17 Per Cent Of Sent Email Never Arrives

17 Per Cent Of Sent Email Never Arrives

If you want to convince someone you didn’t receive an important email, the most convincing lie is that it accidentally ended up in your spam folder. But that might be overkill. Turns out that 17 per cent of emails never get to their destination.

Picture by skinnylawyer

According to Return’s Path’s Global Email Deliverability Benchmark, 81 per cent of commercial emails sent in Australia reach their destination, 2 per cent get blocked as spam and 17 per cent simply disappear. While that number focuses on bulk business email, similar problems are presumably going to face any email account. Largely comparable figures are seen elsewhere in the world, though North America has the worst success rates.

You probably don’t want to encourage more bacn to show up in your inbox, but those figures do have a lesson. If you tell someone you didn’t get an email — especially someone from outside your organisation — they really should believe you.

Global Email Deliverability Benchmark


  • When I was using Google Apps to host the email for my domain name I was occasionally missing incoming emails. I only know about the ones that were sent from friends who wondered why I wasn’t replying – I don’t know who else failed to reach me. Now I host my email at home with dovecot. Apparently a pentium 4 on ADSL2+ running Ubuntu server is more reliable than Google’s cloud…

  • As someone who administers a corporate email system for 60,000 users, I believe the facts contained here are wrong.

    Secondly, what does “simply disappear” mean? And no, I didn’t RTFA – is it suggesting that there is a bug in all email systems causing 17 in every hundred emails to bypass message tracking functions and spontaneously delete themselves?

    Great article!

  • Also look at the terminology. They are talking IPR – Inbox Placement Rates. The users inbox is not the destination, the user’s mail server is. The server then distributes to inboxes. This article could easily be as much about mail server setup than delivery. Highly misleading and biased article.

  • What a lot of crap.17% disappear ?, was this written by anyone who understands IT / Mail Servers ?
    Someone’s making money here from sensationalizing a figure obtained through flawed premise.

  • One of my clients is randomly not receiving emails from different senders on different email systems. I’ve never seen anything like it (well, I can’t because there is nothing to “see” per say). Exchange, Outlook 2013 and iOS are the mail apps he uses. Some emails from some users randomly never arrive. It’s happening almost weekly. Sometimes several times per week. No SPAM or Junk Mail functions are enabled on the clients and there is only one third party SPAM filter that rarely has false positives.

    Im getting ready to completely re-image his iOS device followed by his PC if that didn’t do it and then delete his Exchange user and re-create it if the other two steps failed to fix it.

    Any suggestions? 🙁

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