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Apple Mail privacy protection and BookBub Ads

We’re making some changes to the BookBub Ads auction in response to the rollout of Apple Mail privacy protections. You can read about the changes below, and we would encourage you to contact us if you have any further questions! 

Apple is introducing new privacy settings for Apple Mail users in the iOS 15 and mac OS updates, which are rolling out in September. After upgrading to the new OS, users will be prompted to opt in to email privacy protection for their Apple Mail accounts. Protected accounts will hide certain information from email senders, including whether or not the user opened an email. As a result, any email delivered to a protected Apple Mail user will appear as “opened” to senders like BookBub.

How does this impact BookBub Ads?

We want to reassure you that we don’t anticipate any impact on how BookBub and Chirp readers engage with our emails — they’ll continue opening emails and clicking on ads at the rates they always have been! But the ability to track when a user opens an email is an important part of the BookBub Ads auction. While ads serving on BookBub.com will not be impacted, the majority of BookBub Ads impressions are served in BookBub or Chirp emails, and our auction is triggered to run each time a user opens one of those emails. You can learn more about this process here.

Without any changes, our auction would be triggered to serve impressions each time we recorded an automatic email open from a protected Apple Mail user, resulting in impressions that may not be viewed by a real reader — an outcome we’d like to avoid!

What is BookBub planning to do about this?

Our top priority is to ensure that our advertisers can continue reaching engaged readers with their campaigns and spending their advertising budgets effectively. To protect advertisers from paying for unviewed Apple Mail impressions, we’re updating our ad auction to prevent ads from serving to emails we suspect are automatically opened by Apple Mail rather than a real reader.

What does this mean for my campaigns?

We will do our best to make sure your campaigns only serve impressions in emails opened by a real reader, but we want to acknowledge that our process for identifying artificial opens will not be perfect. As we adapt to the privacy protection rollout in the coming months, there will be some risk of serving unviewed impressions to Apple Mail users. 

Our auction adjustments are especially focused on minimizing this risk for CPM (cost per thousand impression) campaigns, but if you’re concerned about it, you may want to consider trying CPC (cost per click) bidding instead. CPC campaigns only pay for clicks, not impressions, so there is no cost to the advertiser if an artificial open (and unviewed impression) slips through the cracks. To learn more about how to effectively use CPC bidding, you can check out the following resources:

We're here to help!

Please don’t hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions about your ad campaigns in the coming months. We’d be happy to discuss your campaign goals and help you determine an effective bidding strategy.ode, packaged with KnowAll.

Is there anything else I need to know? 

While we can anticipate some of the impacts of this Apple Mail update, we expect that there will be more to learn and react to in the coming months. As we work to adapt the BookBub Ads auction, our primary focus is to ensure the continued success of you and other advertisers, so we would welcome any feedback you have during this process. Please feel free to get in touch with your rep or contact our team if you have any questions.

Updated on September 13, 2021

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