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Deliverability Slips At ISP Level

  |  October 27, 2005   |  Comments

Gross e-mail deliverability rates fell three percent in the past quarter; while false positive filtering rates improved for most ISPs.

Deliverability issues challenge every email service provider (ESP). While gross email deliverability slipped this past quarter, opt-in email rates improved. Lyris Technologies released its "Lyris Q3 2005 ISP Deliverability Report Card," analyzing over 45,000 permission-based email marketing messages.

Gross deliverability of permission-based email marketing messages dipped three points to 87 percent in Q3 of this year, down from 90 percent in the second quarter. The inbox deliverability rate averaged 86 percent. Opt-in email delivery rose four percentage points in the third quarter to 89 percent.

Out of 28 U.S. domains monitored for gross deliverability, Peoplepc.com scored highest, with 96.77 percent deliverability. The same domain also led inbox deliverability.

Top U.S. Domains by Gross Deliverability, Q3 2005
Domain E-Mails Sent E-Mails Delivered (% Gross) E-Mails Not Delivered (%) E-Mails Delivered to Inbox (%) Rate of False Positive Filtering
peoplepc.com 1,116 96.77 3.23 96.77 0
gmail.com
(Google)
1,116 96.59 3.41 89.43 7.17
yahoo.com 1,120 95.54 4.46 95.00 0.54
sbcglobal.net 1,116 95.34 4.66 94.62 0.72
mailblocks.com 1,116 95.34 4.66 95.34 0
socal.rr.com
(Road Runner)
1,117 95.08 4.92 95.08 0
cnc.net
(Concentric)
1,116 95.07 4.93 52.60 42.47
juno.com 1,116 94.98 5.02 94.98 0
usa.net 1,116 94.71 5.29 94.71 0
cs.com
(CompuServe)
1,119 94.64 5.36 94.64 0
Source: Lyris Q3 2005 ISP Deliverability Report Card

"While the average rate of email delivery remains high, the report also shows that performance at individual ISPs can vary dramatically," said Robb Wilson, Lyris VP. "Companies with large in-house email lists should really be doing deliverability audits of their email campaigns on an ISP level."

U.S. false positive rates held steady at 2.1 percent for the second consecutive quarter. Both Hotmail and Gmail experienced a rise in false positive filtering rates. Gmail's rate of filtering legitimate email into the spam folder increased from four to seven percent. Hotmail experienced a four point increase to nine percent, likely due to the implementation of Sender ID. The domains cnc.net (Concentric); sbcglobal.net; and Yahoo.com each saw improvement in false positive identifications.

False Positive Filtering Trends Among U.S. Domains, Q1-Q3 2005
Domain Q1 Rate of False Positive Filtering, Q1 Q2 Rate of False Positive Filtering, Q2 Q3 Rate of False Positive Filtering, Q3 Recent Trend
cnc.net
(Concentric)
61.7 43.1 42.47 Down
hotmail.com 5.3 5.6 9.41 Up
gmail.com
(Google)
16 4.1 7.17 Up
sbcglobal.net 8.1 1.3 0.72 Down
yahoo.com 8.8 1.3 0.54 Down
Source: Lyris Q3 2005 ISP Deliverability Report Card

Blocked and undelivered rates for Q3 registered 9.3 percent, down from 12.6 percent in Q2. Despite the decrease, nine of the top 10 domains experienced increased undeliverable rates. Mailblocks.com reduced its rate from 9.3 percent in the previous quarter to 4.66 percent in Q3.

Undelivered E-Mail Trends Among Top-Performing U.S. Domains, Q2 and Q3 2005
Domain Rate of Undelivered E-Mail, Q2 Rate of Undelivered E-Mail, Q3 Recent Trend
peoplepc.com 2.3 3.23 Up
yahoo.com 1.7 4.46 Up
mailblocks.com 9.3 4.66 Down
sbcglobal.net 3.4 4.66 Up
socal.rr.com
(Road Runner)
2.5 4.92 Up
juno.com 4.6 5.02 Up
usa.net 2.5 5.29 Up
cs.com
(CompuServe)
2.9 5.36 Up
earthlink.net 2.3 5.38 Up
knology.net 3.7 5.66 Up
Source: Lyris Q3 2005 ISP Deliverability Report Card

The study also looked at European domains. Overall, deliverability was 82 percent in the third quarter, down from 93 percent in Q2. False positives increased from zero to .3 percent in the same period.

Data were collected by Lyris' EmailAdvisor service from July 1 to September 30 of this year. In the course of the study, 45,415 production-level, permission-based email marketing messages were sent from 49 business and non-profit organizations to accounts across 41 ISP and ESP domains in the U.S. and Europe. The report doesn't consider issues related to email client efforts to filter email.

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Enid Burns

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