Broadband News

One in six e-mails go missing in Europe

  • Wednesday, September 29, 2010 12:48 PM

European consumers fail to receive more than one in six legitimate marketing e-mails according to data from Return Path, an e-mail solutions provider. These missing e-mails include those that have gone completely missing and those that are destined straight for the spam folder, and are unlikely ever to be read.

Europe wide, only 82.2% of e-mail reached the subscribers inbox, down from 85.4% in the second half of 2009. The UK fared slightly better than the European average with 86.5% being delivered. Of those classed undelivered, 6.1% went to spam folders whilst 7.4% went missing completely, which usually means being blocked by the subscribers ISP before the e-mail gets delivered.

"Around 98 per cent of all email is spam. ISPs have to weed through it to try and discover what they should deliver and what they should protect their customers from. The problem for marketers is that legitimate permission-based emails are often identified as spam by ISPs, and subsequently directed to the spam folder or blocked at ISP-level, so the messages vanish into the ether."

Guy Shelton, (VP for European Sales and Service) Return Path

Demon Internet were the worst offender in Europe for missing e-mails, blocking 27% of e-mail sent to its customers. BT marked the most e-mails as spam in the UK with 19% ending up in customers' spam folders. The top 10 UK ISPs for missing e-mail are listed below.

ISP Missing (%) Spam (%) Delivered (%)
Demon 27.19 0 72.81
Tesco 10.4 0 89.6
Orange 9.36 10.25 80.39
NTL World (Virgin) 7.9 5.27 86.83
BT Internet 6.18 18.95 74.87
Windows Live / Hotmail 4.66 9.11 86.24
AOL 4.1 7.19 88.71
Yahoo! 3.17 16.63 80.2
TalkTalk 2.81 0 97.19
Pipex 2.77 0 97.23

With spam e-mail such an endemic problem, we recommend that users always check their spam folder if they suspect an e-mail has not been received. If you suspect your e-mail provider is blocking e-mails, you may want to look at using an alternate e-mail provider.


There should really be a clarification on this: Return Path are talking about marketing emails - not all emails. Frankly I don't give a crap if the latest missive about incorrectly sold loans or viagra ends up in my junk folder.

  • rickhodger
  • over 10 years ago

I read this in reverse!, Demon are the most successful at removing SPAM but do not let you check it. BT are good at identifying AND letting you see it if you want, followed by Yahoo (BT base their system on Yahoo) at the opposite end Pipex give you the most SPAM followed by TalkTalk.
If 98% of E-mail is spam even the best, Demon, still give 71% spam to their users! What a silly headline. Might as well say 90% of junk mail does not get read!

  • jumpmum
  • over 10 years ago

Alot of emails go into my spam and that's how i like it, i can always just press "Not Spam" and it will go into my Inbox.

Any messages that do go into the Inbox which i don't like, i will mark as spam.

I barely get any spam at all, 2 a week is fine :P

  • Legolash2o
  • over 10 years ago

Quite happy for everything returnpath sends me to not reach my inbox thank you very much!

  • awoodland
  • over 10 years ago

Re: your advice to check spam folders...
I would guess that many emailers would just hit 'Send & Receive' in their mailing program (like Outlook or Outlook Express), the equivalent to picking up the post from the door mat and therefore never know what their mail server passes to their spam box on the web, the equivalent to checking the mail at the sorting office. Would it not be good advice to encourage users to visit their mail servers website and see how mail is sorted there?

  • ahiggs
  • over 10 years ago

Of course, those of us who use Google Mail, don't really have these problems. very very rare that a genuine email gets trapped and put in my Spam folder.

  • The_Engineer
  • over 10 years ago

Misleading article! The report is only about [b]marketing[/b] emails, viz. "Across Europe only 82.2 per cent of legitimate [b]marketing[/b] emails reached subscribers’ inboxes".

  • XRaySpeX
  • over 10 years ago

spam (marketing) emails are supposed to go missing! so 5 out of six spam mails get through that sucks!

what needs to be done is for the open source community to put into the public domain block lists much like the extension for firefox's add block plus!

  • pigfister
  • over 10 years ago

I am so glad my ISP filters out this stuff it means less work for me. The more spam that gets filtered out the better!

  • kenny1870
  • over 10 years ago

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