Email marketers have spent years building best-practice expertise to deliver the most effective email campaigns possible. However the age old challenge of not being able to reach subscribers’ inboxes continues to be a problem for marketers worldwide.
©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
In 2013, 100.5 billion business emails were sent and received every day. The sheer volume of email traffic and the growing sophistication of spam tactics have contributed to the issue marketers now face to stay at the top of consumers’ inboxes. We have already seen the impact of spam emails on high profile brands such as Apple and Dropbox, as well as authentic looking emails pandering to the concerns of the public off the back of topical news stories, in order to build trust and falsely obtain users personal credentials. Mailbox providers are therefore constantly redefining their filters to help prevent these kinds of messages getting through which in turn, forces legitimate email senders to become equally as sophisticated to improve their own inbox placement.
Recent research conducted by Return Path (Inbox Placement Report 2014) of more than 492 million commercial email messages sent across North and South America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions, shows that one in six commercial messages do not reach the subscriber’s inbox. This is consistent with last year’s findings, which indicates that while marketers have a basic understanding of how to keep out of the junk folder, there is still more to learn on further maximising inbox placement.
According to the results, 11% of commercial messages simply go missing while 6% are marked as spam. This presents a significant problem for marketers who value and rely on the long-term customer relationship that email marketing can build. If messages go missing completely, businesses risk losing customers; failing to reach the inbox simply means failing to reach the customer. The financial impact here is great, for example, if 50% of messages are unsuccessfully delivered, that equates to 50% of the email marketing campaign budget being lost as well.
Return Path has discovered that being ranked as a ‘good sender’ by ISPs is no longer enough to guarantee inbox placement. We have seen that most countries across the globe are struggling to achieve at least 90% inbox placement rates, including developed markets such as the UK and US.
Our research shows that Eastern European countries particularly struggle with messages going missing. Senders in Romania and Luxembourg are seeing 50% of their emails failing to reach the inbox, while in Poland this figure reaches a staggering 90%. This means that a significant portion of their audience doesn’t receive any intended commercial email. Email messages that go missing are harder to identify and diagnose, however, the first step in being able to correct the problem and boost inbox performance is knowing where the problem lies.