Globaldeliverability2 h2009


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Globaldeliverability2 h2009

  1. 1. Research Study The Global Email Deliverability Benchmark GET MORE INFO Report, 2H 2009 Deliverability Failures Remains a Challenge for Commercial 1-866-362-4577 Email Senders with Non-Delivery Rates as high as 20% across the globe. Return Path, the global market leader in email deliverability solutions, reviewed data from 131 ISPs in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Asia Pacific territories from July through December of 2009. What the data shows is that email deliverability still plagues commercial email senders worldwide. What’s Inside • How Much Mail Doesn’t Make It To The Inbox? • Business Inboxes Still Difficult To Reach • Deliverability Rates Vary by ISP and by Country • Three Reasons Why Deliverability Is Still a Crisis for Commercial Email Senders If you have questions or would like to hear how Return Path can help, please call 1-866-362-4577, or email © 2010 Return Path, Inc. v011909
  2. 2. Research Study Case Study How Much Mail Doesn’t Make It To The Inbox? North American inbox percentages remain flat with 20% of email bulked or missing. The second half of 2009 showed an inbox placement rate of just 80.1% for permission-based commercial email in the United States and Canada. This represents a slight increase as compared to the first half of 2009. The percentage of mail delivered to the “junk” or “bulk” email folder remained flat at 3% in the July to December time period. 16% was not delivered at all between July and December, a slight decrease from earlier in the year. The picture was slightly rosier for European mailers with 85% of mail delivered to the inbox. Just 3.6% of email was sent to “junk” or “bulk” email folder while another 11% was missing or not delivered at all. Asia Pacific outperformed both Europe and North America posting an impressive 86.9% inbox placement rate with just 3% of email sent to the bulk folder and 10.7% missing. Global Delivery Rates, 2H 2009 100% 90% 85.5% 86.9% North America 80.1% Europe 80% 70% Asia Pacific 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 16.3% 11.0% 10.7% 10% 3.5% 3.6% 2.5% 0% Inbox Junk/Bulk Missing Canada has the highest non-delivered rate blocking almost 14% of permissioned-based email. The United Kingdom boasts the lowest non- delivered rate, blocking only 10% of opt-in email. For more information, email us at or call 1-866-362-4577. © 2010 Return Path, Inc. v011909 Page 2 of 8
  3. 3. Research Study Case Study Delivery Rates by Major Global Markets, 2H 2009 Canada United States France Germany United Kingdom 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% United Kingdom Germany France United States Canada Inbox 89.9% 85.1% 88.2% 82.4% 76.3% Bulk/Junk 3.0% 11.5 4.8% 4.6% 1.7% Missing 7.1% 3.5% 7.1% 13.0% 21.9% Business Inboxes in U.S. and Canada Still Hard to Reach Reaching business addresses is still difficult because these inboxes are protected by systems like Postini, Symantec and MessageLabs. Only 75.2% of email is delivered to the inbox through these enterprise systems. This is a 3% improvement over the first half of 2009 when just 72.4% made it to the inbox. The second half of year saw little change in non-delivery rates for B2B email with bulk/junk and missing percentages shrinking by just a few percentage points. Delivery Rates, B2B (US & Canada, 2H 2009) 80% 75.2% 72.4% 1H 2009 70% 2H 2009 60% 50% 40% 30% 21.5% 19.1% 20% 10% 6.1% 5.7% 0% Inbox Junk/Bulk Missing For more information, email us at or call 1-866-362-4577. © 2010 Return Path, Inc. v011909 Page 3 of 8
  4. 4. Research Study Case Study Deliverability Rates Vary by ISP and by Country Non-delivery Rates by ISP (United States, 2009) 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Road Cox BellSouth Netzero Yahoo! AOL Comcast MSN Hotmail Gmail Runner 1H 2009 8.1% 10.8% 11.9% 14.0% 14.4% 14.7% 16.4% 17.3% 20.0% 20.2% 23.1% 2H 2009 5.5% 11.2% 14.6% 21.5% 12.2% 18.5% 17.0% 14.7% 19.2% 19.1% 20.7% For the second half of 2009 non-delivery rates across major U.S. ISPs were relatively flat with a few notable exceptions. BellSouth increased their non-delivered rates by 8% when compared to the first half of the year. Also of note, non-delivery rates for Yahoo! increased 3%, up from 15% to 18% in the second half of the year. Cox had the lowest non-delivered rate, blocking just 5.5% of email. Non-delivery Rates by ISP (Canada, 2009) 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Telus Videotron Rogers Cogeco Sympatico Bell MTS SaskTel Aliant Shaw 1H 2009 2.7% 12.5% 12.6% 18.2% 18.6% 21.5% 30.4% 30.4% 31.0% 31.1% 31.2% 33.9% 53.0% 2H 2009 2.7% 8.5% 19.9% 17.3% 15.3% 18.7% 20.6% 21.1% 19.2% 21.7% 19.4% 31.6% 54.7% In Canada, delivery rates fared much better when compared to the first half of 2009. The Canadian ISPs that decreased non-delivered rates by the most margins are Bell, MTS,, SaskTel and Aliant. Rogers increased non-delivered rates by 7%. Telus blocked just 2.7% of email. For more information, email us at or call 1-866-362-4577. © 2010 Return Path, Inc. v011909 Page 4 of 8
  5. 5. Research Study Case Study Non-delivery Rates by ISP (United Kingdom, 2H 2009) 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% BT NTL AOL Demon Hotmail Orange Pipex Smartmail Talk Talk Tesco Tiscali Yahoo! Internet World 2H 2009 14.3% 21.8% 24.7% 11.2% 6.8% 12.2% 3.3% 2.0% 3.6% 7.5% 1.8% 12.3% Demon and BT Internet has the highest non-delivered rates for the United Kingdom at 24.7% and 21.8% respectively. AOL, Yahoo!, Orange and Hotmail all have non-delivered rates in excess of 10%. Non-delivery Rates by ISP (Germany, 2H 2009) 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% AOL Arcor Freenet GMX Online Home T-Online* Yahoo! 2H 2009 14.5% 2.8% 11.7% 6.3% 3.5% 5.1% 62.2% 13.3% Germany overall posted very low non-delivery rates with one major exception,*, which failed to deliver 62.2% of email in the second half of 2009. In contrast, the next highest non-delivery rate was AOL with 14.5% followed by Yahoo! with 13.3% undelivered. * filters mail into two bulk folders: “spam” and “unknown”. The “unknown” mail is counted as missing in our data. As a result, the non-delivered rate for this ISP is significantly higher than for others in the region. For more information, email us at or call 1-866-362-4577. © 2010 Return Path, Inc. v011909 Page 5 of 8
  6. 6. Research Study Case Study Non-delivery Rates by ISP (France, 2H 2009) 16% 14% 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% Alice AOL Free Hotmail LaPoste Neuf Orange SFR Wanadoo Yahoo! 2H 2009 5.9% 14.4% 6.3% 11.6% 13.5% 11.3% 13.3% 15.8% 12.9% 13.5% In France, SFR and AOL are the toughest inboxes to reach with non-delivery rates of more than 14% followed by LaPoste, Yahoo!, Orange Wanadoo and Hotmail with non-delivered rates in excess of 11%. Alice and Free had the lowest, blocking just 6% of email. Three Reasons Why Deliverability Is Still a Crisis for Commercial Email Senders • The Bounce Rate Myth: Senders are generally given reports month after month that show a “delivered” metric that tends to be about 95% to 98%. But in most cases this metric is actually the bounce rate. The system is reporting the number of messages sent through the pipe and subtracting the number that return a hard bounce. Top-tier marketers keep very clean lists and the system itself is set up to clean out those hard bounces quickly (usually before the next send). What senders really need to understand are their inbox placement rate (IPR)- the number of emails that actually arrive in the inbox. • Revenue Masks a Lot of Sins: Email generates a lot of revenue. So, while deliverability failures cost businesses money, this can be masked by the revenue generated by every campaign that goes out the door. • Change is Hard: Many senders are still resistant to implementing the best practices that make email deliverability more likely and more consistent. We still see programs with high frequency, low value and lack of segmentation. Research done by the Return Path Professional Services team in the last 18 months shows high percentages of top brands missing basic best practices like welcome messages, efficient opt-out procedures and appropriate permission levels. For more information, email us at or call 1-866-362-4577. © 2010 Return Path, Inc. v011909 Page 6 of 8
  7. 7. Research Study Case Study Conclusion: What Senders Can Do To Improve Their Email Deliverability It’s easy to believe that deliverability failures must be happening to someone else. But what you don’t know about your deliverability leaves your business vulnerable and decreases the amount of revenue you could be generating from the email channel. What’s a smart marketer to do? 1. Get the data you need. Know where your email goes and why. Don’t believe the bounce myth – that whatever gets sent and doesn’t bounce must be reaching the inbox. Gaining access to relevant deliverability data is crucial for marketers to be able to make accurate decisions about their program’s effectiveness. This report is based on the Return Path Mailbox Monitor system which seeds the databases of our clients with known good email addresses. We then monitor whether or not email sent to those addresses is delivered. These reports often show a wide disparity between the delivered metric shown on the client’s standard response report and the inbox placement rate (IPR) which is the actual number of messages that arrive in the inbox. 2. Take deliverability failures seriously. Deliverability failures cost businesses a lot of money. There is significant lost revenue from email that does not get delivered to the inbox. Consumer research consistently shows that people do not check their bulk or junk folders for marketing messages. And even if they do, most of the non-delivered mail isn’t there – it’s completely missing. Email that consumers don’t have access to will not generate a response. 3. Don’t use revenue or response as a proxy for deliverability. Assuming that a program that generates revenue or gets good response must be delivered to all the inboxes that matter is a mistake. Think about how much money you may be leaving on the table if a significant chunk of your list isn’t seeing the messages you send. 4. Don’t accept deliverability failures as inevitable or unfixable. The good news is that we have clients who are able to maintain consistently high deliverability rates across all ISPs. Remember: 80% is the average. So while that means there are companies at 60% it also means that there are companies at 100%. 5. Take responsibility for where your email lands. While your IT team or email service provider can be important partners, you are responsible for the deliverability of your email. Most of the major drivers of poor inbox placement rates are the direct result of marketing practices, not technical ones. These include complaints, which spike when email is unexpected or undervalued by the recipient and spam traps, which are most often found on lists that are old or have been built with poorly sourced data. What is “Inbox Placement Rate”? Inbox Placement Rate (IPR) is the percentage of email messages that are delivered straight to the inbox. This excludes email messages that arrive in the “junk” or “bulk” email folders. For more information, email us at or call 1-866-362-4577. © 2010 Return Path, Inc. v011909 Page 7 of 8
  8. 8. Research Study Case Study Methodology Return Path conducted this study by monitoring data from its Mailbox Monitor service for campaigns conducted from July to December 2009. This study tracks the delivery, blocking and filtering rates for more than 600,000 campaigns that used the Mailbox Monitor seed list system. For each campaign, Return Path recorded whether the email was missing, received in the inbox or filtered to the junk/spam folder (for those ISPs that use such a folder). For this report Return Path reviewed data from 131 ISPs in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Asia Pacific territories. About Return Path Founded in 1999, Return Path helps commercial email senders get more email delivered to the inbox. Our tools and services give senders the insight and resources to diagnose and prevent email deliverability and rendering failures by improving and maintaining their email sending reputations. Our Professional Services division then helps our clients improve ROI and response by creating consistent and compelling subscriber experiences across the email customer lifecycle. Return Path runs the internet’s most widely used third-party whitelist, the Return Path Certification Program. Return Path also invented the Sender Score, an email reputation measure based on data contributed by ISPs and other receivers of large volume email into the Return Path Reputation Network. We offer free access to our Sender Score to any sender, receiver or consumer of email at our reputation portal: Information about Return Path can be found at Contact Us North America Europe New York United Kingdom 304 Park Avenue South, 12 Melcombe Place 7th floor London, NW1 6JJ New York, NY 10010 Phone: +44 (0) 845 002 0006 Phone: 212-905-5500 California France 100 Mathilda Pl, Suite 100 164 bis, Avenue Charles de Gaulle Sunnyvale, CA 94086 92200 Neuilly sur Seine; France Phone: 408-328-5000 Phone: +33 1 78 15 38 42 Colorado 8001 Arista Place, Suite 300 Broomfield, CO 80021 Phone: 303-999-3100 For more information, email us at or call 1-866-362-4577. © 2010 Return Path, Inc. v011909 Page 8 of 8