Inbox Placement Rates


We're being asked by a client of ours to give them inbox placement rates for their campaigns.  Do you have any recommendations of how to get a figure for this?  Seems to be tonnes of info on the web, but nothing I've found that's very up-to-date or very clear on what sort of things we could do to get a figure?!

Any ideas?



roshodgekiss roshodgekiss, 6 years ago

Hi Dan, welcome to the forums! This one is a bit of a curly as admittedly, I hadn't heard about inbox placement rates before you mentioned it. So like you, I did a bit of searching around to get wise on how this rate is calculated and came to one conclusion - like open rates, inbox placement rates cannot be accurately measured.

Just for everyone else's benefit, IPR = % of email that makes it to the inbox, ie. not junked. This is not to be confused with delivery rate, which is % emails sent, minus bounces.

It seems that other email senders seem to calculate IPR based on pre-send estimates, thus calculating the likelihood that an email campaign won't land in junk, based on how successfully it passes test spam filters (a bit like the ones we feature in our design & spam tests). However, just as we can't calculate opens from email clients that have images blocked, it isn't possible at present to determine exactly how many emails make it into the inbox at send time.

For example, I use Gmail's 'Smart Filters' to sort my mail, as a matter of personal preference. This means that loads of my newsletters get shunted into a 'Bulk' folder automatically. From a sender's point of view, all newsletters sent to me get marked as delivered, however there's no way of the sender, or ESP knowing that they're all really going to a 'Bulk' folder, even when using spam tests.

Sorry for the long-winded explanation here, but the skinny is that there isn't a super-accurate way of calculating IPR. I think it's still worthwhile for folks to focus on definite figures (delivery rates, clicks, ROI) when measuring the success of their email campaigns.

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matrix, 6 years ago

Hi Ros,

Thanks for taking the time and looking into this for me....I came to pretty much the same conclusions as you, but just wanted someone else to say it too :-)

I think our client must have been on a course somewhere and been told about IPR and decided they're key!  However, I suspect all they were pointing out was make sure your email stands the best chance of being delivered each time.  i.e. good text / image content ratio, domain keys, non-spammy subjects I've pointed them down that route and will enable spam tests for their login and try again to explain the domain records that need changing!

Thanks again for your response.


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