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The End of Open Rates: Understanding The Metrics that Matter for Today’s Email Marketers

We knew the end was coming for open rates after Apple announced that its iOS 15.1 update would include Mail Privacy Protection (MPP), allowing users to opt out of email tracking.

So, now that the update is here and people are opting out, as expected, email marketers are being forced to say “so long” to open rates as a reliable metric.

Let’s take a look at how the iOS 15.1 update affects email users to better understand the new metrics email marketers should be following.

What Happens When A User Opens Apple Mail

Before the iOS 15.1 update, Apple would cache the image of an email sent to Apple Mail as soon as the reader opened it. That tracked pixel indicated that the email had been opened, which would get recorded as part of a campaign’s open rate.

After the update, the email image on users who have opted into MPP is still cached on an Apple server. The difference is that it’s cached after the email is sent but before the message is viewed. Unfortunately, this means marketers can’t tell whether an email was opened by a person or Apple.

Making things even more complicated is the fact that a majority (85 percent) of Apple Mail recipients that have enabled MPP view images less than two minutes after the email is sent. This inflates open rates for marketers and makes it impossible to get an accurate open rate.

So, if your open rates have looked significantly off over the last six or so months, this is why. Open rates are no longer an accurate metric to gauge a campaign’s success since they don’t accurately tell you when (or if) a person opened an email.

What Email Marketing Analytics to Track Instead of Open Rates

Now that it’s crystal clear that open rates aren’t worth tracking because they’re wildly inaccurate, marketers need to figure out what other metrics to track to validate their campaigns.

Today’s email marketers should focus on other funnel metrics to tell them if users are engaging with their emails, including conversion events, clicks, opt-outs, and revenue.

Click and conversion data can be vital for recognizing what is and is not a valuable impression. Unfortunately, click and conversion data is challenging to analyze and measure for everyone except large businesses. So, marketers will need to consider other factors that are within their control (and budgets).

List hygiene is an essential part of email marketing. By working with clean email data, email marketers can ensure that their campaigns reach the right audiences at the right time. This will also minimize opt-outs and provide more meaningful insights about what their audiences want from an email campaign.

Marketers can use the zero-party and first-party data they glean from their clean email data to build personalized email campaigns. Personalization is a critical part of any marketing strategy and can help marketers build relationships with their audience. By sending relevant emails to their audience, healthcare marketers can ensure their message gets to the right people.

Reach Your Target Audience with HealthLink Connect

Personalization will always win in email marketing, which is why it’s so critical to make sure your emails are reaching the right audience.

HealthLink Connect has solutions to help hospital and life science marketers engage with healthcare providers on their favorite devices. Use HealthLink Connect to reach healthcare providers on endemic web properties and beyond.

Learn more about HealthLink Connect for hospitals and HealthLink Connect for Life Sciences. Then, contact us to get started.

 

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