Curious about Apple’s new Hide My Email feature? Designed to keep Apple Mail inboxes free of spam, Hide My Email is a service that lets users keep their personal email address private whether creating a new account with an app, signing up for a newsletter online, or sending an email. It is also referred to as Mail Privacy Protection from iOS 14.

But what does it all mean? We break down what it is, the benefits and drawbacks, and how it may impact email deliverability.

What is Apple’s new Hide My Email (HME) feature?

Part of the latest email security feature for iOS 15 and iCloud Plus paid subscribers, HME gives users the ability to generate unlimited “burner,” unique email addresses that automatically forward to a personal inbox. This allows users to keep their personal email address private. Plus, users can delete it at any time or change the forwarding address.

How does Hide My Email work?

To use the HME feature, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap your Apple ID name
  3. Tap iCloud
  4. Tap Hide My Email
  5. Tap Create New Address
  6. Label it
Screenshot source msn.com

Above is a graphic illustrating where to find this feature in your iPhone. The last screen shows the current HME email address pattern, which will contain “0*@icloud.com” in the email address.

Meaning, the domain will be icloud.com and will contain 0* before the @ sign and * can be any alphabet letter. An example of this could be: johnnyappleseed0a@icloud.com.

Possible Impact on Email Deliverability—what are the implications?

Similar to almost any update, there are positives and negatives associated with the Hide My Email feature.

 Some of the things we consider a “thumbs up” include:

  1. Lower risk of primary/active inbox being compromised
  2. Like any alias email address, the HME email address will be valid, deliver, and engage for the products it has explicitly opted-in for
  3. If deleted and sent to, it will be categorized as a hard bounce (user does not exist), flagged as an invalid email address, and promptly suppressed from lists

A few of the negatives—or “thumbs down” ramifications:

  1. The average lifespan of the HME email address could be brief and therefore consistent behavioral data and sales leads cannot be gathered
  2. Apple can recycle the deleted burner email address as spam traps
  3. Users can more easily recognize unwanted content from brands and report as spam
  4. The email will still likely land in the spam folder if users start receiving emails they did not opt-in or sign up for
  5. It could harm your email reputation with Apple if misused

Key Takeaways

Users can create a burner address using the Hide My Email feature to get free stuff or for other bogus reasons. That said, this feature was created to protect users’ privacy. As a result, let’s adjust, reassess, and respect it for what it is.

We recommend focusing on utilizing email send best practices to reduce getting ‘burned’ by HME email addresses. As always, we encourage Omeda clients to prioritize first-party permission and send relevant content to your audience that they signed up for.

Have additional questions about the Hide My Email feature, email deliverability, or how to harness the power of first-party data? Connect with the experts at Omeda to learn more about our award-winning solution at sales@omeda.com.