Permissions & Deliverability

Email Deliverability July 2019 [Infographic]

Roberta PhillipsRobert Brandl

By Roberta & Robert

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Email Deliverability July 2019

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Update: Please find our latest deliverability test results from Jan 2024 here

In light of receiving such great feedback from Rand Fishkin, the co-founder of Moz and SparkToro, we were eager to get our next round of deliverability results out. When Rand shouted us out on Twitter back in May we were mid-test and keen to see how the email providers had done compared to our previous email deliverability test from earlier this year.Email deliverability 2019

We’re thrilled to release the long-awaited results! But first:

What's Email Deliverability And Why Does it Matter?

What's the use in spending time creating an email newsletter for it just to end up in Spam, or even worse, go undelivered? We've seen that different newsletter services have different deliverability rates, so choosing the right one could mean the difference between a successful campaign and a flop.

So, what’s new this round?

This round came with quite a few surprises and just goes to show that no email marketing platform can ever rest on their laurels when it comes to email deliverability.

This was our fourth round of testing to date and marks almost 2 years since we started what we consider to be very worthwhile testing in the bid to monitor the deliverability rates of the world’s most popular email marketing services.

This round we added 3 new email providers – Mailjet, Newsletter2Go and CleverReach – and tested deliverability when sending HTML templates, rather than simple plain text emails. As with previous rounds, we tested the different email marketing services in five separate tests, using the delivery testing tool Glockapps (you can read more about our methodology here).

Are you ready to hear how all 14 email marketing platforms performed? We’ve broken down the results in this detailed infographic. Check them out!

email deliverability test infographic july 2019

Email Deliverability Rankings: Takeaways

  • Deliverability was calculated based on the percentage of emails that successfully reached recipients’ mailboxes – regardless of whether they landed in the main inbox, or a secondary tab (e.g. Gmail Promotions)
  • ActiveCampaign was knocked off the top spot as they saw a dip in email deliverability rates, which gave other providers a shot at getting the top spot. They scored 93.8% in this round compared to 97% in the previous round. Despite this, they still did the best of all providers getting their emails into Gmail’s main inbox
  • MailerLite has seen a huge improvement in deliverability rates, claiming the #1 spot. We know that MailerLite has really prioritized deliverability rates in the past year, and it’s really paying off!
  • Benchmark has continued to drop significantly, with average deliverability at an all-time low of 41.8%. It’s a real shame because they are a very easy-to-use tool with a great range of high-quality templates.
  • It’s interesting to note that some of the most popular email marketing services – AWeber and GetResponse – still have room for improvement as they scored just ‘okay’ rates of deliverability (between 80-90%)

Where Did the Emails End up?

The table below shows the averages for where emails ended up for each provider: the main inbox, another tab, the spam folder, or if they went missing.

MailerLite 84.1 10.8 4.7 0.56
Active Campaign 90.8 2.8 5.8 0.6
ConvertKit 83.6 7.8 7.2 1.4
MailChimp 84.2 6.7 8.0 1.1
Drip 84.2 4.7 8.9 2.2
Brevo 86.1 2.8 7.5 3.6
Constant Contact 81.4 6.8 6.3 5.5
GetResponse 77.2 8.1 11.9 2.8
Mailjet 71.1 13.9 14.7 0.3
Newsletter2Go 66.8 16.2 6.7 10.3
Mailify 77.2 4.2 16.4 2.2
AWeber 72.3 7.9 17.8 1.9
CleverReach 73.3 6.4 9.2 11.1
Benchmark 36.5 5.5 37.3 20.6
  • The providers least likely to have emails end up in spam were MailerLite (4.7%) and Active Campaign (5.8%) and Constant Contact (6.3%)
  • The providers most likely to be flagged as spam were Benchmark (37.3%), AWeber (17.8%) and Mailify (16.4%)

Deliverability to Most Popular Mailbox Providers

There are tons of mailbox providers out there, and while our tests were sent to over 30 different ISPs internationally, we couldn’t record all of them. Instead, they were weighted according to importance. The following table summarizes the average deliverability rates to Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft (Hotmail + Outlook) and AOL. For Gmail, we’ve differentiated between the emails that arrived in the main inbox and the Promotions tab.

MailerLite 61.3 33.3 100 100 100
Active Campaign 94.7 0 100 100 100
ConvertKit 74.7 20 100 95 100
MailChimp 74.7 20 100 80 100
Drip 72 14.7 100 100 100
Brevo 94.7 0 100 78.5 100
Constant Contact 74.7 20 100 100 97.1
GetResponse 74.7 20 95 60 94.3
Mailjet 54.7 40 100 43.8 100
Newsletter2Go 40 54.7 60 100 57.1
Mailify 72 12 85 75.4 62.9
AWeber 64 18.7 100 56.9 100
CleverReach 74.7 14.7 100 100 17.1
Benchmark 6.7 6.7 20 33.8 20
  • The providers most likely to end up in Gmail’s main inbox were ActiveCampaign and Brevo, in fact, 94.7% of emails ended up there! Though MailerLite has the #1 spot overall, they could do with getting more emails out of the Promotions tab and into the main inbox.
  • The providers most likely to end up in Gmail’s Promotions tab were Newsletter2Go (54.7%) and Mailjet (40%). This is not good news, as the likelihood of your emails getting read decreases quite a bit
  • Compared to the last round of testing, Active Campaign, GetResponse and Constant Contact didn’t find it so easy to land their newsletters in Gmail’s main inbox – last time they landed 100% of emails there. Other providers (who landed 40% there last time) managed to get a much more significant proportion of the emails in the main inbox this time (61% and upwards)
  • Benchmark saw an average of 20% of emails getting through to Gmail, Outlook or Hotmail mailboxes – a slight improvement from the last round where 0% got through. However, this wasn’t enough to help their overall deliverability score, which only continues to decline
  • ActiveCampaign, MailerLite, Constant Contact, Drip, Newsletter2Go and CleverReach were able to reach Outlook and Hotmail inboxes 100% of the time

Overall Ratings Based on Historical Performance

Just because a tool hasn’t performed quite so well this round, doesn’t mean they don’t have a good deliverability track record. Here, we’ve assigned a star rating to each provider, based on their overall performance over the last three rounds of testing. You can also see whether they’ve improved or deteriorated in performance since the last round.

ActiveCampaign 5stars
MailerLite 4half stars
Constant Contact 4half stars
Drip 4stars
ConvertKit 4stars
MailChimp 3half stars
Mailjet 3half stars New
Newsletter2Go 3half stars New
GetResponse 3half stars
Brevo 3half stars
CleverReach 3stars New
AWeber 3stars
Mailify 3stars
Benchmark 1star

Email Deliverability July 2019

MailerLite takes our number one spot, as well as our ‘Best deliverability’ award.

Email Deliverability July 2019

Brevo wins our ‘Most improved’ award for deliverability, with a 17.5% improvement from 2018.

How Does this Affect my Email Marketing Strategy?

Got the feeling your emails aren’t reaching your clients? After putting so much effort into your email marketing campaigns, it would be such a shame to see your open-rate so low because your users haven’t checked their spam folder – or worse still, your email never arrived at all.

That’s why email deliverability is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an email provider. With deliverability rates of our tested tools ranging from 41 to 94%, you can basically double or halve the success rate of your campaign by using the right (or wrong!) tool.

Of course, in spite of our best efforts to establish the same testing conditions for each tool, it’s true that other factors can play an important role. As the sender, you have a responsibility to do your best to increase deliverability by authenticating emails and following best practice guidelines for creating and sending emails.

How to Improve my Own Email Deliverability

We hope that these results can help you decide on the best email provider for your email marketing campaigns, but we recommend you use it as a reference alongside your own research.

We encourage you to take advantage of free plans or trial periods to really test the tool’s deliverability out. You can use the tool we use, Glockapps, to do so – click here to see a sample report from them. (Also check out our round-up of other excellent email deliverability tools.)

Regardless of the tool you use, you should always follow best practice guidelines for creating and sending emails, and try to keep your spam score low and authenticate emails using SPF and DKIM. Keep an eye on your stats, particularly on open and click-through rates and use a deliverability tool to run tests.

Make sure to check out how all the email providers we’ve tested have done over the various rounds of testing.

We’re looking forward to seeing whether low-performing tools prioritize deliverability in time for our next round of testing and whether MailerLite manages to keep ActiveCampaign off the top spot.

Noticed any deliverability issues with your email marketing service? Or have any questions? Let us know in the comments below!


The authors

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Roberta Phillips

Marketing Manager

Hey, I'm Roberta! Having worked as a digital marketer for a host of online businesses, I've tried, tested, fallen in love with and despaired with so many marketing tools. I'm excited to help you find the email marketing and CRM tools you need to thrive.

Robert Brandl

Founder and CEO

Hello! I'm Robert, an email marketing expert with over 15 years of experience. After honing my skills at an agency by serving major corporations, I founded EmailTooltester as a passion project to help small and medium-sized businesses. Connect with me on LinkedIn where I regularly share my best email marketing knowledge.

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We keep our content up to date

4 Feb, 2020 - Updated infographic and table with correct star rating

Our Methodology

This article has been written and researched following our EmailTooltester methodology.

Our Methodology