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ReturnPath-Commercial-Email-Inbox-Placement-Rates-H12013-July201314% of commercial messages did not make it to American subscribers’ inboxes during the first half of this year, reports Return Path [download page] in a new benchmark study. The 86% inbox placement rate represented a 1% year-over-year improvement, and actually marked a higher rate than any other country tracked save for Australia (96%) and Canada (90%). In fact, senders from Canada, Brazil and the UK had an easier time reaching Americans than locals.

Worldwide, the inbox placement rate stood at 78% in H1, a 4% decline from last year. 18% of emails were blocked or missing (8% for the US), while 4% ended up in spam folders (6% in the US). Inbox placement rates were particularly bad in the Asia-Pacific region (64%), dropping by 22% year-over-year, with China a key culprit.

Certain industries fared better than others. Of the 25 industries measured, the top 5 by inbox placement rate were:

  • Publishing (97%);
  • Utilities (95%);
  • Consumer Products (93%);
  • Retail (92%); and
  • Food (92%).

Meanwhile, the 5 industries that had the hardest time reaching the inbox were:

  • Industrial manufacturing (65%);
  • Social networking (75%);
  • Computer services (79%);
  • Consumer services (80%); and
  • Computer software and construction (both at 81%).

The study also reveals some other interesting tidbits regarding email deliverability:

  • Senders from most countries had more difficult reaching Gmail inboxes than AOL or Yahoo! inboxes;
  • Even so, these major providers generally showed better placement rates than average, although undelivered email was not deducted from the figures, meaning that the rates appear higher than for those that accounted for missing and blocked messages;
  • 17% of messages from the Finance industry made it to Gmail Priority inboxes, as opposed to just 5% for social networking senders; and
  • 51% of SMS messages made it to the Priority Inbox, as did 28% of messages with attachments, and 24% classified as replies, while only 5% of emails classified as coupons made it.

About the Data: Return Path conducted this study by monitoring email intelligence data from its Inbox Monitor solution, examining the worldwide deliverability of permissioned marketing email sent during the first six months of 2013. This includes nearly one trillion messages sent through more than 150 mailbox providers in North America, Latin American and South America, Europe, Asia and Pacific regions. Global and regional statistics are based on performance across all mailbox providers; country- and industry-specific statistics are based on a subset of senders whose location and industry classification are identifiable.

Gmail Priority Inbox data is based on panel data.

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