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BizReport : Email Marketing : July 27, 2009

Return Path: Marketers 'in the dark' re email deliverability

Email marketing is often lauded for its deliverability and impressive ROI, but a new report from email marketing specialists Return Path has found that many marketers aren't being provided with accurate metrics.

by Helen Leggatt

return path logo.jpgOnce an email is sent, and it doesn't register as a bounce, it has been successfully delivered to a recipient's inbox, right?


According to Return Path's most recent Deliverability Benchmark Report, 40% of email marketers in the US and Canada are in the dark when it comes to email deliverability. While recent reports show that investment in email will rise this year (Internet Retailer, 2009) Return Path has found that many marketers put blind faith in the fact their emails will reach their intended destination.

"Most email broadcasting systems say that a message is delivered if it doesn't bounce. This is grossly misleading, and can give marketers the impression that they're achieving a deliverability rate of 95% or more. Yet our research shows that one in five legitimate marketing emails are blocked. It doesn't add up," explains Guy Shelton, Return Path's vice president for European operations.

The problem, it seems, is that email service providers are reporting messages that have been passed on to the Internet as 'delivered'. What these reports don't take into consideration is that some ISPs may go on to block the message or that the recipient may have spam filters in place. This leaves marketers with the impression that they are getting delivery rates of over 90% whereas around 80% was more likely.

Of the 20% or so of emails that didn't make it to inboxes, just over 3% ended up in junk folders, while the remainder went missing en route.

Return Path's report found that delivery rates for B2B emails were even worse with just over 72% of marketing emails reaching their intended recipients.

Tags: bounce, deliverability, email marketing, ESP, ISP, junk, Return Path, spam

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