Email Marketers Who Use Artificial Intelligence Report Better Results Across Key Metrics Like Open Rates, Click-Through Rates, and Revenue

New report from Return Path and The Relevancy Group explores the impact of AI technology on email deliverability and effectiveness

NEW YORK--()--In partnership with market research and advisory firm The Relevancy Group (TRG), leading email solutions provider Return Path today released a new research report titled Optimizing Email Deliverability with AI. In this new report, TRG and Return Path explore numerous questions about the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and email marketing, including whether marketers are ready to embrace deliverability solutions powered by artificial intelligence, how AI can be used to improve email deliverability, and what benefits marketers can expect from using AI for email.

The report illustrates how AI powered deliverability solutions can enhance outcomes for marketers while eliminating tedious and repetitive tasks from their daily lives. Research findings also highlight improved effectiveness for marketers using AI-driven email marketing tactics versus those that rely on humans alone.

TRG CEO David Daniels said of the study’s findings, “At The Relevancy Group, we are excited by the significant potential for AI in the email marketing space—and especially its ability to drive more valuable inbox experiences. This research shows that the marketplace shares our enthusiasm, as 97 percent of survey respondents say they are confident in that AI can improve the customer experience.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Email marketers using AI report better subscriber engagement. Open and click-through rates averaged about two points higher for AI senders versus those that rely on humans alone. The difference in conversion rates was less pronounced, but still favored AI senders.
  • AI solutions can drive improved deliverability. Many mailbox providers use engagement signals as part of their spam filtering decisions, which benefits senders with better subscriber engagement. Survey results show AI senders had a delivery rate that was one full point higher than human curated senders.
  • AI senders report higher AOV and email marketing revenue. Senders using AI reported an Average Order Value (AOV) of $145.08, versus $138.00 for senders not using AI. Those utilizing AI also reported 41 percent higher monthly revenue from email marketing.
  • Marketers who use AI are driving more revenue per subscriber. On average, AI users derive their results from just over 35 million emails sent per month, compared to 36 million emails for those who don’t use AI solutions.

“As the email industry continues to evolve, marketers are looking for more than just monitoring and best-practice based recommendations. They’re demanding real, effective solutions to the problems they face every day,” said Return Path CEO Matt Blumberg. “Over the course of two decades, Return Path has been pushing the envelope of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics to create those solutions by harnessing the power of the industry’s best and most complete data set.”

Across the board, Return Path’s products and solutions are built on a foundation of unmatched data, sophisticated analytics capabilities, and constant innovation. Return Path refers to this unique blend of fundamental elements as EmailDNA.

EmailDNA brings together the world's most comprehensive source of data from the email ecosystem. Return Path’s relationships with more than 80 mailbox providers, security providers, app developers, email service providers, and data companies represent 3.5 billion email accounts globally. Combined with in-depth behavioral insights directly from the inboxes of more than 2 million consumers and spam trap data from billions of emails around the globe, this creates the most actionable set of email data being used to develop solutions for email marketers.

“When you pair the right data with the right technologies and the right techniques, you can help marketers drive greater performance and maximize ROI—effectively taking their email programs to a whole new level,” continued Blumberg. “With the power of EmailDNA, Return Path is turning email data into email solutions.”

To celebrate EmailDNA and explore how artificial intelligence is positioned to change the email marketing game, Return Path will host an event titled Evolution of Email on September 20, 2018, at their headquarters in New York. Attendees at the event will hear insightful commentary from Return Path CEO Matt Blumberg and Paul Roetzer, creator of the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute.


In February 2018, The Relevancy Group (TRG) conducted a survey that resulted in 401 completed and qualified advertising and marketing executives. In June 2018, TRG conducted a survey that resulted in 406 completed and qualified advertising and marketing executives. Respondents were qualified based on the size of their customer database, email sending volume, familiarity of their company's marketing efforts, and other attributes such as the individuals’ role/title. Respondents self-identified their company size and market sector category. TRG collected descriptive information about these organizations including revenue, email marketing, tactics, and performance data. The survey utilized skip ordering and randomization and screener questions. TRG designed the survey and analysis.

About Return Path

Return Path analyzes the world’s largest collection of email data to show businesses how to stay connected to their audiences and strengthen their customer engagement. We help mailbox providers around the world deliver great user experiences and build trust in email by ensuring that wanted messages reach the inbox while spam doesn’t. To find out more about Return Path solutions, visit us at or request a demo.

About The Relevancy Group

Measuring consumer and executive behaviors, The Relevancy Group (TRG) provides market research and advisory services that deliver strategies to optimize a return on marketing investments. In addition to working with some of the top brands and vendors in the digital marketing economy, TRG produces dozens of surveys, research reports and webinars each year. TRG offers a research subscription service that includes access to original research reports. TRG also publishes the digital magazine for marketers by marketers, The Marketer Quarterly, a digital magazine and app; download it for free app stores.


Finn Partners for Return Path
Ned Tadic


Finn Partners for Return Path
Ned Tadic