New Report Looks At Email Engagement Across 3.5 Billion Commercial Messages

Chris CrumBusiness, SmallBusinessUpdate

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Return Path released a new email engagement benchmark report called The Hidden Metrics of Email Deliverability, which gives readers sector-specific results for email metrics including read rate, forward reate, and complaint rate. These, the company says, collectively reveal a lot about subscriber engagement and play a role in determining which messages reach the inbox.

"Of note, the study found that verticals with the highest read rate in 2015 were utilities (47%) and distribution/manufacturing (31%)," a spokesperson for Return Path says. "Business/marketing and social/dating companies had the lowest read rate (9%)."

The study draws from over 3.5 billion commercial emails. It found that the amount of promotional emails delivered to the spam folder ranged from just 2% (utilities) to 28% (automotive/accessories).

It also found that most industries saw a flat to slightly declining read rate in Q4. Only one industry - utilities - experienced a double-digit drop (-14%).

The average deleted before reading rate across industries remained steady at 9% throughout 2015, according to the report. The Office Supplies, Pets, and Flowers/Gifts industries exceeded this significantly at 14%, 13%, and 13% respectively. Return Path calls this a sign of poor subscriber engagement and a possible indicator of over-mailing.

Spam complaints increased by an average of 0.5% in the fourth quarter, which the firm sees as a sign that subscribers may not appreciate the increased volume of promotional emails around the holidays.

“Major mailbox providers like Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo! rely on subscriber engagement signals in addition to sender reputation to filter out unwanted email and deliver more desired emails to the inbox,” said Scott Roth, General Manager, Email Optimization at Return Path. “These are metrics that many marketers are not yet tracking, and can have a major impact on deliverability. But there’s also opportunity for marketers to optimize consumer engagement and improve their marketing campaigns using this data.”

You can find the full report here.

Image via iStock

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.