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Make Sure Your Email Marketing is Clicking: CTR is a Key Metric

Designing an effective email marketing campaign is a bit like being a homebuilder as both require a structurally-sound foundation if you hope to achieve success.

A home foundation, while a necessary anchor, does not define your outcome as a shotgun shack or an architectural masterpiece can both be built on a solid foundation.

The same goes for email marketing where your foundation or “Open Rate” is important because, let’s face it, if your audience does not open your email then your campaign is a virtual vacant lot.

What happens after your audience opens your email, however, is theConcept of sending e-mails from your computer-3 key to success, and this is where clicks or your click-through rate (CTR) becomes the most important email metric.

The bottom line behind your emails should always be to incentivize your audience.

This call-to-action in your email should lead your readers to click a link that will provide them with more value and content, drive them to your website, product or service, and ultimately turn them into customers.

Email Marketing Is Not New but it Works

Believe it or not but email turns 50 next year as Ray Tomlinson is credited with sending the first email in 1971.

It was just seven years later that Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager at Digital Equipment Corp., is credited with being father of email marketing or unwanted email spam or both!

Thuerk sent out 400 emails to potential customers and received complaints about the unsolicited sales pitch … plus $13 million in orders.

By the 1990s and the birth of the modern Internet email marketing worldwide became ubiquitous. While email marketing is not new or revolutionary, it still works.

In fact, 31 percent of B2B marketers in a report by the Content Marketing Institute said email is the best way to nurture leads.

Tracking the Success of Your Emails

Email marketing works but how can you tell if it is working for you? This is where email metrics come into play.

There are a lot of different statistics, but at a minimum, you should be tracking these seven email metrics:

  • Open Rate: Tracks the total number of times an email you sent has been opened.
  • Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR): Unique number of opens your email gets. The Open Rate includes the same email being opened multiple times.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The number of clicks to links in your email.
  • Unsubscribe Rate: By law you must give your audience a means to unsubscribe.
  • Bounce Rate: Soft bounces are emails returned because of issues like file sizes while hard bounces are emails returned because of invalid addresses.
  • Complaint Rate: Tracks the number of times your email is reported as spam.
  • Engagement Rate: This rate lets you know how long a reader interacted with your email by the length of time it was opened. The rate can be broken down into read (nine seconds or more), skimmed (two to eight seconds) or glanced (under two seconds).

Emails That Click with Your Audience

Your CTR will depend on your industry and your email content.

Campaign Monitor estimates that CTR for emails in 2020 range from an average 1.2 percent in industries such as food and beverage to a high of 4.1 percent for government-related emails.

Email clicks will rise if you employ an engaging subject line and compelling copy with a defined call-to-action (CTA).

The more focused your email is, the better as Databox article reported that one marketer found that emails with a single CTA vs. multiple options received 3 percent more clicks.

Also remember to think about mobile devices where more and more emails are read. 

If you are just putting your link at the bottom, then on a mobile device it will take a reader many scrolls to get to the link. It is a good idea to place your link also at the top and even throughout the email.

Like all good inbound marketing, the success of your email campaign will come down to the value you are offering. If the content attracts, engages, and delights then the clicks will follow.