8 Ways to Improve Email Click-Through Rates (CTRs)

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Email marketing is a wonderful way to connect with your customers, keep them engaged with your brand, and ensure they remain loyal to your business. It can be challenging to create content to send in an email campaign. Getting readers to open the emails you send is another battle. But the task of having them click through is an altogether different beast. Join us as we uncover 8 of our best ways to improve email click-through rates (CTRs).

Email click-through rates (CTRs) are notoriously low worldwide. Improving them includes optimizing emails for all devices, providing relevant content to segmented audiences, using one call to action and many images, offering polls, and ensuring your content is shareable on social media.

There are many ways to increase your email CTR. We have selected a few of the ones we find the most valuable and are excited to share them with you. It is time for your emails to be seen, appreciated, and clicked on, and we are about to show you how to get that done.

8 Ways to Improve Email Click-through Rates

Did you know that a massive 53% of email marketers claim to struggle with low CTRs? Getting readers to click through is a battle most of us face. Luckily, there are ways to combat the no-click blues, and we have some tried and tested methods to share. Let us look at our eight top picks for you in some detail.

1. Ensure your Audience has Opted in to your Emails

This may seem a little redundant, but hear us out. The first step to getting better CTRs is ensuring your audience truly wants to be on your list.

When people sign up to receive emails from you, they are warm leads. That means they want to hear from you. They want to know what you have on offer, special deals, learn more about your business, and more.

If you are sending emails to a bought contact list, or people who may have opted in thinking they were getting something different, you are unlikely to get many clicks other than on the unsubscribe button. Consider including an option like an opt-down button for those who wish to step out. By offering a service like that, you clean up your contact list and give those not so-interested the option of leaving with no hard feelings.

2. Ensure your Template is Optimized for all Devices

As you create the content for your emails, ensure that your template is optimized for all devices. A large number of people check their emails on their phones. If your email is easy to read, view, and click on, you will likely get that coveted click-through.

Emails that are difficult to work with tend to get deleted or ignored within seconds. Keep the user in mind as you design your marketing material, including your emails. Ease of use is vital for a successful email.

3. Personalize your Emails 

Personalization is imperative in email marketing. When we see our names on an email, we immediately stop, pay attention, and feel the email was written primarily for us. One way to use personalization to get higher CTRs is to use the reader’s name in your subject line. You can also segment your audience and send appropriate content to the groups that most appreciate it.

Emails that are personalized show an increased CTR of 139%. Use whatever details you have about your customers to add tags for them within your contact list. Group your audience according to their:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Socio-economic status
  • Marital status
  • Religion
  • Hobbies
  • Interests
  • Identities
  • Regular purchases, and more

All the information you can gather about your audience can help you send personalized emails and gain clicks from your emails to your website or social media pages.

4. Provide Highly Relevant Content

Sending relevant content is related to sending personalized content. If your audience is segmented, chances are you are sending them content relevant to their interests, identities, and more.

An astounding study showed that unsegmented audiences have a CTR of around 3.45% on emails. Segmented audiences have a CTR of 38.8%! That is a difference worth making.

You can take the concept of relevant content even further by ensuring your subject perfectly matches the body of your email. Like your website content, your heading should match the body to avoid false advertising or misleading your reader. The same goes for your emails. Your email subject lines must be exciting and enticing, but they should never mislead the reader about the contents of the email.

Let’s look at a few ways you can spice up your email headings to get your emails opened while maintaining the integrity of your email:

  • Keep the subject short
  • Use a catchy phrase
  • Keep the subject to the point
  • Ask a question
  • Make the reader curious

Your email content should always be relevant in one or more of the following ways:

  • You can share upcoming special deals, loyalty programs, or events.
  • You can share information about the business or items in the store.
  • You can share challenges customers or staff members have overcome.
  • You can explain processes, how things work, how you can help, how the business gives to the community, and more.
  • You can teach the reader about processes within the business, how you can help, how they can access benefits, or about particular items in the store.

5. Test the Best Times to Send Mails

Although readers have access to emails all day and almost all night, there are a few sweet spots when they are more likely to open emails and act on calls to action.

Surprisingly, the times when readers are least likely to click through on emails are during the work day. During these hours, they are likely flooded with work responsibilities and tasks, so the idea of adding to their work may seem draining.

The best days to get clicks from your emails are a Monday or Tuesday, and the worst day appears to be a Saturday. Of course, it may be best to test the days for your specific business since you may find that yours does best on the weekend.

The best times for getting clicks are the hours before and after regular working hours. This is likely because your audience is still somewhat relaxed and gearing up for the day or winding down. Again, test sending times for your business to assess if this works for you or if there is a better time.

6. Ensure You Send Shareable Content

Your emails need to include a call to action. That much you likely already know. Do you also include icons that allow your readers to share the content they enjoy on social media?

Social media sharing icons are a fantastic way to encourage clicks and user-generated marketing. Be sure to include these handy additions the next time you work on your email template. The most popular social media that is shared is LinkedIn, followed by Facebook, and then Twitter.

7. Provide Calls to Action

When designing your emails, be sure to include a call to action. You may wonder how many to have or how they should look.

The answer is less is more.

When it comes to telling people what to do, the truth is that readers need clarification when they are given too many choices. Give them one or two options, and they are good to go.

Research has also shown that website readers tend to read in a Z shape. Readers tend to follow an F-shape when reading an email. That means your calls to action should be placed strategically along the shape of a capital letter F for the most attention. Choose to place your call to action in a button or linked text. Or you can use a combination of the two.

8. Include Images, Video, and Interactive Media

Human beings are primarily visual creatures. The simple fact is that we like pictures. Include images in your emails and garner more enjoyment from your readers. Chances are you will get more clicks.

Since video is critical on all social media platforms at the moment, you may include video thumbnails or embedded videos and gifs for added enjoyment. A link to a longer YouTube video could get you a valuable click-through.

Adding polls, surveys, and questionnaires allows your readers to engage with you and provide feedback. This interactive media gives you valuable information for your audience segmenting and market research. It also helps the reader feel more connected with you as a brand, enhancing their user experience.

Final Thoughts

Although CTRs are notoriously low worldwide, it is possible to entice clicks from your readers by using a few techniques that are easy to implement. Keep the reader’s experience in mind as you design your marketing and email campaign, and allow your creativity to guide you as you personalize your emails.

Simplify them and provide only one or two calls to action on aesthetically engaging, relevant content that your reader can share.

(Related: 7 Email Design Best Practices that will Increase Click-Through Rates (With Examples))

About the Author

I have been in the 'online business' space since 2009 when I started an eCommerce business selling motorcycle parts (sold in 2012). Since then I have owned and operated several successful online business (and had a fair share of failures), along with owning offline home services businesses. Currently my focus is online businesses that are profitable with paid traffic. As a 'self employed individual' I do not use Linkedin, but you can connect with my on my personal instagram and youtube which largely revolve around my mountain biking passion!