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Inbox placement rates are continuing to improve in the US, with an average of 85% of promotional emails from US senders reaching the inbox in the second quarter of this year, up from 77% during the year-earlier period. That’s according to Return Path’s latest annual Deliverability Benchmark Report [download page], which looks at deliverability across countries and industries.

During the 12-month period spanning from Q3 2017 through Q2 2018, Return Path found that US senders experienced an average inbox placement rate of 83%. That’s up from 77% in the prior analysis, which covered the preceding 4-quarter period, and is the highest rate seen in years.

During this latest yearlong period of analysis (spanning from Q3 2017 through Q2 2018), just 6% of emails landed in the spam folder, though 10% were classified as “missing” in that they never made their way past the initial gateway. Although it’s possible that some emails that land in spam folders are read by their intended recipients, previous research from Return Path indicates that fewer than 2% of emails are marked as not spam.

US Deliverability Rate Still Slightly Behind Others

Across the dozens of countries measured, an average of 85% of emails reached the inbox during the yearlong period of analysis, slightly above the US’ 83% average.

On a regional basis, senders in Europe fared best in reaching the inbox, with an average inbox placement rate of 86%. The average rate in North America (referring to the US and Canada) was dragged down by the US’s performance, as Canada enjoyed an above-average rate of 89%.

By contrast, senders in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions struggled a little more to reach the inbox, with each averaging a placement rate of 78%.

As such, while the best-performing countries were mostly found in Europe, including Greece, Ireland, Norway and Portugal (each at 93%), lower-performers were seen in Latin America and Asia.

Notably, those in China faced the biggest challenges in reaching the inbox: just 57% of emails sent over the yearlong period made it to the inbox, although the inbox placement rates have improved substantially this year, exceeding 70%.

Which Industries Fare Best?

Using a different method to estimate inbox deliverability, the report reveals that marketers in the Banking & Finance (96%), Distribution & Manufacturing (96%) and Travel (94%) industries continued to have the highest inbox placement rates, well above the 91% average.

By contrast, the Education/Non-Profit/Government (83%) and Social & Dating (85%) sectors again had more trouble reaching subscribers, despite some improvements.

How about Business & Marketing? Emailers in this category reached the inbox 88% of the time, an improvement from 82% during the previous period.

In terms of year-over-year trends, the Automotive (+11 points to 88%), Apparel (+8 points to 93%) and Social & Dating sectors (+8 points to 85%) industries showed the most improvement.

The full report is available for download here.

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