global email deliverability ratesEmail deliverability remains a problem, particularly in North America, where 20 percent of permission-based commercial email  landed in the junk folder or wasn't delivered at all.

Things went slightly better last year in Europe where 3.6 percent of the same type of email was junked and another 11 percent went missing entirely. The Asia Pacific region performed marginally better.

These are more deliverability findings are the result of a ReturnPath survey that reviewed data from 131 ISPs in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia-Pac from July through December of 2009.

A consistent issue in email deliverability is reaching business inboxes, as these tend to be guarded at the gateway by systems such as Postini, Symantec and MessageLabs. Only three-quarters of email makes it through these hurdles to the inbox, a very slight uptick from the 72.4 percent rate for the first half of 2009.

The survey also breaks out deliverability by ISP. BellSouth increased their non-delivered rate by 8 percent in the second half of 2009, as compared to the first half of the year. Yahoo was also up 3 percent to 18% in the second half of the year. In the UK, Demon and BT Internet, with 24.7 percent and 21.8 percent respectively, had the highest non-delivered rates.

ReturnPath cites a number of factors accounting for sub-optimal delivery, but most come down to a lack of best practices in light of the wide perception that email makes for easy ROI. Marketers aren't cleaning bounced addresses out of lists, and are ignoring email basics such as welcome messages, functioning opt-out mechanisms and obtaining corporate permissions to send.

Rebecca Lieb

Published 2 February, 2010 by Rebecca Lieb

Rebecca Lieb oversees Econsultancy's North American operations.

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Comments (4)


John Paul Aguiar

Great tool is becoming less useful with all the guarded email boxes.

Problem to is alot of Internet Securit and ISP'S mark good mail as bad or people set the setting in correctly.

over 8 years ago

Neil Warren

Neil Warren, Publisher at 2N Media Ltd -

Yep - and if the roads are jammed, the letter boxes have a "junk" bin on the other side, the phones all connect straight through to a recording/voicemail and your emails are spammed out (even when "replying") in some instances, how, exactly, do the "powers" that be suggest that we communicate with each other?

I'd be on the lookout for some good "cloud" tools I could access via my personal laptop and a community/network website where I could leave comments and make connections, myself.

over 8 years ago


Lawrence Janes

Most of us reading this article will remember working for organisations prior to emails and possibly even networked PC's.  In a short number of years technology has reached this level that none of us could have imagined in the 70's and 80's.  As with any period of change, technologies are implemented that are supposed to resolve all known issues - unfortunately they then introduce the unknown.  The aim of the Postinis, Mimecasts and Preserv8s of this world are to

1) provide protection

2) provide compliance through archiving and Discovery

3) provide continuity through web mail and DR tools.

I spent a lot of time last year reviewing these options and chose Preserv8 as this solution seemed to have the best approach to Email security and the solution as a whole provided a one stop shop for companies email management needs.  Coupled with the fact that this product seemed to be the only product that had been written from the ground up as opposed to continually bolting on disparate systems.

Feel free to contact me for a white paper I wrote recently on the email security elements of Preserv8.  (click on my name on the left and on the website fill in the web form)

over 8 years ago

Neil Warren

Neil Warren, Publisher at 2N Media Ltd -

Or, if it's real as opposed to virtual market places that you find a bit noisy or intrusive - a burka is quite useful. John Simpson even flipped it over to the "spying" angle.

over 8 years ago

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