not Available with the Update and How to Adapt

Put Marketing In Manual

The Mail Privacy Recap

We know hospitality marketers take data privacy seriously, at the very least because their guests certainly do. At Revinate we not only embrace privacy protection, we prioritize it. We were quick to adopt the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation after its inception in 2016, and as data privacy laws continue to evolve we remain committed to sound governance and compliance management practices.

Meanwhile, the overall impact of Apple’s update remains a moving target. Here’s the bottom line:

Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) means open rates are harder to track. How do you measure a successful campaign without revenue attribution? Revinate’s revenue attribution is based on opens and clicks. So, even if this update limits the ability to capture email opens, it won’t impact your ability to track revenue attribution from corresponding clicks.

Apple’s Hide My Email feature reassures guests their “real” email address won’t be shared across the web. This is a feature that requires activation – it’s not a default setting – so email opens will be tracked as usual until the user actively deploys it.

That’s good news, what’s more important is the fact your guests are less likely to use Hide My Email because they want to hear from you, they opted-in because of your brand equity and passion to deliver what they seek. And don’t forget, Revinate’s Advanced Profile Synthesis still allows for one-to-one communications with guests or prospects enrolled to receive your promotions and offers.

Why This Recap Matters for Hospitality Marketers

Smarter HQ found 86% of people are concerned about data privacy, but 90% of them are willing to give up their autonomy if it meant an enhanced experience. This speaks to the importance of establishing a distinct value exchange as the first step towards building great guest experiences, which hinges on personalization.

Apple’s changes are an opportunity to establish, or revisit, your value exchange through a strategic lens to ensure you receive the consent you need to drive your marketing efforts efficiencies. They’re also, quite literally, your initial chance to build trust. For example, providing clear context to your guests about what data you’re collecting, how you use it, and most importantly, that it’s for establishing an understanding of how best to serve them, drives interest.

Certainly, smart tools are required to deliver on this promise. Segmentation tools identify guest preferences, creating compelling content that matters which leads to memorable campaigns and conversion.

And if you’re looking for ways to fine-tune what guests want to hear, Revinate’s Guest Preferences provides a survey that drills down on what kind of amenities matter most to them, minimizing the dreaded email “unsubscribe.”

What’s New In Mail Privacy

Slow Adoption for Apple Updates: According to computerworld.com, business analytics survey company, Mixpanel, reports as of January 21, 2022, iOS 15 (which contains Apple’s mail and privacy updates) is active on 64% of devices, while iOS 14 is running on about 32%.

This is – historically speakingA slow conversion, largely attributed to the fact users can still receive important updates on iOS 14 (but not MPP or Hide My Email). Ultimately this means the effects of Apple’s Mail and Privacy updates have been gradual, which allows hospitality marketers to observe the effects in a slow roll – so far.

Hiding IP Addresses: Apple users can hide their IP addresses while using the Safari browser, disrupting some marketers’ methods of tracking online activity, browsing habits, or location. Apple also transforms the pursued into the pursuers, as users can see who is tracking them through a new Safari Privacy Report.

Meanwhile, Private Relay – a VPN-like service exclusive to paid iCloud+ subscribers – masks the sites a user visits; a potential wrench in the gear of first-party data collection and identity resolution capabilities.

Not an Easy Choice: Like most big tech, Apple has the leverage to force its users to make a choice. Unfortunately, in this case, the choice isn’t particularly clear. The premise is as follows: A user receives a hidden IP address that provides for loading remote content privately in the background – even when they don’t open the message. This makes user activity harder to follow.

However, it also potentially creates a poor user experience, since loading something users haven’t even opened throws up a red flag, or at least disrupts their experience, a price many consumers aren’t willing to pay for privacy.

Important Mail Privacy Considerations

MPP does not have an impact on total clicks. This means they’re still a reliable success measurement because it simply shows the number of recipients who clicked a link. Measuring total clicks driven across email campaigns with a similar number of recipients will identify engagement rates.

And remember, properties already measure success with more valuable metrics, specifically conversion rates, list growth rates, overall ROI, and don’t forget revenue attribution!

What’s Not Available with the Update and How to Adapt

Individual subscriber data, email open time, location, and platform information is unavailable with the Apple update. This has the potential to create negative experiences for guests as they interact with hospitality brands multiple times across multiple devices.

What can you do?

  • Adjust send rate optimization to ensure send time data isn’t compromised by Apple MPP users
  • Remove device and location metrics from reporting, or earmark data that is questionable
  • Review dynamic email content like weather reports or off-property attractions that rely on time or location-specific data and consider curating for non-Apple users or remove it altogether
  • Location data is incredibly helpful. Use existing brand equity and create a line item asking for location information in forms, onboarding emails, or your preference center

Put Marketing In Manual

The loss of automatic transmission of performance signals doesn’t make it harder to connect the dots that lead to conversion – just different.

  • Hit every touchpoint, just like when garnering location data. Brand equity-driven, first-party user data from form fills, email interactions, content downloads, websites, SMS opt-ins, and existing guest preferences are the new voice of the guest. Use them to segment, map the guest journey, and create personalized content.
  • Track leads and funnel movement directly through offline conversion tracking; which allows you to integrate first-party CRM data.
  • Remember: The voice of the guest is more reliable, and more actionable than any information from external sources.

Revinate will continue to monitor the impacts of Apple’s Mail and Privacy Updates and how it affects the hospitality email marketing landscape. We know that collecting viable data leads to a better understanding of your guests, which allows for targeted and personalized communications, mitigating the effects of changes like these.

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