Email Marketing

Preparing for the Impact of iOS 17: The Era of Link Tracking Protection

In the wake of the iOS 15 update, marketers and agencies like The Email Factory faced a stern test of their resilience and adaptability, navigating through the challenges with creativity and determination. As we embraced the shifting landscape and focused on personalised engagement, we discovered new ways to thrive amidst the changes.

However, just as we thought the storm was successfully weathered, here we go again!

With the impending release of iOS 17, Apple is once again set to disrupt the email marketing world, this time with the introduction of link tracking protection. As we take time to analyse the potential impact, it’s time for us to gear up and prepare for yet another round of adjustments to our strategies and practices. So, let’s dive in and explore what lies ahead with iOS 17’s link tracking protection.

Apple’s continuous efforts to prioritise user privacy have led to the introduction of new features, and this time, link tracking protection takes center stage. As industry experts analyse the implications of this update, it becomes evident that email marketers must prepare for a shift in their strategies to navigate the evolving digital terrain.

iOS 17’s Link Tracking Protection:

The key feature of iOS 17 that is set to disrupt traditional email marketing practices is link tracking protection. This security measure aims to shield users from the intrusive tracking of their online activities via hyperlinks in emails. As a result, marketers will face challenges in tracking user engagement, and it’s crucial to understand the implications for future campaign planning.

Implications for Email Marketers:

While the link tracking protection in iOS 17 may pose challenges for email marketers, it’s important to remember that this is not the end of email tracking altogether. Most Email Service Providers (ESPs) use unique links for each and every link in an email, including the unsubscribe link. So, there are still ways to track user interactions to some extent.

However, email marketers should be prepared for potential limitations in data insights related to user behavior. Traditional link tracking methods, such as analysing click-through rates and conversion metrics, may become less effective or even obsolete. As a result, measuring the success of email campaigns could become more complex.

The impact on personalisation efforts should also be taken into account. Access to certain data necessary for creating tailored content may be limited due to link tracking protection. This may make it challenging to understand user preferences and deliver relevant messages, potentially leading to a decline in engagement and conversion rates.

Evolving Strategies and Collaboration:

To adapt to the changing landscape, email marketers will need to devise new strategies that focus on alternative metrics for assessing campaign performance. Traditional methods, like open rates and click-through rates, may no longer provide a complete picture. The emphasis may shift towards engagement-based metrics and user actions that do not rely on link tracking.

Collaboration with Email Service Providers will be vital as iOS 17 rolls out. Marketers should work closely with their ESPs to understand how this update impacts their tracking capabilities. Exploring alternative methods for analysing user interactions and collaborating on potential workarounds will be essential to continue delivering effective email campaigns.


As iOS 17’s link tracking protection looms on the horizon, email marketers must prepare for a paradigm shift in their strategies. While some challenges may arise, there are still ways to track user interactions to some extent. Most ESP’s unique links and UTM parameters will still work in this iteration of iOS17 but it’s surely only a matter of time before an iOS works out how to stop those too. Staying agile, informed, and open to alternative metrics will help navigate the challenges posed by iOS 17 and continue to deliver impactful and relevant email campaigns. Ultimately, the successful adaptation to iOS 17’s link tracking protection will be a testament to the industry’s ability to evolve with changing technology and prioritise user privacy.