Only 79 per cent of permissioned email marketing messages reached consumers’ inboxes, according to a recent study conducted by global data solutions provider Return Path. The rest were delivered to spam folders or weren’t delivered at all. This represents a decline over 2014 when 83 per cent of commercial email reached the inbox worldwide.
Email marketers in the US fared even worse than the global average, reaching their subscribers’ inboxes only 76 per cent of the time. Only one country included in the study, Brazil, represented a more difficult email marketing challenge, with 74 per cent of messages reaching Brazilian consumers inboxes. Globally a number of highly email-dependent industries bucked the poor inbox placement trend this year: messages from brands in the apparel (92 per cent), food and beverage (93 per cent), hospitality (87 per cent), and travel (85 per cent) sectors reached consumers more reliably than others. Meanwhile messages from media and entertainment (73 per cent) and telecommunications (74 per cent) senders were less likely to reach their targets.
Australia maintains high inbox placement
Australian marketers have historically fared better at reaching the inbox than most countries. This time around was no different, although inbox placement rates declined slightly between 2014 (89 per cent) and 2015 (88 per cent).
“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 analyse 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.”