Research: Email Deliverability Metrics Show Average Read Rate of 21.5%

Note: This post on email deliverability was originally published in 2016, but has been updated with the most recent data.

Clear communication is at the heart of a successful business or nonprofit organization. If your customers or members aren’t receiving your message, then it’s time to re-think how and what you are communicating to them. Email is still one of the most commonly used tools used to capture attention and communicate today, but in terms of email deliverability – does it get the job done?

Email overload, short attention spans, filters and spam folders make it hard to capture your audience’s attention through email. In fact, according to a recent survey of consumer data from more than 5.5 million commercial emails conducted by Return Path, the average email read rate across all industries in 2017 was 21.5%.  Here is a breakdown of some of the other industries surveyed in this study:


Additionally, 11.9% of emails are deleted before ever being read. Ignore rates don’t vary as greatly as read rates by industry, though household & home improvement, office supplies, pets, and flowers & gifts industries were higher than average.


Spam placement rates were higher than the 13.5% average for education/nonprofit/government industries (23.7%), social & dating (20.7%), sporting goods (18.6%) and automotive (16.7%). So if your company is among these industries, your emails are less likely to even hit the inbox.


If you are looking to connect with our customers or members and are tired of having your message get ignored, deleted or buried in a sea of spam, text messaging can help. Not only is it useful in driving your target audience to the email you just sent informing them of what they should look for, but it is a very effective way to make sure your message are delivered and seen. 98% of text messages are opened and read, most of it within the first 3 minutes of receipt.  Pretty eye opening when you compare this to the email read rates mentioned above.

To learn more about how you can use text messaging in your industry, call TextMarks at 800-696-1393 to schedule a demo or email



Melani Deyto

TextMarks is a simple and reliable SMS text messaging service that allows you to build your business or engage your community through group text communications, SMS auto-responders and mobile marketing solutions. Melani Deyto is a staff writer for TextMarks.

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