Marketing Strategy Blog

Helpful Strategies for Improving Your Email Click Through Rates


Email is one of the most effective ways to engage with your audience and is one of the most important marketing channels of your business. Make sure you’re taking advantage of this line of communication by delivering the most effective message possible and encouraging high email click through rates.

But if you're not not seeing the clicks you want from your campaigns you may begin to ask yourself how to increase click rate in email marketing campaigns moving forward. And you're certainly not alone. 

The answer lays in testing some key factors to improve your overall email engagement. Stephan Hovnanian recently gave a presentation about how you can improve your email click rates using smart testing.

What to measure:

Before you begin testing your email marketing strategy, recognize the different metrics you will need to track as you begin your work.

Click-through-rate (CTR) is the most common email stat. CTR is the percent of all sent emails that had at least one click. This metric generally tracks general engagement.

Click-to-open-rate (CTOR) is the percent of opened emails that had at least one click. The CTOR metric measures the design performance of your email. 

Create a Tracking Document

Now that you know the differences between these metrics, begin by creating a tracking document. This document can help you organize the links you’re including in each email campaign and the engagement you received from your audience for that campaign.

You’ll also want to classify all of your links into one of three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary links.

Primary links are main action you are trying to encourage your audience to take. This includes any buttons, in text links, or even image links.

Secondary links are similar to side bars, so they are complimentary links. These could be links to relevant content or other articles that you’re including to encourage increased engagement.

Tertiary links are anything that is in the email template; social media links or other template navigations. While you won’t want to actively track them on your sheet, you will want to account for them because these could be drawing attention away from the primary goal. Take note of them, and experiment with removing these to see if engagement increases.

Begin to Test:

Now that you’ve explored what you can test, and what you should be tracking, it’s time to actually test your email marketing strategy to see what works to improve engagement.

#1: Segment Your List Effectively

Ensuring that you’re sending the right message to the right people is going to improve your metrics drastically. You can do this by segmenting your entire database into a subgroup of your list who shares a common set of interests or behaviors.

Identifying behaviors to segment by can help you send your message to individuals who exhibit specific behaviors. Develop segments based on interests, topics, and past behavior. Then, test sending messages to these lists to see how the engagement improves.

#2: Send Your Message with Intent

An email is a channel for your ultimate message and goal. Before you hit send, consider the entire experience the individual receiving your email will go through. Start experimenting with the time you send your campaigns to see how click rate improves.

One very clear example of how send time could improve your click rate is asking someone to visit your website to register for an event you are hosting. If your website is not optimized for mobile, it doesn’t make sense to send the email during times that your user would check their email on a mobile device because their overall experience will be poor.

Start experimenting with the time you send your campaigns to see how click rate improves.

#3: Design Your Emails with Focus

Nothing confuses your audience more than including multiple call-to-actions (CTAs). Start by removing tertiary links from your email to tighten up the focus. Also try moving the position of your CTA to be higher in the email, or above the fold. Above the fold above refers to the imaginary line in your email that involves scrolling to highlight. If you make the CTA visible without scrolling you may see an increased click rate.

When you include different links and actions for your audience to take, they will often become confused. Try treating your email like a landing page with one clear focus and no unintentional distractions from your primary CTA.

#4: Change the Email Copy & Button

Sometimes changing the email tone and voice can encourage clicks. One of the biggest considerations for clicking is the button, but one of the first things you can do is include multiple links for your audience. Link some relevant text, add a link to the primary image, do all three. The more opportunities you have to click the better.

Remember, your audience will always be asking WIIFM (what’s in it for me). Make sure you’re writing a compelling message that will cause your audience to act!

Testing all these different variations will help you improve your email click through rate in no time. Don’t forget to create the tracking spreadsheet so you can accurately track your results.



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