How Apple’s New Privacy Protection Impacts Advisor Email Marketing 


Email is the most popular, flexible and mature method of digital communication. Email is a core part of digital marketing activities in most Wealth Management businesses, so Apple’s recent changes to how emails are read and tracked is causing some concerns in marketing circles.

In this post we’ll explain how the changes Apple made to protect user privacy impacts Advisor email marketing and how platforms like ReachStack are able to continue to deliver audience insight and performance measurement.

What is a Pixel

Email-based digital marketing platforms rely on a clever technique for tracking opens and other aspects of how recipients interact with emails. 

A pixel is a 1-by-1 pixel graphic image that is added to the header and footer of an email. A pixel image is very small and often transparent so it is not easily viewed by the recipient. When an email is viewed, the pixel image is displayed which is how email marketing platforms determine that a user has opened the email, along with other information such as the user’s operating system and the time spent on email. A pixel can also be used to track behaviour back at the website to which the email is driving traffic.

Until recently, pixel tracking was hard to block and so this method became widely used by email marketers. Then, Apple came along and changed all that.

How Apple’s New Privacy Protection impacts Advisor Email Marketing results

Apple’s email software is the most popular in the world – over 50% of all email sent is read on a device using Apple email software.

On Sep 20, 2021, as part of a new set of privacy provisions, Apple introduced changes to how emails are read and tracked which in turn has impacted the reliability of the pixel method.

With new Apple Mail Privacy Protection, the Apple Mail software preloads images and content of emails – including the tracking pixel – regardless of whether or not the recipient actually opened the email. In other words, if your client receives an email from you while using the Apple Mail app, the email will show as read no matter whether it has been or not.

This means that data on email open rates is no longer an accurate reflection of what the user has done with the email. But this doesn’t mean all email tracking is blocked.

How ReachStack continues to track Client Interests in Email Marketing

While email opens are important to consider, they are not the only or even the most important behavior to pay attention to. 

Email newsletters created on the ReachStack platform include links to content that is tagged for subject matter and tracked for clicks. When a client or prospect clicks on one of the content links contained in your email, ReachStack tracks that action and you get valuable data on what topics that person is most interested in.

According to Sean Kenalty, ReachStack co-CEO and CTO, “Getting this type of personalized data on your clients’ interests is very valuable in the context of providing financial advisory services. We use the information to build a better understanding of every client’s needs and interests – so the Advisor and firm can better satisfy and grow their business.”

Bottom Line: Everything is OK. Tracking Clicks is more valuable then Opens

When you notice your email open rates suddenly going up, don’t get too excited about it because it doesn’t necessarily mean more recipients are opening your emails.

Key to success in email marketing is focusing on “why” behind the clicks. By tracking and analyzing why a client clicks on a particular article or link, Advisors build a much better profile of what each client is really interested in or need. Having this specific information for every client enables Advisors to prioritize their time against best opportunities, send more relevant information and have richer conversations.

As an example, below are an Advisor Action Report and Client profile from ReachStack. These are enabled by the email and social media click tracking data. These reports provide specific information on what products and topics that client is interested in.

No that’s something to get excited about.

ReachStack Advisor Action Report
ReachStack Client Profile

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