We all know how annoying it can be to lose something in the post but when it comes to marketing emails, if they aren’t getting to their final destination the results can be more far reaching.

Low deliverability rates can be frustrating and a recent report from Return Path released in September last year indicates that as many as one in six marketing emails never even make it to the recipient’s inbox, which means that low deliverability could be affecting your email marketing more than you think.

Why is this figure so high?

Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) take the risk of spam very seriously and they employ a number of measures to protect their users from spam. Unfortunately this means that in the process a number of legitimate messages can also get filtered out and wrongly classified as junk. If this happens to you repeatedly, it can start to chip away at your reputation with the ISPs and lead to ongoing difficulties.

As well as the percentage of emails that get misclassified as spam, according to Return Path, there are a number that just go missing and never arrive anywhere. The amount of emails that go missing appear to be directly related to your location, and the location of your recipients, and even the industry you are in.

According to analysis, businesses that are in more customer focused industries have higher rates of deliverability than others. The industries that show the most success according to Return Path, are apparel and hair and beauty marketers along with financial organisations and insurance companies. The worst affected seem to be publishers and entertainment providers.

What can you do about it?

There are a few things you can do to improve your reputation as a sender and help ensure that your emails end up in your recipients’ inboxes and don’t end up marked as spam or disappear altogether. Here are a few suggestions to help you beat the one in six statistic:

  • Make sure you use a double opt in system at all times to ensure your emails aren’t marked as spam. It only takes a handful of people to mark you as spam to affect your reputation with the ISPs.
  • Keep your list clean and remove any addresses that bounce as quickly as possible. The more bounces are triggered by your emails, the lower your sender score will be.
  • Always use a reputable sender name and address, don’t send marketing emails from a Gmail or Hotmail account.

For more ideas on improving your email deliverability over the long term see our email deliverability checklist.

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