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Analysis of 2 Billion Email Messages/Inbox Placement Results (2018)

In this year’s annual benchmark report by Return Path has helped us have a deep understanding of email deliverability.

Analysis of 2 Billion Email Messages / Inbox Placement Results (2018)

This year’s annual benchmark report by Return Path has helped us develop a better understanding of email deliverability. Let’s have a look at the key findings of this report for email marketing benefits.

What is email deliverability?

Table of contents:

The report provides more than 2 billion promotional email messages that were sent to consumers around the world between July 2017 and June 2018.

We see 12 months worth of global, regional, and country specific inbox placement results, as well as inbox placement rates by industries and the top four mailbox providers in this report.

Let’s have a look at the path to the inbox;

How Emails Get Delivered?

Emails start traveling from their point of origination, which refers to the point where they were composed, with the help of multiple servers to reach the destination point through the Internet.

In this systematic process, emails are determined as trustworthy or not. Most of them get blocked on the gateway and never reach the users’ spam or inbox folders.

If they pass the gateway; spam filters consider the senders’ reputation, relevancy of content and user engagement to decide whether to send them in the spam folder or inbox.

How to Measure Inbox Placement?

Return Path used two different sets of data to calculate inbox placement;

  • Seed Data
  • Panel Data (Consumer Data)

Return Path used seed data to see if seed addresses were delivered or if they went to the spam folder or inbox. They have hundreds of mailbox providers around the world so their numbers are huge. A great way to measure missing or blocked emails is with seed data. Global and country-specific inbox placement rates are also calculated using seed data.

Panel data indicated the real world scenario. Return Path gathered email data and real-world information to understand subscriber engagement. They have more than 2 million users in their system which accounted for a great chance to measure engagement data. In this study mailbox provider and industry-specific inbox placement rates are calculated with panel data.

Key Findings of the Deliverability Benchmark Report

1. Global Inbox Placement

The average global inbox placement increased by 5% this year. In the second quarter of 2018, the most significant increase came in with 7% over the same period last year.

2. Inbox Placement in North America

North America deliverability was driven largely by increased inbox placement in the United States. Mails sent to US subscribers reached the inbox an average of 83% of the time; an increase of 6% percentage points over the previous period. The average inbox placement rate to Canadian mailboxes of 89% exceeded the global average.

3. Inbox Placement in Latin America

The Latin America region dropped 3% during this period to an average of 78%. Only Mexico was able to achieve deliverability above the global average.

4. Inbox Placement in Europe

Deliverability to European mailboxes rose slightly to an average inbox placement rate of 86%. Greece, Portugal, and Norway have Europe’s highest inbox placement at 93%, while Austrian mailboxes saw the lowest inbox placement of any European country (79%).

In Ireland, email deliverability rates increased 15% more for a new average of 92% inbox placement. However, mailboxes in Denmark and the Czech Republic saw the largest decline in deliverability among European countries with 3% below the previous period.

5. Inbox Placement in Asia-Pacific

In the previous reporting period, the Asia-Pacific Region had a 79% inbox placement rate. This year they saw a slight decline in inbox placement with an average rate of 78%.

Senders mailing to Singapore and New Zealand consumers helped bring up the regional average with inbox placement rates of 90% in both countries. Chinese mailboxes fell far below the global average with an average inbox placement rate of just 57%.

6. Global Inbox Placement at the Top Four Mailbox Providers

Marketers are successfully reaching mailboxes at AOL, Gmail, and Yahoo, seeing inbox placement rates above 90 every quarter. Outlook was a challenging mailbox for marketers to reach with a periodical average of just 75%.

7. Inbox Placement Rate by Industry

Across the board, every industry saw an increase in inbox placement compared to the previous period. Distribution & manufacturing and banking & finance had the highest inbox placement averages for the period at 96%, while education/nonprofit/government had the lowest inbox placement rate at 83%. The automotive industry saw the largest increase in inbox placement with %88 of email reaching subscribers’ inboxes — an increase of 11% points over the previous period.

For more details, you can download the pdf version of the 2018-Deliverability-Benchmark or visit returnpath.com.

To prevent emails going to the spam folder instead of the inbox folder of your receivers, read this article!

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