Email Dependability

Bounce rates declined 27.9%, from 3.1% in 4Q11, to 2.3% in 4Q12. - Experian "Q4 2012 Quarterly Benchmark Study" (2013)

The average bounce rate for industries with 25-499 members is 2%, for 500-999 members, 1.6% and for 1000 or more members, 1.2%. - MailerMailer "Email Marketing Metrics Report" (2012)

73.2% of emails sent to Windows Live Hotmail addresses arrive in the recipient's inbox. - IBM "Email Deliverability: Use 2011 Benchmarks to Ensure 2012 Results" (2012)

85.7% of emails sent to Gmail addresses arrive in the recipient's inbox; 85.3% of emails sent to Yahoo addresses arrive in the recipient's inbox; 81.8% of emails sent to AOL addresses arrive in the recipient's inbox. - IBM "Email Deliverability: Use 2011 Benchmarks to Ensure 2012 Results" (2012)

80% of email delivery problems are directly attributable to a poor sender reputation. - DMA "Email Deliverability Review" (2012)

Hotmail estimates that Graymail, or "bacn," emails represent 50% of all inbox traffic, and are the source of 75% of all spam complaints.- DMA "Email Deliverability Review" (2012)

Global inbox placement is at 75.9%. Meaning 1 out of 4 emails do not get placed into the inbox. - DMA "Take outs from the Email Deliverability Masterclass" (2012)

The majority of blocked emails, 77%, are due to poor sender reputation. - DMA "Take outs from the Email Deliverability Masterclass" (2012)

In North America, inbox placement rates declined 3% in 3Q12 from the same quarter in 2011, to 82%. - Return Path "The Email Intelligence Report Q3 2012" (2012)

The average inbox placement rate was 84%; however, the financial services (99%), consumer services (96%), and retail industries (96%) far outperformed that average. - Return Path "The Email Intelligence Report Q3 2012" (2012)

Roughly 18% of all commercial email in North America never reached the inbox in 3Q12: 5% landed in spam traps and 13% was blocked or went missing. - Return Path "The Email Intelligence Report Q3 2012" (2012)

When companies send daily deals, retail newsletters, and other marketing-related emails, 78% responded that these emails mainly go to their primary personal email account, displayed alongside their personal emails. - Blue Kangaroo"Blue Kangaroo Survey on Marketing Emails" (2012)

Email Best Times to Send

For weekdays, Monday had the highest revenue per mail, but Friday had the higher click rate. - Experian "Q4 2012 Quarterly Benchmark Study" (2013)

Deploying emails between 8:00 PM and 11:59 PM and midnight to 4:00 AM proved to have the highest response rates in all areas, yet also had the lowest percent of email volume. - Experian "Q4 2012 Quarterly Benchmark Study" (2013)

Emails deployed on Saturdays and Sundays had the highest open, unique clicks, transaction rates and revenue per email, yet had the lowest volume deployed compared to other days of the week. - Experian "Q4 2012 Quarterly Benchmark Study" (2013)

Both marketers (76%) and consumers (69%) favor email as their first online "check" of the day. - ExactTarget "Marketers from Mars" (2013)

Emails sent in the morning resulted in the highest open rates at 39.2% while mid-afternoon reported the highest click rates at 21.0%. - Informz "2012 Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report" (2012)

14% of all opens and clicks on a mobile device occurred from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. The second-biggest peak, at 12% share, occurred between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. - TailoredMail "2012 Email Marketing Trends" (2012)

A study revealed top engagement times for email campaigns include 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. Deploying at these times can increase their average open rates and CTR by 6%. - GetResponse "Best Time To Send Email" (2012)

23.63% of all email opens occur within the first hour after delivery. Within the second hour, the results drop by half. Within the third hour, the results drop by another 30%. Five hours after delivery, the results drop more than 90%. - GetResponse"Best Time To Send Email" (2012)

Almost 40% of all messages are sent between 6 a.m. and noon. This can result in inbox clutter, and significantly decrease results for these emails. - GetResponse "Best Time To Send Email" (2012)

Email traffic is at its highest on Thursdays (16% of emails are sent on this day). The days with the lowest amounts of traffic include Saturday and Sunday. However, the corresponding engagement metrics for messages sent on particular days (open ratio and CTR) show that subscribers are most active from Monday to Friday, leaving weekends free for other activities. - GetResponse "Optimizing Your Campaigns: Best Days to Send Emails" (2012)

44% of respondents agree that sending emails on Tuesday results in better open rates. - Pardot "The Changing Role of Email Marketing" (2012)

53% have had the most success sending emails between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. - Pardot "The Changing Role of Email Marketing" (2012)

53% say that Friday is the worst day for email open rates. - Pardot "The Changing Role of Email Marketing" (2012)

20% of marketers forget about time zones when planning campaigns. - Pardot "The Changing Role of Email Marketing" (2012)

50% of B2B and B2C said that determining the best time to send emails is an email tactic that works particularly well. -Silverpop "Exploring the Differences and Similarities of B2C and B2B Marketing Tactics" (2010) 

People are receptive to marketing emails during the first hour of their work day. Pure360 reports 16.5% of emails in the study were opened between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.. - Pure360 (2009)

42.6% of financial emails were opened after lunch, indicating that workers are more receptive to so-called bigger-picture or life-changing messages in the afternoon. - Pure360 (2009)

The most popular email day of the year for retailers, based on percent of retailers tracked via RetailEmail.Blogspot

    • Dec. 26, 2006, Tuesday, the day after Christmas - 53.1%
    • Dec. 11, 2006, Monday, 14 days before Christmas - 49.0%
    • Dec. 15, 2006, Friday, 10 days before Christmas - 45.9%
    • Dec. 18, 2006, Monday, 7 days before Christmas - 44.9%
    • April 17, 2007, Tuesday, Tax Day - 43.7%
    • Nov. 27, 2006, Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving Day (Cyber Monday) and 28 days before Christmas - 43.7%
    • Dec. 4, 2006, Monday, 21 days before Christmas - 42.1%
    • Dec. 8, 2006, Friday, 17 days before Christmas - 42.1%
    • April 24, 2007, Tuesday, 19 days before Mother's Day - 40.2%
    • June 5, 2007, Tuesday, 12 days before Father's Day - 40.0%

Tuesday was retailers' favorite day to email, followed by Thursday, Monday, Friday, Wednesday, Sunday and Saturday. While 33% of retailers email on Tuesdays, only 8% sent emails on Saturdays. - Email Experience Council/RetailEmail.Blogspot, "Choosing The Best Day Of The Week To Email" (July 5, 2007)

The highest open rates (read rates) during Q2 2007 were Wednesday (27%), Monday (26%) and Thursday (26%). -eROI, "Email Marketing Statistics By Day and Time" (July 2007)

The highest click through rates during Q2 2007 were Wednesday and Thursday (5%).- eROI, "Email Marketing Statistics By Day and Time" (July 2007)

11am and 4pm scored the highest marks for business hour open rates (30%) and click through rates (5%).- eROI, "Email Marketing Statistics By Day and Time" (July 2007)

The highest peaks for read rates were 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.--with rates of 40% and 45%, as compared with workday rates between 24% and 30%. - eROI, "Email Marketing Statistics By Day and Time" (July 2007)

Click-through rates were between 4% and 5% during the workday, peaking at 7% at both 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. - eROI, "Email Marketing Statistics By Day and Time" (July 2007)

Avoid SpamAssassin

Does your newsletter contain an assurance that it's not spam because it complies with a certain U.S. Senate bill? That's one sure sign of spam.

That particular "test" is also one of the top-scoring tests in SpamAssassin, an anti-spam filtering program that examines an email message's headers and content for phrases and coding commonly used by bulk emailers and assigns points for each offending feature. Most often a value of 7 or higher will mark the email as spam.

When SpamAssassin tags a message as likely spam, it adds a report to the email and routes it to a "junk-mail" folder on the user's computer.

SpamAssassin runs on web/email server platforms. Judging from its list of rules for tagging spam, just about any email you send will register a score. All you can do, it seems, is to avoid any obvious triggers and hope users troll their junk-mail folders.

Here are some common email features and their points:
  • HTML email with nonwhite backgrounds: 1.346
  • Auto-executing JavaScript code: 3.338 (remember the Yahoo! email editing problem?)
  • Talking about checks/money orders: 4.465
  • Addresses the reader as "Dear [email address]:" 3.092
  • Suggests you might have received the email as a mistake: 3.7
  • Uses a tracking ID number, usually in the subject line: 4.332
  • Gives instructions for getting off the list: 4.2
  • Includes a form that launches an email: 3.239
  • Invalid time in header, such as a nonexistent time zone: 4.395 (although any tinkering with the date or time will add points)
  • A "remove" URL contains an email address: 2.648
  • The "reply to" form is empty: 2.595
  • The "to" form lists "undisclosed recipients:" 3.461 to 4.034
On the positive side, this list of tests also shows how SpamAssassin detects emails that probably are newsletters and subtracts those scores from the overall total. Most of it depends on how you set up your headers.

Some examples:
  • Sending from known mailing-list software: -5
  • Subject includes "news," "newsletter," "list," or indicates daily, weekly or monthly: -4
  • Subject lists a frequency or names a month: -3.5
  • Date in subject: -4
You can see the current list of rules here.

Email Frequency

14% of organizations never send more than one email a month to subscribers, while 33% have a maximum of at least six a month (up from just 15% in 2011). - DMA "National Client Email Report" (2013)

Most marketers (35%) contact an address on their list 2-3 times in one month. The next most popular frequency is 4-6 times according to 20% of respondents. - DMA "National Client Email Report" (2013)

Only 7% of marketers send 6-8 emails to an address on their list in one month. - DMA "National Client Email Report" (2013)

The majority of respondents (51%) had a contact strategy in place for the maximum amount of times each address is contacted, up 11% since 2011. - DMA "National Client Email Report" (2013)

75% reported they would resent a brand after being bombarded by emails. - Emailvision "Survey Reveals Bombarding Consumers with Marketing Results in Brand Resentment" (2013)

40% of those who do get brand emails get no more than three such emails a day on average and about 63% get no more than six. - DMA "Email tracking report" (2012)

69% of U.S. email users unsubscribe from a business or non-profit email because the organization sends too many emails. - Chadwick Martin Bailey "10 Facts about How and Why Consumers Like and Subscribe" (2012)

A BtoB survey found marketers approach the frequency of their email blasts in different ways. Almost half (48%) worry about alienating contacts with too much volume and send out non- e-newsletter emails once a month or even less often. By contrast, 19% email their contacts once a week, and 16% hit the send button once every two weeks. - BtoB "Email Marketing: A Legacy Channel Continues to Deliver" (2012)

39% of marketers have an official frequency cap in place. - BtoB "Email Marketing: A Legacy Channel Continues to Deliver" (2012)
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