February 5, 2003, 12:00 AM

Even permission e-mail has a hard time getting through, says new study

More than one in six permission-based e-mail marketing messages fail to arrive at their destination mailboxes at the 10 largest Internet service providers, says a new study from Assurance Systems.

 

More than one in six permission-based e-mail marketing messages fail to arrive at their destination mailboxes at the 10 largest Internet service providers, says a new study from Superior, CO-based Assurance Systems, a provider of e-mail delivery monitoring services.

Assurance Systems monitored more than 800 e-mail campaigns to determine delivery rates across the top 10 ISPs. “E-mail marketers and publishers spend a lot of time creating targeted offers and high-quality creative. However, all that effort is worth little if the campaign doesn’t make it to the inbox,” says Assurance Systems CEO George Bilbrey.

Assurance Systems’ results show Netzero experiencing the highest non-delivery rate at 27%, followed by Yahoo at 22% and AOL at 18%.

There is a number of ways that e-mail can fail to arrive at an intended mailbox. The most common are spam filters that are either commercially available or developed by ISPs to review messages and delete those that have content that appears frequently in spam messages, blacklists that are created either commercially or in-house to delete messages from known or suspected spammers, and volume-based filtering that deletes messages based on frequency of appearance in an ISP’s pipeline or that contain heavy content that uses an inordinate amount of an ISP’s bandwidth, Bilbrey says.

Retailers may be particularly vulnerable to spam filters because their e-mail marketing messages are often graphic-heavy and may contain words that trip filters, such as Buy now or Limited time offer, Bilbrey says.

To ensure delivery, Bilbrey recommends that marketers seed their lists with e-mail addresses so they can make sure their mail is getting through and follow rules of permission-based e-mail marketing. Among the products that Assurance Systems provides is a service that scans e-mail messages to see if they contain words that trip spam filters.

 

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