What percentage of emails sent by businesses are viewed by consumers? What share of messages end up in spam folders, on average?

To find out, Return Path examined the activity of more than 2.5 million consumer panelists and data from 3.5 billion commercial email messages received between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015.

The average read rate (i.e., the percentage of emails viewed rather than sent to spam or immediately deleted, archived, ignored, etc.) was 14% across all industries in 2015, the analysis found.

Read rate differs from open rate in that it is based on mailbox providers' marking messages as "read" due to subscriber activity in the inbox, rather than being based on the loading of an image pixel.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji