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How to Increase Your Email Click-Through Rate

Date: February 10, 2020 • Category: Marketing • By: Jonathan Jacobs

Real talk: how many promotional emails do you receive on a given day? Now tell us, how many of those do you open, let alone click-through to learn more? We’d have to guess the answer to that is, well, not too many.

Here’s the silver lining: you’re not the only one with click-through rate (CTR) woes. Across all industries, the average CTR is about 2.6% – but we want to help you change that. The click-through rate is one of the most important metrics to watch in your email campaigns. After all, if your open rate is high, but your click-through rate is low, it could mean that your subject line brings them in, but your content isn’t converting. That means you’re delivering a false promise.

But there are things you can do to increase your clickthrough rate, and it all starts with understanding your audience. Sounds simple enough, right? The mistake most marketers make is that they include their entire email list when they send email campaigns. Think about it: Is your entire list really interested in that new niche blog you just published? Instead, maybe you’ll send the niche blog to prospects who’ve previously showed interest in that topic. It’s all about understanding your list and realizing that marketing to everyone the same way is as effective as not marketing at all, which brings us to our point:

Email. Segmentation.

How to Segment Your List

Segmenting your audience and sending targeted email campaigns is one of the most effective ways to increase engagement and drive more sales.

You can segment by:

  • Creating targeted landing pages
  • Looking to previous engagements on social media
  • Offering free downloads that speak to specific audiences

If you have multiple signup options on your site with different calls-to-action, you should segment your subscribers based on where they signed up. For example, if a user signs up via a landing page for a free guide, they should be segmented to understand where this new sign-up came from, and how you can best communicate with them.

Be sure to do some light maintenance on your lists, making sure to clean them up and remove any inactive subscribers. Consider sending an email asking people to opt-in for certain types of updates. This could help improve your open and click-through rates.

Have Your Contacts Opted In?

You may have heard of the ever-present debate among digital marketers: to double opt-in, or not to double opt-in – that is the question. Using a single opt-in will certainly grow your list quicker because people don’t have to verify that they do in fact want to subscribe. But you could argue that going the single opt-in route means that your email list won’t be as high-quality than if you used a double opt-in. Decisions, decisions – we know. While it’s true that you do make new subscribers jump through an extra hoop with a double opt-in, it ensures that they really do want to receive emails from your company – and that’s an easy way to increase  open rates.

Humanize Your Email Marketing

We live in a world where everything is scheduled, automatic, and triggered, but in the email world, you’ll want to keep a human – and personal – touch if you want your readers to click-through.

Storytelling and humor are both great ways to incorporate more of that in your sends. Have a funny anecdote that relates to your send? Throw it in there. Received feedback from a reader? Share that, too – your click-throughs will be better for it.

If you need some more ideas, considering sharing the story behind your book, case studies or testimonials, or rapport building stories to humanize your brand or book.

While we’re talking about humanizing your email sends, make sure you double check your “from” address. No one wants to read an email from “no reply.”

The (Preview Text) Must Go On…

If your subject line is the star of the show, your preview text is the supporting role. Once your reader’s attention has been caught by your subject line, the preview text might be what convinces them to open your email or not. If you don’t write preview text for your email, the first sentences of your email will appear as the preview text. Yawn.

Use your preview text to play off the subject line, and don’t be afraid to get playful with it. Remember, give the people what they want: humor.

Write a Great CTA

Email is your chance to have fun with CTAs (and we might argue everywhere else, too). The “Learn More” or “Shop Now” CTAs are so 2008, and we’ve evolved, thank you very much. These CTAs may have worked once upon a time, but now people want to know: What’s in it for me? Why, with my limited time in a day, should I click this link?

First off, don’t use the same CTA for all your emails. If your emails always look the same, include the same type of content, and has the same CTA, your readers will grow tired of it and stop clicking through or even read your emails. By changing your CTAs in every email, you keep it interesting and people are more likely to engage.

Send Your Email at the Optimal Time

The age old question: what is the optimal time to send that email (or Tweet, Facebook post, Instagram…). You may have noticed that there’s plenty of contradictory information out there. If you have 1,000 or more followers, you could try running an A/B test, splitting the list in half. When deciding exactly what time of day for your additional tests, it’s important that you put yourself in your subscribers’ shoes. Think about what a typical day would look like for your ideal buyer. Ask yourself: what time might they wake up in the morning? When are they most likely to check their email? Is there any potential period of downfall during the day when they might be checking their email?

Some email providers, like Mailchimp, offer an “optimal send time” function, but you can also look up recent industry charts to see what time might work best for your audience.

To find the right day to send your emails, you need to send emails on different days of the week but at the same time of day. It’s all about testing, testing, and more testing in order to find the sweet spot.


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