By Theo Noel, Regional Director Australia/NZL, Return Path
Return Path recently announced the findings from its bi-annual “Global Email Deliverability Benchmark Report, 2H 2011, which analyses over 1.1 million email marketing campaigns. For the first time in the history of this report, we witnessed a sharp decline in worldwide inbox placement rates (IPR) for the second half of 2011, with only 76.5% of legitimate email reaching consumer inboxes globally.
For Australia, the study reveals that inbox placement rates for commercial email remain at just 81% on average, with 2% going to spam folders and 17% quite simply going missing – meaning 1 in 5 legitimate marketing emails aren’t reaching Australian inboxes.
The findings from our benchmark report show the effects of a perfect storm: clients are having difficulty in getting their emails delivered, ISPs are tightening requirements on reputation metrics and the number of companies using email to market continues to increase.
Key Industry Findings
For the first time, the report showed deliverability by selected industry types by continent. The Australian industries with the lowest performing IPR were retailers (89%), daily deals (80%) and banking sectors (81%). There are still significant opportunities to improve inbox placement and revenue from the email channel for most organisations but the Retail, Banking and Daily Deal industries in particular could benefit from improved deliverability. From working with our customers, we can see an increased awareness of the link between inbox placement rates and email marketing performance.
Deliverability as a Competitive Advantage
While deliverability rates vary by region, reaching the inbox has become an even bigger challenge that will likely continue into 2012. Return Path research points to more stringent ISP filtering and blocking (moving to engagement based filtering systems), deteriorating sender reputations and email overload as accounting for the historic decline.
The thing is that 100% deliverability is attainable, with best practice examples such as Australia’s top daily deal site JumpOnIt. Opportunity is there for all smart marketers to beat their competitors by monitoring their reputation, understanding deliverability data and staying ahead of the email engagement curve.
Theo is also an Executive Leader of ADMA’s new Email Focus Group.