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Email Campaign Click Through Rate: What It Is and How to Improve It

Email Click Through Rate

Click through rate (CTR) is one of the main metrics showing engagement of your target audience. It provides you valuable information whether your email campaign is successful or needs some additional work. Find out what it is, how it is changing and how to improve it.

The latest studies show a slight decline of average click through rate in email marketing campaigns. According to Experian Marketing Services’ 2013 Q2 Email Benchmark Study, unique click rates have felt from 2.5% to 2.3%, compering Q2 2012 and Q2 2013. And total click rates have felt from 3.8% to 3.2%. In age where people are burdened with email campaigns, marketers have to pay much more attention to call to action in order to engage the audience.

What is an email click through rate

An email click through rate is the ratio of clicks on your links in received emails. The CTR is, however, quite an obscure measure: a vast array of factors can influence the click through rate – including factors that you can’t directly measure and affect.

The CTR depends not only on call to action, the subject lines (they foremost affect the email open rate) and shiny copy. Subtler things like link position, time of the day, email length, link emphasis, etc., play a large role in making the CTR what it is. These external factors play a role significantly larger than you’d like them to.

What can an email click through can tell about your email campaign

The average email click through rate is perhaps the first statistic to look at when weighing the efficiency of a particular email campaign–maybe after the email open rate. A good email campaign will have a higher click through rate, but a lower CTR doesn’t mean that the email campaign is bad–it merely suggests adjustments, which can make a huge turn. The average email click through rate depends heavily on the niche, and the nature of your newsletter.

If you are selling products to consumers through email i.e. you own a “B2C” newsletter, the click through rate can be as low as 2-3%.

The average click through rate for business-to-business (B2B) newsletters is a pinch higher, starting from about 5%.

If your CTR has stayed average, or below the average, for some time, there’s email optimization that needs to be done. For example, maybe your emails contain so much content that the user has no real reason to click through?

Common tactics that improve the email click through rate

There are two roads you can take in order to improve the CTR.

  • First of all, you can look back to campaigns that provided the best results and try to copy the way you used to be. That, sadly, doesn’t always work, but can serve as a temporary fix; plus, looking back is healthy as you can see the emails with a fresh, more experienced look.
  • You can also take the hard road and try bettering the campaign altogether. Spice up the content; send out only a truly relevant email newsletter; make your call to action stronger so the client knows what you want. In other words, try making the campaign as attractive as possible, and give a real reason for the user to click to reach your website.

You should pay special attention to the content: sprinkle links generously as more links tend to increase the CTR – adding a single extra link can make users click through your web a whopping 25% more. This doesn’t mean that you have to fill the email with links, though. That’s needy.

Remember that in this business you are fighting for every single click! Use everything you’ve got and take your best shot. The returns are worth it.

We would like to hear your experience with CTR, things that you’ve done to improve the numbers. Have you had over 20% click-through, if so maybe you can share your tricks!

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4 Comments
  • Sherman Unkefer August 17, 2012 09:29:53

    Wow I didnt know you could increase your click through rate so much just by adding an additional link in your campaign. Thanks for the information in this article!

  • Top 5 Tactics to Grow Your Email Lists August 17, 2012 09:29:53

    [...] a while, we forget about the basics of great list building. Often we start to focus only on opens, clicks, and conversions. So from time to time it’s good to step back and make sure your email database [...]

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  • […] CTR (Click Through Rates) – Email CTR is a little more complicated. It’s the number of click-throughs divided by the number of emails […]

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