How To Improve Email Click-Through Rate (+8 Actionable ideas)

Written by: Chris Donald

Published on: 18-07-2018

Chris is Managing Partner at InboxArmy and has more than 25 years of experience in email marketing

Email click-through rate is one of the most powerful metrics to measure the effectiveness of an email campaign. This implies that the higher your click-through rate is, higher is the chance for conversion. For an email marketer who has worked day in and day out for the perfect email campaign, nothing can get as heart-breaking as a low CTR (click-through rate), isn’t it?

What Is Email Click-Through Rate?

In short, the Email click-through rates help email marketers understand the engagement rate of their emails. This metric exactly shows what percentage of your subscribers are interested in your emails and interacting with the links present in them. Now, click-through rate is a better metric than open rate as the latter does not track the customer’s activity within the email. 

Email Click-through rates are tracked differently by the various Email Service Providers. For example, some email marketing software counts all the clicks the link in your email receives. To help tackle this problem, the email click-through rate is further divided into two categories. 

● Unique CTR

As the name suggests, UTCR measures only the number of unique clicks received by the links included in your emails. This metric measures how many unique individuals are engaging with your emails. 

● Total CTR

On the other hand, TCTR measures all the clicks. This metric draws a clearer picture when it comes to engagement and retention rates. 

What is a Good Email Click-Through Rate?

Click-through rates can vary massively depending on the industry you are in. But, on average, a good email click-through rate lies between 2-5%. Yes, these numbers might seem low, but anything above 5% is considered a gold standard when it comes to email click-through rates. According to a recent study, you can enhance your email click-through rate, and increase it to 6.2% simply by including social media sharing links.

How To Calculate Email Click-Through Rate?

Of course, all the email marketing platforms are well-equipped to show you the click-through rates of your email with a click of a button. But, knowing the formula for calculating the click-through rate will offer you more valuable insights to gauge the performance of your campaign. 

How To Calculate Click-Through Rate

The formula is pretty simple. You just have to divide the total number of people who clicked on the link by the total number of emails delivered during the campaign. Finally, multiply the result by 100, and you have got your answer. 

How To Improve Email Click-Through Rate

Although there can be n-number of ways to improve your CTRs, here are 8 actionable ideas that you should implement right away.

1. Segmentation of Email List Is A Must

The prospects or customers in your email list are not looking for the same thing. Therefore, you should segment them based on their personal information like demographics and geographic location to send more relevant emails that fits in their buyer’s journey.

For example: If you are a B2B firm dealing with SaaS applications, you can segregate the list based on their past downloads and pages they have visited.

2. Personalize The Emails

Addressing the subscriber with the first name in the email is the most basic form of personalization. You must go an extra mile and send out hyper-personalized emails that include product recommendations in line with the subscriber’s preferences. Moreover, you can send automated emails that are triggered based on the subscriber activity.

Let’s say: A prospect showed interested in a particular service on your website. You can send related emails that would promote a free trial or benefits that the service would offer.

LastPass sends out a personalized email that shares the subscriber’s app usage in the last year. This increases engagement and works towards better customer retention in addition to enhancing the CTR.


3. Subject Line And Copy Should Be In Sync

Your email copy should be crisp and aligned to the subject line. Make sure your subject line is interesting enough to get the subscriber to open the email and drafted keeping in mind the mobile users. However, you should not have a clickbait subject line just to get more opens. This might affect your email deliverability and hamper the email campaign performance.

In the below email, the email copy brilliantly fulfills the promise that the subject line makes. Also, notice the conversational tone in the email.


Pro Tip: Consider adding an emoji in your subject line that can engage your subscribers better. Test it so that there are no rendering issues.

Emoji in subject lines - email

4. Follow The Brand Guidelines

Adhering to the brand guidelines warrants a consistent experience to the email recipient and creates a better recall for your brand. As a best practice, it is recommended to use a single column layout for emails with one CTA and multi-column layout for content-heavy emails.

Pro Tip: No matter which layout you use, TEST the email for proper rendering and make sure it is mobile responsive before hitting the SEND button.

See how GUESS follows the same layout for every email they send.

guess emails

5. Include Visual Elements

Pictures speak louder than words. Instead of placing a wall of content explaining about your service in the email, how about including an explanatory GIF or video? Make your visual element as compelling as you can to garner greater subscriber attention.

It would surely appeal more to the readers and entice them to try out your product or service.

UncommonGoods surely knows how to promote their products right!

GIF-uncommon goods

6. Focus on the CTA

Apart from your email copy, your CTA button determines the click-through rate of your email. It should be an actionable verb that directs the reader to take the next action. You can even have a text link for the secondary actions that you expect from the subscriber. Place it strategically so that it is easily visible even to the mobile users. Consider using a fixed CTA that does not move despite scrolling through the email. You can apply fixed CTA only if your maximum subscriber base if Android user as it is not supported in desktop or iOS email clients.

Pro Tip: Carry out the “Squint Test” by squinting at your screen to check whether you can see the CTA button. If it is barely visible, you should design a larger button with contrasting colors to the background.

7. Include Social Sharing Buttons

Integrating social media with your email marketing strategy goes a long way in enhancing the engagement rate of your emails and bringing greater number of clicks. Moreover, it also encourages the subscribers to interact with your brand on social media.

Travelocity does a great job by including all their social media profiles in the third fold of the email.

Travelocity Social Media

8. Use An Emotional Appeal In Your Emails

Tap on the emotional side of your subscribers by using words like love, happy, etc. Such language in email copy establishes a positive aura and increases the likelihood of conversion.

Pro Tip: Using an email countdown in your email helps in creating urgency and generating instant clicks and conversions.

Final Thoughts

Now that you are well versed with the top ideas to better your email CTR, we would love to know how you have boosted your click-through rates.

In case you feel stranded and are struggling for better email metrics, InboxArmy can help you out with the entire campaign management starting from building an email list to successful email deployment.

Contact us now >>

About Author

Chris sent his first email campaign in 1995. He’s worked directly with Fortune 500 companies, retail giants, nonprofits, SMBs and government agencies in all facets of their email marketing and marketing automation programs. He’s also a BIG baseball fan, loves a good steak, and is mildly obsessed with zombie movies. For more information follow him on linkedin

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