Email Deliverability Rates Drop In 2015

Some 21% of sent email messages do not reach their intended recipients, according to new research announced today by Return Path. Global inbox deliverability rates have decreased by 4% since 2014, when only 17% of emails did not reach their intended recipient.

Return Path’s 2015 Deliverability Benchmark Report analyzed inbox placement statistics by country, industry and email provider. The report was based on a representative sample of the 357 million email marketing messages that Return Path has tracked this year.

Both spam trap emails and missing emails were included in the deliverability statistics.

Email Deliverability Rates By Country:

The U.S. saw one of the sharpest declines in email deliverability overall, with one in four emails landing in the spam box or going missing. U.S. email deliverability rates have dropped from 87% in 2014 to 76% in 2015. Canada fared better, but also saw a drop in deliverability rates from 83% in 2014 to 79% in 2015.

Brazil saw the highest jump in email inbox placement, which increased from 60% in 2014 to 74% in 2015. The country, however, still falls below global averages.

In Europe, the United Kingdom, France and Germany all saw their inbox deliverability rates drop. Spain remained consistent at 76% deliverability, while Italy saw a gain of 2% from 81% in 2014 to 83% in 2015.

Australia still maintained the highest deliverability rate out of the countries represented in Return Path’s study. Australia dropped from 89% deliverability in 2014, to 88% in 2015.

Email Deliverability Rates By Industry:

Consumer-facing industries have the highest email deliverability rates, per the report.  The retail, health and beauty, food and beverage, automotive and apparel industries all have email deliverability rates of 90% or above.

Software and Industry companies showed the greatest improvement, from 43% in 2014 to 68% in 2015, and technology companies had the biggest drop, from 70% in 2014 to 45% in 2015.

The health and beauty industry performed the best overall with a 96% deliverability rating, but did not show any growth from 2014.

Mail Providers May Be Affecting Deliverability Rates:

One factor impeding email marketer’s deliverability ratings could be consumers’ email providers and new spam filtering systems. Yahoo! Mail inbox placement rates dropped 13%, while Gmail stayed consistent and improved by 3%. It will be interesting to see if Gmail’s new block button will affect 2016 deliverability rates.

Another factor could be the sheer volume of email traffic, according to the report. Return Path says that email traffic has been increasing, and grew by 7% in 2014 and 16% since 2013.

 “The inbox is becoming harder to reach, partly because mailbox providers are applying increasingly sophisticated algorithms to understand what content their users truly value,” states George Bilbrey, president at Return Path.

Bilbrey adds that marketers need to analyze subscriber engagement and deliverability data to get a better overview of their email performance. Marketers should track and analyze ongoing email performance to provide a swift respond to any downward trends in email metrics.


1 comment about "Email Deliverability Rates Drop In 2015".
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  1. Dave Kohl from First In Promotions, October 14, 2015 at 4:12 p.m.

    I'm not sure you can go by industry on this survey. We found that some spammers are sending 16 e-mails to the same company (using our various e-mails) at the same time, which probably counts as delivered, yet are deleted at our end due to multiple simultaneous sends. It also happens that we get e-mails quite frequently intended for companies which have similar names to ours but are undelivered due to human error.

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