As a marketer, it can be overwhelming to analyze your email marketing performance. From assessing email subject lines and CTAs to tracking the ideal success metric and key performance indicators. However, you need to be careful not to dwell too much time on metrics that don't reveal how your marketing campaigns are performing.
Your email marketing success is dependent on tracking and improving the most important metric that shows you how engaging your emails are— which is your click to open rate. This article explains why you should improve your click-to-open rate, how to measure it, and the ways that you can improve it.
Table of content
- What is the click-to-open rate?
- Why you should improve your click-to-open rate
- How to improve your click to open rate
- Wrapping up
What is the click-to-open rate?
Click to open rate is a metric that shows you the number of clicks and unique opens your email receives. A great way to think about it is — what percentage of people who opened your email, found it interesting enough to click on a link within your email copy?
This shows you that the click-to-open rate can give you an idea of whether your customers find your email content engaging and relevant.
Click to Open Rate can be calculated as:
For example, if you send an email to 100 people, and 40 of them open it. Of the 40, if 10 click on a link in the email, then your click to open rate is 25%.
While there are other metrics that give you an idea of your email marketing performance, click to open rate is the one you should consider the most. According to Databox, 35.8% of marketers say that click to open rate is the most important email marketing metric to track.
Many marketers tend to confuse click to open rate and open rate. The fact is that they are different metrics that show different results.
On one hand, the open rate measures the percentage of people that opened your email. So, you can think of open rate as the metric that acknowledges the performance of your preheader text and subject line. Click to open rate, on the other hand, measures the activity of customers that open your email.
In the next section, we'll explain why you should work on optimizing your click-to-open rate for the best results.
Why you should improve your click-to-open rate
1. Get a better idea of what works and doesn't work best for your brand and customers.
As you work on improving your click-to-open rate, you'll gain a better understanding of the kind of content your customers want to consume. You'll be able to test different variations of subject lines, CTAs, and visuals to uncover key information about what works best for your customers. This way, you can deliver an improved and relevant email copy to your customers.
Also, if your customer data shows you what customers don't like, you can have a better idea of the kind of content to avoid when delivering emails.
2. Improve customer relationship
When you improve your click to open rate, you build a better relationship with your customers. This is because a high click-to-open rate indicates that customers find your message engaging and valuable enough to click on a link in your email.
This kind of action makes your customers trust your brand more. They'll understand that you understand the kind of content that they resonate with. Even more, they'll always look forward to engaging with your subsequent emails.
3. Increase conversion
As customers click on a link within your email content, there’s a higher chance of increasing your conversion rates. For example, a customer can engage with your email, click on the CTA button and complete your desired goal.
4. Increase interactivity in your email marketing campaigns
A high click-to-open rate indicates that customers interact better with your email copy. This is possible if they find your message relevant and valuable. Most times, this starts by applying personalization, creating customer segments, a compelling subject line, persuasive email copy, and a clear call to action.
How to improve your click-to-open rate
1. Apply personalization
Personalization is key to reaching your customer on a deeper level. According to Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines have a 26% better opening rate. When you focus solely on promoting your product or service, it becomes hard to apply personalization in your emails. Instead, think about your customer and where they are in the customer’s journey.
Are they new or returning customers? What was their previous purchase? What are the most viewed web pages? Dig into customer data to uncover key details about where customers are on their journey to purchase and use the information to personalize your emails.
This way, you can deliver relevant content that suits your customer’s needs. YouTube shows an example of a personalized email:
2. Use a compelling call-to-action that stands out
Another way to improve your click-to-open rate is by ensuring your CTA stands out. As your customer navigates through your email copy, you should make it easy for them to take your call-to-action. Whether you want your customers to make a purchase, call your store, or browse your content, make your CTA clear, concise and compelling.
For example, if you want your customer to buy a product from your store, avoid using a cliche CTA like “buy now” or "get the deal". Instead, make it more descriptive as Mockingbird did in its email “shop the stroller”.
3. Segment your audience
To improve your click-to-open rate, you must tailor your emails to the right customer segment. According to qualtrics, "segmentation helps you speak directly to a specific group of people in ways they can relate to because you understand their characteristics, wants and needs".
In other words, you must segment your audience to deliver a relevant and valuable message to the right customer. You can segment your audience based on several categories like location, purchase history, name, etc. For example, you can use Engage's segmentation feature to create unique customer segments based on:
- Customer attributes like name, gender, location, etc.
- Customer actions like billing data, purchase history, liked items, etc.
4. Communicate one idea in every email
If you want to improve the click-to-open rate then you need to avoid confusing your customers. Avoid using clickbait subject lines that pass a message that is completely different from your email copy and CTA.
It can be tempting to promote a sales deal when your email is actually about an online event. This is not the right approach. It can lead to low click-to-open rates and make your customers lose trust in your brand.
A more effective way to improve your click-to-open rate is by aligning your subject line, email copy, and CTA. In other words, if your subject line mentions one idea ensure that it aligns with your copy and CTA.
5. Send emails at the right time
The time and day you send your emails can have a huge impact on the click-to-open rate. If you send your email at a time your customer would be less likely to engage with it, your click to open rate can become low. So, you need to dig into customer data to figure out the best time to send emails.
When you send your emails at a time your customer will most likely engage with your emails, it eliminates the chances of sending random email blasts that can be easily perceived as spam.
6. Use high-quality images
When using images in your emails, ensure you use high-quality emails. Images can evoke emotions in your customers, so you need to choose them wisely. Avoid using cheesy stock images that don’t stand out. Instead use images, charts, and visuals that are contextually in line with your email content.
Your images should be optimized to the right size for a fast load time. Dairy Queen shows a great example of using a high-quality image in its email:
7. Run A/B test
If you don’t test key elements of your emails, it’ll be hard to figure out what works and doesn’t work for your audience. With A/B testing, you can test two variations of the element you want to test — CTA, for example. When you analyze how customers respond to each call-to-action, you can figure out what works best and what to avoid.
Improving your click-to-open rate is necessary to drive positive results in your email marketing campaigns. Remember, you can understand how customers engage with your email content and improve relationships with them.
You need to have a value-based thought process when trying to improve your click-to-open rate. How can you craft emails that deliver value to customers? Getting a bird’s eye view of your click to rate is a great way to improve your email marketing efforts.
Finally, all this won't be possible without the right solution to help you track your opens, clicks, and click-to-open rate. Engage does this and more.
With Engage, you can:
- Track how customers interact with your product, app, or platform.
- Use that data to create unique customer segments.
- Send personalized messages via Email, SMS, Push Notifications, and Web In-app messages.
- Create automated messaging workflows to power your email marketing campaigns.