Evergreen by Jason Resnick

Apple didn't kill email

publishedalmost 2 years ago
1 min read

In the wake of yesterday's Apple announcement and how it relates to email, specifically your email list and subscribers, I wanted to help clear up any potential panic.

The announcement of a new feature called Mail Privacy Protection "helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email, and masks their IP address so it can't be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location."

If you've been reading my emails for any length of time, you'll know that I'm not a HUGE fan of open rates being a measure of engagement.

It's a fuzzy metric because of the way it's implemented.

Email providers embed an image that's a transparent 1x1 pixel into the email. When an email gets opened, the technology is such that the image is loaded and counted as an "open."

The problem with this is (and has been way before yesterday):

  • Some email clients don't display images by default
  • Users turn the "display images" setting off
  • Platforms like Hey, don't even allow for this type of tracking
  • There are services and software that scan your emails and record them as an open even when your subscriber never saw it

The only thing that open rates should be used for is a signal that you've been blocked. If your open rates fall below 5%, you need to resolve a severe technical issue.

Open rates should be taken with a grain of salt.

Here's real talk.

Do you generate revenue from someone opening an email?

I understand that your subscribers may only read and never click on a link.

I understand that your emails may not even include a link.

I understand that your emails may only ask for a reply.

There are many types of use cases for email.

But when it's time to decide on pruning unengaged subscribers, and you send a re-engagement campaign, encourage them to click a link.

Even if you flat out say: "If you want to remain getting my emails, please click this link. Otherwise, you'll be removed in 2 days."

If your platform has a segment or classification of a Cold Subscriber, then you'll want to look up what that classification means and then figure out how to apply that to your business.

What does an engaged subscriber mean to you?

Do they reply?

Do they click?

Do they buy?

Build a process then around YOUR metric of what an engaged subscriber is.