Survey Deliverability Suffers In North America, Europe Stronger, Asia Pacific StrongestA new survey published today reveals that deliverability remains a top concern for commercial email marketers, especially among those in North America.

The survey, conducted by Return Path, compared deliverability based on geographic regions and ISPs to determine a global deliverability benchmark for the second half of 2009.  The company tracked delivery, blocking and filtering for more than 600,000 campaigns, while also reviewing non-delivered data from hundreds of ISPs in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom and the Asia Pacific territories.

Commercial permission-based email reached 80.1% of consumer inboxes in the United States and Canada from July through December, 2009, leaving nearly 20% undelivered.  Of those delivered, 3.5% were delivered to Spam or “bulk” folders, and 16.3% were missing or not delivered at all.

In Europe, however, 85.5% of commercial email was delivered, leaving out roughly 15%, while 3.6% of that delivered went to spam folders and 11% went missing.  Only slightly better than North America, but telling nonetheless.  Out of the regions tracked, Asia Pacific ranked the highest in overall deliverability with 86.9% of email being successfully delivered, with only 2.5% hitting spam folders and 10.7% going missing.

Overall, the study indicates the B2B segment remains the toughest to reach with a deliverability rate of just 75% in the second half of 2009, still beating the first half of the year by 3%, but still painting a grim picture.  Business inboxes remain protected by ever-vigilant email systems, and it’s effecting deliverability in a big way.

In terms of ISPs and their varying tactics when it comes to permissioned emails, BellSouth and Gmail remain the toughest in terms of deliverability in the US, with MSN, Hotmail and Yahoo coming in at a close third, fourth and fifth.  21% of email sent to Gmail addresses didn’t reach the inbox compared to 23% in the first half of 2009, with BellSouth having a notable increase in non-delivery rates.  BellSouth increased their non-delivered rates to the inbox from just 14% in the first half of 2009 to 22% in the July to December time period.