B2B Email Falloff Far Outpaces That Of B2C: Study

A new study confirms what many would say is intuitive — that B2B email lists are not as reliable as B2C.

The attrition rate for B2B email addresses is 21.07% compared to 3.22% for consumer addresses, according The State Of Email Attrition 2018, a report by NeverBounce, a provider of email verification and list cleaning services.   

There are many possible reasons for this, including employee job-hopping, and change of B2B email domains due to mergers, departmental changes and human failure to renew domains, the study states.

NeverBounce gathered a sample of 40 million email addresses from 20,000 sources and developed an average control group, half B2B and half B2C. The study was conducted over a 12-month period between 2016 and 2017.

The firm eliminated invalid, unknown and “catch-all email data.”

However, when verifying addresses — a lengthy procedure based on a 20-plus-step cleaning process — NeverBounce determined that 96.78% of the B2C addresses were valid, compared to 78.93% for B2B.

Email addresses from domains such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and Verizon were classified as B2C. Those from corporate or business domains went into the B2B category.

This placement was determined by email addresses. Those that went to a company domain — as in “@neverbounce.com” — were deemed to be B2B.

Attrition rates vary from year to year and are affected by spam complaints and “technological and societal variables.” The major ISPs and ESPs set thresholds for bounced emails, spam complaints and unsubscribes, NeverBounce notes.

The study states that email address churn rates fall into two categories: transparent and opaque.

Transparent churn, or voluntary churn, is the result of an email user’s action — i.e., unsubscribing, filing a spam complaint, or inaction.

Opaque churn, or involuntary churn, results from messages being delivered into a bulk or spam folder, or to an email account with which the recipient does not engage.  

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