Apple Mail is wasting your email marketing spend (and how Ematic fixes it)


If you’re an email marketer, you may have noticed a much higher open rate since the iOS 15 update back in late 2021. 

Unfortunately, it’s not that your hooks and one-liners are suddenly capturing a higher number of customers–it’s because of a change in Apple Mail functionality that Apple pushed two years ago. 

As of September 2021, Apple Mail is automatically reading and opening all emails received as part of a privacy protocol. This means open metrics are no longer accurate–it’s possible that a number of your open metrics are just Apple Mail users whose Apple Mail apps automatically read the emails. The users themselves probably haven’t even seen the emails!

The use of Apple Mail has thrown a wrench in the works of email marketers everywhere. Due to the open metrics receiving false positives, Apple Mail users are being advanced to the next phase of email marketers’ email journeys without ever having interacted with the email, leading to them receiving more and more followup emails and traveling further down the email journey. It’s frustrating for both sides, because:

  1. For email marketers, they’re investing resources and time emailing and following up on false leads, and;
  2. For users, who are now being bombarded with emails and follow-up emails, because now there’s no way to tell whether a user is genuinely interested, or it’s just Apple Mail’s new protocol at work.


It’s not possible to tell if a user is using Apple Mail, because the app leaves no data footprint. The email is simply being marked as read, and the user isn’t interacting with the emails at all. 

This leads to a host of issues for the email marketer:

  • There’s no way to accurately measure the success of an email marketing campaign. With inflated data, an email marketing campaign may look like it’s succeeding when it’s not.
  • Segmenting mailing lists also becomes difficult. Open events used to be a reliable way to separate interested from uninterested users. Without it, it becomes harder to prune mailing lists (by removing uninterested users).
  • With mailing list hygiene now requiring more maintenance, more resources are needed in maintaining an accurate list of interested and uninterested users, resulting in more overhead.


The bottom line: marketers are wasting huge sums of money sending email to “engaged users” who aren’t in fact engaged at all, OR they’re losing opportunities by suppressing suspected Apple Mail users entirely, when there are still plenty of active, engaged users in that audience.


Hi-iQ: Our Solution to the Apple Mail Issue


What is Hi-iQ and How Does It Work?

Hi-iQ is our flagship AI product. It is a robust, self-learning algorithm designed to seamlessly integrate with your email database through a simple integration. It operates daily, automatically by retrieving the latest subscriber behaviour towards your past Email campaigns and suggests the most updated targeting whenever you’re scheduling a campaign.

By understanding each subscriber’s behaviour, Hi-iQ not only distinguishes between various levels of engagement but also effectively identifies those influenced by Apple Mail’s privacy policy—commonly known as “fake openers.” This ensures that your marketing efforts are far from blind shots in the dark.

Moreover, Hi-iQ doesn’t simply flag Apple Mail users and remove them from your list. Instead, it continuously monitors these users, regulating them back into your campaigns at a lower frequency. The aim? To capture those moments when a flagged user eventually shows real engagement. If this occurs, Hi-iQ immediately adjusts its data, recognizing this as a genuine interaction.


How Does This Help Me as an Email Marketer?

With Hi-iQ, you’re unburdening your team from the cumbersome task of sifting through possibly misleading data. You’re also no longer operating in a data fog; instead, you have precise insights into who is genuinely interacting with your emails.

But the real magic happens when you consider long-term impact. It not only helps you identify genuine engagement but also adapts continually based on user behavior. This ensures that you always stay connected to users who truly care and have great potential for your business.

By streamlining your list and targeting genuinely interested users, you’re likely to see reduced email costs and a higher ROI, all without having to compromise on your email performance metrics.


A Case Study

Case Study:Leflair

Leflair, an ecommerce platform, sends out email marketing campaign blasts to their user base on a daily basis. Since the Apple change in late 2021, Leflair has posted an average monthly send volume of 4 to 4.5 million emails. This would suggest a high cost of maintaining their email services. 

In August 2023, Ematic Solutions tested the new Hi-iQ feature on the client’s account. In late August, Hi-iQ was applied; by September, it was up and running.

When comparing August 2023 to September 2023, Leflair sent a little under 3 million emails, or a 38% reduction in total send volume, and a corresponding 59% reduction in open rate. This would later lead to savings of 35.29% and an increase in click rate due to a smaller, more accurate target audience. We know the Hi-iQ plugin works because the number of unique clicks remained flat at the average baseline despite the reduction in send volume. Overall, due to maintaining results while reducing inputs, this translates into a stable revenue for Leflair’s email marketing channels. Effectively, the brand’s ROI can be said to have improved due to lower costs.


Get Hi-iQ today

With the growing number of Apple Mail users, it’s crucial for email marketers to respond to Apple Mail’s privacy protocol. Otherwise, open events cannot be accurately tracked, which in turn can affect the numbers and statistics of email marketers. With that said, we’re happy to announce that our Hi-iQ email solution is available today, featuring wide-reaching viability and compatibility with multiple email platforms, including Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Campaign Monitor, Iterable, Mailjet, and more!


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