Return Path Reveals One in Five Commercial Emails Fails to Reach the Inbox

Aug 04, 2016

Just 79% of legitimate commercial emails worldwide reach their intended target, according to new research from data solutions provider Return Path. The 2016 Deliverability Benchmark Report shows that a full 21% are diverted to spam folders or blocked entirely. These global numbers remain unchanged from the company's 2015 benchmark report.

The report also reveals that global deliverability experienced a slight but steady decline quarter over quarter, with 24% of messages missing the inbox in the last quarter studied.

Email marketers in the US experienced below-average inbox placement, with just 73% of messages reaching subscribers - six percentage points below the global average. US inbox placement was relatively strong in Q2 and Q3 2015 (78% and 80% respectively), but dropped below 70% in the first half of 2016.

Canada, which has historically lagged the US in inbox placement, saw 89% of its commercial emails delivered to the inbox - 10% points higher than its 2015 inbox placement rate of 79%. Australia and UK boasted the highest inbox placement of any countries in this study, averaging 90% and 88%, respectively. Germany saw an uncharacteristically high spam rate of 20% in Q2 2015. However, German marketers were able to recover throughout the rest of the year, ending the period with an average of 84% inbox placement.