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Reports Show Email Marketing Efforts Are Dipping Below 80%

According to a recent study conducted by global data solutions provider Return Path only about 79& of permissioned email marketing messages actually reached their reader’s intended inboxes.  This of course shows a decline from 2014 when 83% of all commercial email was successfully sent to their prospective destinations.  

“This means for every five emails sent, one never reached the intended recipient,” claims Return Path. “Instead, it’s either sent to a spam folder or goes missing — most likely blocked by the mailbox provider.”

The study also showed that the delivery rates were even lower for the US, reaching subscriber’s inboxes only 76% of the time.   That’s more than a 10% drop from last year when the inbox delivery rate was at 87% for the US alone.  

“The inbox is becoming harder to reach partly because mailbox providers are applying increasingly sophisticated algorithms to understand what content their users truly value,” said Return Path President George Bilbrey. “As signals from individual subscribers play a bigger role in determining whose messages they see in their inboxes, email marketers that maintain their ability to consistently reach audiences will be distinguished by two critical, data-driven skills. The winners will analyze subscriber engagement to develop email programs that consumers genuinely care about, and they will rely on reputation and deliverability data to see their email performance as mailbox providers see it, and take fast action to correct downward trends.”

Now don’t go screaming and running around like someone just chopped off your right hand.  It is time however, to stop taking the easy way path when it comes to your email marketing campaigns.  One should take theses numbers to heart and figure out what we collectively as email marketers are doing wrong.  

It’s time to step our game.

It’s been years since most of us started measuring not only bounce rates but also Inbox Placement Rates (IPR) in our daily analysis reports.  But what is IPR exactly?  

“It’s a rate based on deliverability and used to determine the percentage of the emails sent that reached the recipients’ inbox. “

To increase your IIPR  it’s important to start with some very basic key points:  

  • Send to clean, permission based lists.
  • Send consistent volume.
  • Use a clear and concise subject line.
  • Send with the same “From Address”.
  • Maintain a low complaint rate.
  • Maintain a low bounce rate.
  • Do not send to spam traps.
  • Send targeted content.
  • Properly format your HTML.
  • Talk to your ESP to see if you are eligible to be whitelisted.

When new subscribers sign up to your list you should send a “Welcome or Confirmation” email.  This will not only help increase your IPR but it will help to clean your list of addresses that may have been spelled incorrectly and returning as a bounced email.

The importance of sending to a clean list is a crucial element to deliverability.  Return Path reports that one spam trap can affect your deliverability as much as 53%.  

So step of your email marketing game, this isn’t a sport – it’s your livelihood.  

What changes are  you making to insure your IPR stays above the US % norm?  We would love to hear about it in the comments below.  

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