U.S. gross deliverability rates lag Europe

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Gross deliverability rates for permission-based e-mail marketing messages were higher for European Internet service providers (ISPs) than for U.S. ISPs in the first quarter, according to a study by e-mail marketing software company Lyris Technologies.

The study was based on more than 55,000 permission-based e-mail marketing messages sent from 57 businesses and nonprofit organizations to multiple accounts at 39 ISPs during the first quarter.

It found that European ISPs achieved a 94% gross delivery rate—e-mail sent to in-boxes and bulk folders—during the first quarter, up from 86% in the fourth quarter.

U.S. ISPs, meanwhile, had an 86% gross deliverability rate in the first quarter, down from 92% in the fourth quarter.

In-box delivery rates—e-mail delivered to actual in-boxes—were also higher for European ISPs (94%) than for U.S. ISPs (82%) in the first quarter.

David Dabbah, director of sales and marketing at Lyris, said the difference might have to do with the ways in which U.S. and European ISPs handle e-mail. “Spam filters are a little more aggressive in the U.S.,” Dabbah said.

According to the study, the incidence of false positive spam filtering in the U.S. is higher, with 7.7% of valid e-mail messages getting blocked, than in Europe, with 3.5% of valid e-mails being blocked.

Dabbah offered some strategies for e-mail marketers to avoid having e-mail end up in spam filters.

“It’s all about your content,” Dabbah said. “Make sure the content you are utilizing is not looked at as spam.”

For example, he said, “One of our clients is Kinky Friedman, who is running for governor in Texas [as an independent candidate]. This is a real obvious problem. If he uses his name in the subject line or even in the content of e-mail, he will run into some issues.”

Dabbah said e-mail marketers should also consider installing a product to test e-mail campaigns before they go out.

“Also, make sure you send the right message to the right people at the right time,” he added. “Don’t send too many messages to people that aren’t interested in your product.”

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