A common point of failure for most of the marketers is why their campaigns didn’t succeed. Lack of awareness often costs email marketers in the form of lower open rates and reduced ROI. Every year Return Path does the analysis of inbox placement rate. Inbox placement rate measures the percentage of emails landing in your subscribers’ inbox and not in spam folders or otherwise undelivered. According to “Deliverability Benchmark Report 2015” published by Return Path, one of the five messages sent failed to reach the inbox. Email volume has gone up by 7% from last year, but only 79% of commercial emails lands in the inbox. Moreover, the global inbox placement rate has gone down by 4% compared to 2014. In other words, there are more and more emails but fewer of them reaches the inbox.

Inbox placement rate by country

The largest drop in deliverability is for the U.S., where inbox placement rate has gone down to 76% compared to 87% in 2014. Not reaching the inbox means one in four emails either go to spam or blocked by mailbox provider.

Brazil has shown significant improvement as their inbox placement rate is up by 74% compared to 60% in 2014.

Among European countries, only Italy has shown 2% increase from last year. Significant downfall in inbox placement rate was seen for Germany, France and the UK. However, for Spain rate remains unchanged.

Australian marketers enjoyed higher inbox placement rate of 88% in 2015.

Inbox Placement rate by industry

 The report also provided stats by industry and most industries show declined or flat inbox placement rates. However, relationship-based industries such as health & apparel, food and beverage as well as insurance have maintained good inbox placement rates of about 90%. While manufacturing, software and the internet industry have also gained some improvement.

Based on mailbox provider

Interestingly, the report also revealed that deliverability is particularly worse with Yahoo Mail. Inbox placement rates have dropped by 13% this year and marketers find it tough to reach their subscribers. Gmail has maintained the same rate as emails were routed to the promotion tab. Campaigns that tried to bypass the promotion tab in order to reach the primary tab have often landed to spam folder. Marketers should stop this approach as open rates for the promotion tab have increased up to 20% this year.

Why marketers are not making into the inbox?

Analysis has shown that most marketers are not aware of the new metrics being considered by mailbox providers. For better inbox placement rates, they must consider these new deliverability rules.

Low read rate by the mailbox receiver (26% of campaigns affected) – ISPs have indicated that their filtering decision depends on the percentage of mailboxes reading your email. Sending to subscribers that don’t engage can cause delivery issues.

Spam Complaints (21%) – This is the oldest metric used for years and still hasn’t changed. A complaint is recorded every time a user marks an email as spam. In particular, mailbox providers look at complaints from live mailboxes and some feedback methods like Microsoft’s sender reputation data (SRD).

Mailing to abandoned inboxes – According to the report, about 19% of campaign face this problem. If you mail to inactive accounts it gives a negative signal to the mailbox providers and tends to fall under into their spam filtering algorithms.

Inbox placement rates fell in 2015 from 2014. Possibly because marketers have overlooked the recent evolution. The first step in conducting any analysis of campaign performance is to know how many emails never reach the inbox. By monitoring your inbox placement rate, you get a better understanding of your email campaigns and it gives a reliable platform to optimize your email program.


by Zilicus

Zilicus - is a technology startup that offers Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based collaborative solutions. Currently Zilicus offers easy to use and comprehensive online project management software, ZilicusPM, that instills transparency and accountability among team members and lets them focus on getting things done. Zilicus has been incorporated with a vision of empowering business users to make effective decisions through collaboration and right access to knowledge.