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Email deliverability survey results

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday July 25, 2009 )

According to a recent survey, email deliverability rates still aren’t crash hot. Thanks to spammers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get legitimate, and often requested, marketing communications through to recipients.

For the first 6 months of 2009, Return Path found that overall deliverabilty for permissioned, commercial email in the US and Canada was 79.3%.

Of the remainder that never hits the recipients’ inbox; 3.3% winds up in a junk or bulk email folder and 17.7% disappears into a black hole.

When it comes to email sent to business addresses, the figures are even worse. Only 72.4% of commercial email makes it through due to many enterprises using Postini, Symantec and MessageLabs to filter mail and these services are more likely to block it rather than reroute it to a junk or bulk email folder.

In regards to mail being delivered through ISP’s, In the United States, the toughest inboxes to reach are those at MSN, Hotmail and Gmail.

Hotmail is well known for blackholing perfectly legitimate email; I think Gmail is more likely to divert it to the bulk email folder – which is a little bit better than having communications just disappear. As in indication of how widespread the Hotmail problem is, when you run a search on “email deliverability” in Google, one of the few related search suggestions that pops up is “hotmail email delivery”. I know of some list owners who won’t accept subscriptions with a Hotmail address.

Return Path conducted the study by monitoring data relating to the delivery, blocking and filtering rates for more than 500,000 campaigns between January and June 2009.

While 100% deliverability will likely never be achievable (especially while Hotmail has its filter set to paranoid), there are quite a few things you can do to improve the chances of your communications hitting your target’s inbox. Pick up some tips and learn more about email deliverability issues.

Read more of the Return Path email deliverability study.

How to test your email campaigns against spam filters

Autoresponder and email marketing software and services


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