What Will Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection Mean for Newsletters?

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This Week
August 26, 2021
What Will Apple's Mail Privacy Protection Mean For Newsletters?
Amazon Gets a Boost from Apple's ATT
Does the FTC Understand Ad Tech?
Newsletter Marketing Under Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection
Image by Muhammad Ribkhan from Pixabay
Spoiler alert: It’s not pretty. Many publications opine that Apple Mail Privacy Protection is going to drastically change the way newsletter marketing takes place and that said marketers must readjust their strategies now, before changes go into effect.

Similar to Apple ATT for App Store apps before it, Apple's Mail Privacy Protection will offer users the option to either protect mail activity or not. We can bet that the opt-in rate for protection will be high.

“Apple Mail users may hide their IP addresses, locations and additional data from senders, preventing brands from pulling information like open rates and location.”

Potential effects of Apple Mail Privacy Protection, include the end of A/B testing using opens, the end of audience cohort, segmentation, or targeting based on the last open date, and so much more.

Also on the chopping block: tracking pixels.
Why This Matters
Tracking pixels are unseen to the naked eye, but provide email marketers with a wealth of information, from open rates, geolocation, and what type of device the consumer is using. Apple Mail Privacy Protection plans to take those pixels and host them on an anonymized server, meaning the reader will open a cached email and no personalized data will be sent back to marketers.

“There are entire marketing and consulting companies built around these tracking pixels — allowing things like personalized weather-based email content based on where you open your email, or dynamically changing offers based on when you open your email. Using Mail Privacy Protection will prevent that kind of dynamic content from working — and puts some of those niche companies in a bit of an identity crisis.”

Other outlets believe that losing tracking pixels is not the end all be all that many companies believe. In fact, some see this as an opportunity to showcase options that are better and more efficient at tracking consumers like first-party data, click through rates, and reader surveys.

Basically, the future of the open rate as a sole measure of email marketing success is hanging in the balance, prompting the need to reevaluate clicks and conversions even more now.

The New York Times certainly isn’t concerned, given that the newspaper had doubled down on newsletter marketing, making a third of its newsletters subscription-only and launching 7 new opinion newsletters.
Apple’s ATT Privacy Changes a Boon for Amazon?
Move over, Facebook and Google; there’s a not-so-new player in town named Amazon that continues to gain steady traction as marketers increase their ad spend with the commerce platform following Apple's ATT privacy changes.

“Unlike its large rivals, Amazon is not focused on cross-site and cross-app digital advertising. Instead, it is drawing on its huge collection of shopper profiles to target relevant ads to those currently browsing its site. These ads sometimes appear on sidebars, or above or below product search results.”
Why This Matters
Apple’s IDFA privacy change was supposed to upend the advertising ecosystem, but it seems to be working in Amazon’s favor.

So if you ever doubted that the duopoly is now a triopoly...

“Prior to the privacy update, Amazon had 10.7% of the digital advertising market (compared to Google’s 28.8% and Facebook’s 25.4%, according to eMarketer). Amazon’s 2nd quarter ad revenues, the period in which the Apple privacy update first went active, increased 87.5%. Facebook only saw a 56% increase.”

Graham Mudd, Facebook’s VP of ads product marketing recently spoke about the privacy changes it's making to its ad platform to deal with Apple’s privacy updates.

“Facebook is already shutting down how much analytics it reports back to marketers about the demographics of consumers who engaged with ads, according to partners. Without granular data from Facebook, marketers can’t reliably compare how the ads perform to other parts of their ads elsewhere.”

Finally, Facebook has stopped whining about the loss of IDFA (remember those full-page print ads?) and is doing something about it. But critics are concerned that Facebook’s privacy-enhanced advertising intentions aren’t all that sincere. In the meantime, we have a few tips detailing what you can do to overcome data loss with Facebook advertising.
FTC Refiles Lawsuit Against Facebook. Is It for the Wrong Reasons?
The FTC refiled its antitrust lawsuit against Facebook after its initial one was thrown out in June. A judge said the FTC could not prove that Facebook had a monopoly in the social media market, nor could they offer up proper metrics to measure said monopoly.

“The lawsuit also raised new regulatory concerns about other Facebook acquisitions beyond Instagram and WhatsApp, alleging that the social-media giant engaged in a pattern of deals that hobbled would-be competitors. For example, the FTC alleged that when Facebook learned Snapchat and other companies were interested in a startup called EyeGroove—which allowed users to create and share music videos with augmented-reality effects—the tech giant moved quickly to acquire the app in 2016 and then shut it down.”
Why This Matters
Eric Benjamin Seufert of Mobile Dev Memo breaks down one area where the FTC is wrong in its lawsuit against Facebook: ad platforms don’t set prices.

Upon reading the FTC’s argument, Seufert discovered this: “Multiple times throughout the complaint, the FTC declares that Facebook’s monopoly control over the market for personal social networking resulted in unnaturally high 'advertising prices.’ This is simply incorrect, and it reveals a lack of understanding of the digital advertising ecosystem and how advertising inventory is priced.”

“Digital advertising inventory on large platforms like Facebook is sold through an auction: advertisers bid for impressions, the highest bidder wins, and, depending on the auction design used, either the second-highest or the highest bid sets the price for the placement.”

The FTC needs a better grasp of the digital advertising realm. There’s still a host of other arguments to be made against Facebook, but the FTC is only complicating things.
Sweet Tweet
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Worth a Listen
Apple's Mail Privacy Protection: What It Is and Why It Matters
Chad White, Head of Research, Oracle Marketing Consulting, breaks down Apple's latest iOS 15 update and Mail Privacy Protection.
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