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9 Proven Ways to Increase Email Click-Through Rates (With Real-Time Examples)

Posted by Akshy Anbu on  November 09, 2020  in Email Marketing

“How to increase email click through rates?” That’s probably the million-dollar question marketers and eCommerce store owners have been running around with. And though we see a lot of experts chiming in and giving tips to improve email open rate and click-through rates, the quest never seems to end. So, we just thought why not come up with our own version – only this time, it’s going to be in-depth with some real-time examples!

And remember, it’s always good to start from scratch (you never know the valuable email ctr dimes you’ve been missing all along)!

What is Email Click-Through Rate?

Cutting down to the chase, email clickthrough rate is the term for the number of people who interact with your email and take some action. And there’s even a formula (called the email ctr formula) to calculate the same,

Email Click-through Rate = (No.of Clicks/Total Number of Delivered Emails) x 100

Allow me to make this even simple for you.

Assume your recent email campaign had 1000 delivered emails. And out of 1000, 200 of them clicked your CTA button and reached your landing page. So, the email click-through rate here is 20%! And that’s how you calculate your email click-through rate – simple mathematics in play!

It’s not mandatory that you’ve got to know this since most of the email marketing solutions today do this on your behalf. But it’s always nice to know a couple of formulas, doesn’t it?

Quick Tip: You can consider your email campaign pretty good if the average email open rate is between 15 – 25% and the average click-through rate is somewhere around 2.5%. This might differ based on the industry.

Here’s an image that has the average email click-through rate for emails – industry wise

Email CTR Industry Wise
Image Source: Hubspot

Pretty sure you must be falling under one of the industries above. If your email click-through rate is ideal, great! We’ll work on improving it further. If not, again, we’ll work on improving that!

9 Best Tips to Improve Email Click-Through Rates

We’ve been through a generous introduction, took a look at the email ctr formula and worked it out with an example as well which has brought us to this part of the read – the part where you’ll actually be learning how to increase email click-through rates!

Let’s get on with it!

1. Master Your Email Subject Lines

Your email subject lines are probably the first thing your email receiver gets to read (apart from your name) and play a huge role in helping your reader decide whether to click open your email or not!

And the trickiest part is, you never know what mood your subscriber is in! So, it’s always best to play the safe game!

So, when drafting your subject line, there’s one thing you should be remembering – what’ll the reader be able to make out of your subject line? Is it going to be beneficial or it’s going to be some random line out of the blue that’s not going to pique your reader’s interest?

Make sure that your subject lines are,

  • Clean and conveys what the email is about.
  • Jargon-free and not too lengthy.
  • Able enough to let your reader know what he/she might get out of it.

And most importantly, never use extremely promotional/spam words in your emails unless there’s a cause. Because it’s going to make you look friggy and there’s a chance your email might be moved to spam.

That’s pretty much enough to come up with a good subject line. Remember that it all starts with the email subject line. If you’ve managed to crack this, your average email open rate is going to shoot sky high (which is only half the journey)!

Speaking of good emails, here are a few examples I pulled out from my Inbox.

Example for Good Subject Lines

Let’s get started with the first one – Medium

I am a great fan of the fact of how straightforward and to the point Medium’s email subject lines are! I take a look at the subject line and I know what the email is about. If I don’t like the read, I may as well scroll down and check my other emails. But since Medium sends recommendations based on our personal interests, the skipping is likely about to happen. So, it’s basically a win-win situation here!

The second example – SEO Power Suite

Andrei has sent me this email. And the subject line is “What’s Negative SEO & How to Stay Safe”. This helps me get an idea of what the email is about!

If you’re looking for a couple of bad examples, sure! Why not?

Example for Bad Email Subject Lines

I had to pull the above examples from the spam folder! Doesn’t need much of an explanation I guess!

So, you get what I’ve been explaining above? Make sure you come up with similar subject lines for your next email marketing campaign.

2. Well-Formatted Email Body Copy

And once when your reader chooses to open and read your email, it’s the body of your email that appears right in front of them!

“It all starts with the subject line. And then the body comes following, all ready and cooked!”

Speaking of your email body copy, it’s best if you stick to the plain old text format instead of flashy, visually appealing images & GIFs. It’s because the tradition never fades (remember how valuable handwritten letters are these days) and most importantly, sending a text copy actually makes the reader feel that he/she has been sent something by you to read! Also, good old fashioned text copies are easy to read/access on all kinds of devices.

Now that the type is fixed, let’s get down to the length and other characteristics of the email. Being a reader, amidst a busy schedule, how long will you be spending on an email? 20 seconds? Or a minute to the maximum? The latter happens only when your email is super important and you actually have real stuff within. Else, there’s going to be no conversion or click-through rates in the first place.

It’s really important that you keep your email copies short and precise. And here are a few other points when it comes to drafting your email body copy,

  • Try limiting your copy to no more than 5 lines.
  • Use bold formatting at places you want to highlight or where you feel the reader shouldn’t be missing out.
  • Come up with error-free email copies. A small typography mistake and your email is closed already!
  • Stick only to one point – if it’s about your new feature, speak only about that!
  • Have adequate space between each sentence. Break them into paragraphs if necessary.

If you’re not able to stick to the 5 line rule and you need to convey more to your reader, come up with relevant subheadings and space them out well so that the readability factor doesn’t take a hit!

Here’s an example of an onboarding email copy we send out to our users,

Optinly Onboarding Email

The subject line lets the reader know what the email is about. And as for the email copy, I’ve stuck to all the rules mentioned above which makes it clean and approachable enough!

And as for the “XXX”, we’ll be looking into it in our next topic!

3. Hook Them Up With Personalisation

Personalization always works (at least 9 out of 10 times)!

Assume you’re receiving an email and it has your name on it. There’s a 75% chance that you wouldn’t ignore it! And the reason is, well it’s natural! Why would you want to skip an email that has your name on it?

So, as for the question where you should personalize it,

Email subject lines

Like I already said, email subject lines are the first thing your reader gets to look at. And what better place could there be to put your reader’s name. For example, here are a few subject lines,

  • John, BFCM Deals Go Live In a Week!
  • Sam, 50% Off on Your Abandoned Cart!
  • Josh, Your Wishlist is Back Again!
  • Adam, We’re Giving You Extended Free Trial!

See how that works? Now when John or Adam sees this, they’d definitely barge in to see what’s inside!

Let me pull out one from my inbox as well!

Example for Personalized Email Subject Line

It seems I’ve been missing the on-boarding session for quite some time and Ardy here is determined😉!

Quick Fact: Emails that go with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened!

That’s one way to personalize your emails. And the second one would be the salutation!

If you could take a look at our on-boarding email copy, there would be XXX in the salutation. And that’s where you’re going to insert your reader’s name. Since most of the email marketing solutions come up with the FIRST NAME option, you don’t have to stress out by mannually sending them – again, a win-win!

Quick Fact: Experian revealed that personalized emails drive 6x higher transaction rates.

That’s it with personalization! Let’s move on to the next one!

4. Offer Targeted & Relevant Content

It’s always best when you give people what they want. For example, if your reader has subscribed to receive the best email marketing tips and tricks, you cannot run around and send him tips to become a PRO in development languages!

It’s going to be totally irrelevant and the churn rate will eventually hit your rooftop! If it helps, segment your subscribers based on the purpose they’ve signed up for. And send them relevant content.

Speaking of segmentation, you can also segment your email list based on age, gender, interests, etc which helps in delivering relevant content to a great extent.

Remember, the more relevant your content is, the higher will the open & click through rates will be!

5. Call-to-Action Buttons are Mandatory

Let’s say Sam is actually quite impressed with your email copy and decided to give your product a try. But unfortunately, he doesn’t see a way to go to your landing page.

Translated, the call-to-action button has gone MIA (Missing in Action). Call-to-action buttons are quite mandatory when it’s about trying to increase email click through rates.

Speaking about call-to-action buttons on emails, here’s how it should be,

  • Your CTA button should be placed at the end of your email copy so that your readers get to know what the email is about completely.
  • Don’t come up with too sloppy or extremely exciting CTA text. The medium-paced slightly posh text should do (Grab My Deals, Yes, I’m In, Take Me Onboard, etc).
  • The call-to-action should be clearly visible and contrast enough. Make sure it has the resemblance of your brand!

And here’s an example that stands as a resemblance for everything above!

Email CTA Button Example

The CTA button is at the end of the email copy and the color without a doubt resembles their brand. As for the CTA button text, it’s attractive enough!

Also, if you’re having the idea to come up with multiple CTA buttons, drop it right away! Because multiple CTAs not only distract your readers but also make your emails clumsy and decreases your email click through rate eventually.

Clear with the CTA buttons?

Note: The above-mentioned email marketing tips and tricks to increase the average email open rate and email ctr were in close correlation to the components of the email. Further below, we’ll be looking at things that work from the outside!

6. Split Test Your Emails

This is one of the crucial steps you should take into consideration if you’re really serious about increasing your average email open rates! And this step has everything to do with your subject line and the body of your email!

The split test comes into place when you come up with two different versions for the same email you’re about to send. Two different email subject lines and two different email copies – campaigns A & B sent to two different groups of people.

Email Campaign Split Test

At the end of the day, you’ll get to know which campaign has more average email open rate and click through rate. And you’ve got the content copies that perform best for your email marketing campaign!

Again, most of the email marketing solutions today come with split test options so you don’t even have to move a muscle. A couple of clicks, set it live and see the results – easier than said!

7. Sending Your Emails At the Best Time

What works for you doesn’t work for anyone. Put in context, just because you’re comfortable writing and sending out emails at a particular time of the day doesn’t mean your subscribers would be reading them.

You’ve got to put a lot of background work to crack this one. And this is where the segmentation comes into play again! It’s common that as an online business you’d be having customers/subscribers from all parts of the world. And when it’s morning in a region, it might be half past 1 AM in the other. So, it’s quite important that you segment your emails based on the geographical location of your readers first. And then, find the best time to send your emails.

Speaking of best times, here are some,

  • Sending emails on Thursdays between 8 AM and 9 AM has worked perfectly for Wordstream as they were able to witness over 25% average email open rates.
  • Campaign Monitor suggests that you send emails by 8 PM because people would likely check their emails before going to bed.
  • Also, there’s a suggestion that you send emails by 6 AM because people would start off their day by checking their emails in bed.
  • And finally, MailChimp suggests that you send emails by 2 PM because it probably would be lunch and people might look for distractions.

So, which one would you go with? Quite confusing right?

When it comes to sending emails, you’ve got to figure out the best time by yourself. The above-mentioned timings work for sure but you’ve got to figure out whether they work for your industry.

For example, if you run a resort, it’s best if you send your emails by Thursday/Friday because, on the weekends, people might look to go out somewhere. Similarly, spend some time, identify the characteristics of your industry, its pros and cons and come up with an ideal time to send your emails.

P.S. If you’re running an eCommerce store, these email marketing hacks can help double your eCommerce sales!

8. Try Resending Your Emails

It’s common for email copies to get stood up. And it’s not because your email copy isn’t good enough. It could be because your email has been buried deep by the new ones or your subscriber was too busy to check his/her phone.

The probability is high that they’d like the email and take action when they get to read it. And that’s the reason why you should consider sending them the email again. This time, make sure you double-check all the metrics – send it like you’ve already cracked it!

Quick Fact: Mailchimp recently said that resending emails can increase the average email open rate up by 8.7%.

Here are a few things you should follow and remember while resending your emails,

  • Wait before you resend your email for at least two days.
  • While you resend your emails, make sure that the churn rate and the spam complaints rate don’t go up. If it does, you’ve got to stop and tweak.
  • Make it a point that you don’t resend your emails more than once.
  • Don’t focus too much on modifying your email content. In fact, try not to touch it!

And that’s how you resend your emails to get better email click through rates and rewards!

We’re almost done. We’ve just got one last email marketing tip left!

9. Periodic Cleansing of Your Email List

This is another reason why your email click through rate is not good. Over a period of time, when things start to accumulate, you never know what’s good and what’s bad. And that’s no different when it comes to your email list subscribers. You never know who is reading your emails or some might have even stopped using their email account!

Which is why you’ve got to periodically cleanse your email list (you’ll be surprised by looking at the email click through rates post-cleansing)!

So, here are a few ways you can start off with,

  • Find out and scrub duplicate email addresses – people often end up subscribing twice!
  • Find spammy email addresses ([email protected]) and remove them off your list.
  • Scrub people who have unsubscribed from your email list. Sending repeated emails to people who try to avoid you isn’t going to look good in the long run.
  • Look for potential typos and fix them ASAP. isn‘t going to get your emails delivered.

Doing the above will help you cleanse your email list to a considerable extent and you on the other hand can witness significant improvement in average email open rate and email click-through rates.

We’ll head to the end of the read, shall we?

Final Few Words

Email marketing is one of the best revenue-driving marketing mediums. And If you’re able to crack it right, well, you’ve done a great job!

The above-mentioned email marketing tips and tricks on how to improve email open rates and how to increase email click through rates should help you get started and witness results on the go. And always remember this “Trying new methods and strategies constantly will take you to the best one eventually”. So, don’t be afraid to experiment often!

Also, if you’re running low on your email list, you can use Optinly to capture visitors and build an audience base.

So, that’s pretty much it!


Author Bio
Akshy Anbu 
Akshy Anbu
Akshy is a Content and Growth Marketer who loves to peddle dreams across the globe. And he specializes in the eCommerce Sector. His blogs are mainly focused on the E-commerce sector, Content Marketing, Growth Marketing and Growth Hacking Techniques. When not glued to his notebook, Akshy loves to watch movies, cook, read and explore the wilderness all by himself!

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