email consultant

Study Says 1 in 5 Emails Never Delivered.

Numbers can be misleading and deceiving, even when they are the same number. Consider six compared to half a dozen. Six sounds smaller, even though the numbers are the same. So sometimes even email consultants like us need to look at the email marketing metrics from a different angle.

For example, would it surprise you to learn that around the world, 1 in 5 emails never make it to the inbox? That sounds like an usually high number, but really, it was all in how it was stated.

The 1 in 5 stat is based on a 19% failure rate globally, according to Return Path, although the U.S. and Canada fare a bit better at 16%, meaning 84% do make it to the inbox.

The Return Path study says, “…only 81% of all permission-based email makes it to the world’s inboxes. Globally, one out of every five emails lands either in a spam or junk folder (7%) or simply go [sic] missing—blocked by ISP-level filtering (12%).”

Really, 81% doesn’t sound as bad as 1 in 5, just like six doesn’t sound like as many as half a dozen. So that 1 in 5 is a good wake up call for email marketers and email consultants alike to take a good hard look at their email deliverability rates and make sure they are happy with them no matter how you look at them.

Any time we are feeling complacent and satisfied with our email marketing numbers, we should take a look at our metrics from another angle to be sure we’re completely happy with them (even from a new point of view).

Because really, it’s not a case of six of one, half a dozen of another, when you’re talking email marketing ROI.

Published On: April 12th, 2012Categories: Email deliverability

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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