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Email Marketing: Deliverability Trends and Benchmarks

December 11, 2012

Legitimate marketing messages account for an alarming 70% of "this is spam" complaints in consumers' inboxes, underscoring just how important it is for marketers to keep email lists up to date and make use of email marketing best-practices, according to a report by Return Path.

Consumers use "this is spam" to report anything they don't want to receive, even if they initially opted in to receive it (and even if there is an "unsubscribe" link available), Return Path notes.

That makes it tougher for email marketers to maintain high sender reputations and deliverability levels.

ISPs (Internet service providers) and mailbox providers struggle with spam and abuse from their own networks as well as from other ISPs, with internal spam complaints accounting for 5% of all complaints and 22% coming from other ISPs and mailbox providers:

Below, additional findings from Return Path's Email Intelligence Report for the third quarter of 2012.

Spam Traps

As with spam complaints, marketers account for a disproportionate amount of email that is caught in spam traps: 60%. That's much higher than any other source, including botnets, which account for 11% of spam trap hits:

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