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How does Apple's Mail Privacy Protection affect ConvertKit Ads and Sponsorships?
How does Apple's Mail Privacy Protection affect ConvertKit Ads and Sponsorships?

Understand how this Apple feature may lead to your ads generating fewer impressions and lower revenue.

Updated over a week ago

Limitations on ad tracking and reporting

If your emails are recording stellar open rates but generating fewer impressions and lower revenue from your ads than expected, this could be because your subscribers have Apple's Mail Privacy Protection feature enabled.

Here's how the feature works and how it can impact your ad revenue.

What is Mail Privacy Protection?

Mail Privacy Protection is Apple's feature for preventing email platforms (like ConvertKit) from tracking whether a recipient has opened an email.

It applies to users who:

  • Read emails using Apple's Mail app—regardless of their email domain, e.g.,,, or a company domain, and who

  • Have the app's Mail Privacy Protection feature enabled. (The feature is enabled by default on all iOS devices running iOS 15 or later.)

How does Mail Privacy Protection work?

If a person has Mail Privacy Protection enabled, Apple will automatically load any pixels found in their email.

Pixels are small, invisible images we add to the bottom of your emails to help us track your emails' open rates. When a person opens your email, the pixel gets loaded—which signals us to record that the email has been opened.

But as a result of Mail Privacy Protection, we can't tell whether the loading of the pixel was due to the recipient opening your email or due to Apple automatically doing so.

Accordingly, we may inaccurately record the email as opened even if the recipient hasn't actually opened it.

Impact on programmatic ads

Fewer (recorded) ad impressions

If we detect that Apple has automatically opened your emails via the Mail Privacy Protection feature, we will exclude those ad impressions from the ConvertKit Ads reports.

This is because we can't be sure whether the ad has actually been seen by the email recipient or not.

Potentially lower ad revenue

We use ad impressions to calculate how much ad revenue to pay out. But as mentioned:

  • We exclude impressions that have been logged as a result of Mail Privacy Protection.

  • Mail Privacy Protection may also cause us to inaccurately record an email as opened when the recipient hasn't done so.

As a result, your ads may generate fewer ad impressions, and hence lower revenue, even though your emails appear to have high open rates.

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