Reply Rate in Metrics of Email Deliverability


Read the report from Return Path: The 2018 Hidden Metrics of Email Deliverability. (attached below) Reading this research report, write a two pages blog post. This blog post should outline one of the metrics in the report, and you should discuss why it is an important metric for marketers in your own words. Make sure […]

Reply Rate in  Email Deliverability

Many businesses use email services to deliver promotions, news, and other communication forms to create a loyal customer base. For email service providers to avoid client exploitation by spammers or overzealous marketing strategies used by companies to increase their market share, they have introduced various ways of identifying such a threat and neutralizing it before it reaches their clients in the form of spam. These automated identification systems target several behavioral traits that their clients engage in while interacting with specific mail to determine whether they want to see them or not. In this research, the reply rate will be examined in detail, with the data accompanying the frequency at which messages were replied to categorically scrutinized to determine how the metric affects email marketing trends.

This study was conducted through global consumer data made by Return Path for the email providers: Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, and Microsoft, and incorporating more than 17,000 commercial senders, 5.5 million commercial electronic mail, and 2 million consumers. The reply rate refers to the frequency of emails sent by you as compared to the total emails sent. This metric is essential to entrepreneurs since they can understand its impact on the target audience. The higher the reply rate, the higher the chance you are offering a legit product. The desirability shows the significant probability that the email service provider will take it as trusted mail and enable future messages to be delivered to the customer’s inbox. However, higher rates could also mean that many clients are trying to unsubscribe and are reaching out to support in aid for the same.

Importance of Reply Rate to Marketers

The rate of reply to your emails constitutes a feedback loop in communications between the client and your business. The advantages of having higher response feedback are that it justifies the marketing investment rate regarding the effort put in crafting the mail in the first place; if the campaign costs less than revenue, it constitutes a success. The other reason is that it may help diagnose the effectiveness of the message to the market intended, learn how compelling the offer was in convincing the customer to use their product or services, and the probability of jeopardizing the whole campaign by increasing the chance of future emails being branded as spam.

The latter is plausible, considering the Quarterly data for the year 2016/2017 showing that the rate of reply through email is surprisingly meager at 0.11% (Return Path, 2018). In 2017, the most effective response rate, according to the study, is Telecommunications at 2.16, followed by Insurance at 1.93%; for the lowest amounts, Kids& babies and Hobbies/ Crafts/ Toys tied in this respect with 0.02% (Return Path, 2018). Most of these problems can be solved through good customer/ business relationships, giving reasonable offers, and choosing the right audience, among others; however, one way of ensuring that the mail does not land in the spam section is switching your “no reply@” address to one that encourages feedback and even provides options for canceling the subscriptions. Therefore, reply rate is one of the most crucial metrics for businesses that a marketer has to watch for to ensure the viability of their mail system.


Reply Rate data is a metric the marketing department should review to ensure the return on investment and alignment with long-term goals. Another reason for this is email providers’ tendency to identify low reply rates with spam mail. It can be surmised that the reply rate of email as a metric for marketers is beneficial to the business owner and marketers in gauging the effectiveness of their campaign and avoiding future spamming of their messages when sending future mail.


Return Path. (2018). The 2018 Hidden Metrics of Email Deliverability: Industry Benchmarks for 7 Key Metrics. [PDF file]. Retrieved from

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Published On: 01-01-1970

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