Email marketers might claim their medium is the best for delivering brand messages to consumers but it is getting more difficult; a sharp decline in subscription emails reaching the target means that over 20% never get there.
A study, carried out by Return Path, reveals that just 79% of so-called “permissioned” marketing emails hit consumers’ inboxes, with the rest being delivered to spam folders or not delivered at all.
The worrying fact is that this represents a decline over 2014, when 83% of commercial email reached the inbox worldwide.
The UK fared slightly better in 2015 than the global average, yet still saw a fall from 87% to 82%. But it is wroth noting that marketers had a harder time reaching subscribers at Yahoo! Mail in 2015. Inbox placement rates at the world’s second largest email provider dropped 13% year-over-year. At Gmail, marketers reached the inbox at the same rate in 2015 as 2014, thanks in part to Gmail’s classification system for promotional emails. Inbox placement at Outlook.com improved slightly, with a 3% year-over-year increase.
Globally a number of highly email-dependent industries bucked the poor inbox placement trend this year: messages from brands in the apparel (92%), food and beverage (93%), hospitality (87%), and travel (85%) sectors reached consumers more reliably than others. Meanwhile messages from media and entertainment (73%) and telecommunications (74%) senders were less likely to reach their targets.
“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.”
Return Path’s 2015 Deliverability Benchmark Report, including inbox placement statistics by country and by industry, can be downloaded in full here >
We need permission – not forgiveness
Email soars but could still be better
Email beats social for retail offers
Email marketers face big screen test
Addressing email deliverability issues
One in six emails undelivered
To leave a comment please register – it takes less than a minute and is free of charge. You will also get our weekly email update The DM Report (to opt out contact firstname.lastname@example.org). If you are an existing user, please log in. If you have forgotten your log-in details please email email@example.com to get them reset!