What is a good click-to-open rate?

There are many metrics used to analyze email marketing performance, but there is one metric that isn’t used enough.

Click-through and open rates are measurements that are widely used across the board.

But are you considering your click-to-open rate (CTOR) when determining the success of an email campaign?

What is a click-to-open rate?

While your click-through rate (CTR) provides the number of subscribers that click through your email—it is compared to the total number of users in your email audience. Considering not everyone opens your email, how can you properly determine the success of your email’s content if you’re taking those who didn’t even view it into consideration?

Your CTOR provides the number of subscribers that click through your email compared to the total number of subscribers that actually opened up the email, to begin with. 
This metric allows you to gain insight into how your content is performing in terms of relevancy and context. 

Now, no metric is absolutely perfect, but using your CTOR allows you to get a clear depiction of how your engaged audience responded to your email content.

When you take your entire email audience into consideration, the users that sent your content straight to their trash bin will not provide any useful insight regarding the success, or failure, of the content within the email.

In your email marketing campaigns, the only way to improve your strategies is to analyze how your users respond. Having the ability to look solely at the group of users that viewed your content will give you a clearer picture of what you’re trying to decipher.

Don’t rely on just click-through and open rates to determine your email’s success as most companies do. Take advantage of the benefits your CTOR can provide and improve from there.

What is considered a successful CTOR?

The range that you want your click-to-open rate to fall is between 10-15%. However, if you’re not familiar with how this metric applies to your email strategy, we’ll take a dive into how it relates to the common metrics you’re already using today.

Open rate

As you most likely already know what an open rate is, it’s important to understand its correlation with click-through and click-to-open rates. To make this easy to comprehend, we’ll use an example with simple figures to map out how each metric is affected by the other. 

If you have a company with 1,000 subscribers and they send out an email to their entire list, your open rate will be the percentage of people that opened up that particular email. Let’s imagine that 190 people open up this email, giving you an open rate of 19%.

This metric takes all of the subscribers into account and provides a figure that allows you to analyze the performance of the email’s subject line.

While not all of your users are viewing the content within the email, all of them are seeing the subject line. Your open rate will show you its success by providing the number of people that were convinced to open up the email to see what it had to offer based solely on its subject line.

Click-through rate

Your CTR is the number of subscribers that click through your email compared to the total number of subscribers within your email list. Using the previous example, if you sent this email out to 1,000 users and 30 of them click on a link within that email, your CTR would be 3%.

According to market research, an average CTR for all industries included is 4.19%.

With a CTR of 3% in this example, you would believe that your email was not as successful as you planned. However, when you take a look into your CTOR, you will come to realize that while your CTR is lacking, the performance of your email content may actually be impressive.

Click-to-open rate

Calculating your CTOR requires you to divide the number of users who clicked in your email by the number of users that opened your email. In our example, your CTOR would be 15.7%. Although you may be discouraged by your click-through results, it’s important to analyze your click-to-open rates to review the performance of the content that your users actually saw.

No matter what industry or study is in question, researchers do everything they can to ensure their results hold water.

When it comes to your email marketing performance, taking account of all of your subscribers would be doing your email content review a disservice.

You can get a clearer picture of how your users responded to your content and design by reviewing your CTOR and learning from its results.

How to measure your CTOR success

It’s clear that your CTOR gives you a deeper look into how your email content is performing. But how do you measure the success of your CTOR?

Considering around 10-15% is the average for a successful CTOR, you’ll want your results to fall around there. If you’re under the impression that you’re not close to that kind of success, there’s no reason to worry.

The results of your CTOR, whether good or bad, gives you the insight you need to improve the content within your emails.

You’ll have to go through a little trial and error to determine what about your email is lacking and preventing your users from clicking through. Whether it is the copy or images you include or the layout of your links, you can begin to dissect your email’s performance and perfect its ability to bring your users to other pages.

How to improve your CTOR

There are many factors to be addressed when creating a new email. As a result, there are many aspects of your email that can hinder its performance. Here are some parts of an email that can have a significant impact on its ability to succeed:

  • Copy
  • Images
  • Mobile-friendly formatting

If you are in a position where you already know what is a good click to open rate and you want to improve it, let’s dive into the different ways you can reformat your email for CTOR success.

Written copy

You can begin to improve your email and its CTOR by writing more engaging and attractive content. When it comes to your email users, you want to write copy that will prove why your product/service will solve their specific concern.

Including your user’s name within the greeting also makes it more personable. Users want to trust businesses they work with today. And making an impression that you specifically care about them will achieve that emotion. 

Engaging images

In today’s world, most users are scanning the copy they come across online rather than sitting down and reading a full article. When it comes to the success of your email, you must include engaging images to draw in those on-the-go subscribers that are just skimming through your email.

If you want to catch their attention, you must include an image that catches their eye and instantly informs them what you’re all about, like this example below:

Image: Campaign Monitor

You really only have eight seconds to obtain and maintain their attention when users open up your email, so don’t waste any time with lackluster images.

Link layout

Many users will click on a logo within an email to access the company’s homepage. If your email isn’t set up to do just that—You will miss out on some vital clicks and engagement.

Be sure to include many links so that no matter where your subscriber is on your email, they have access to your site at all times.

Also, be sure to include engaging CTAs that will drive your users to the exact place you want them to be. 

Source: Campaign Monitor

Mobile-friendly design

People check their email on their phone all the time. It’s crucial that you format your email to be appealing for those viewing your content on a mobile device.

That includes large CTAs, smaller fonts for your copy, and small images that won’t overwhelm the screen.

When you take the time to review your CTOR and analyze what aspects of your email are lacking, you’ll be able to make the necessary improvements. 

Knowledge is power, and knowing exactly what isn’t working within your email will give you the power to find out what does.

Wrap up

While click-through and open rates have always been used to measure the success of email campaigns, you’ll be happy to know there are more metrics to help you along the way. 

Your click-to-open rate is a metric that shouldn’t go unnoticed, so why are people neglecting it day in and day out?

If you want to get a clearer picture of how your email content is performing, you have to take into consideration the people who actually viewed your email.

If you were conducting a survey on a new candy bar and wanted to know how many people liked it, you wouldn’t include subjects who declined to taste it. So, when you’re looking to measure the success of your email, why are you taking those who placed it right into their trash bin into consideration?

Your CTOR will provide the insight you need to improve your email content and your overall marketing strategy overall. 

If you’ve been wondering what is a good click-to-open rate, you don’t have to necessarily meet that as of yet. Whether you fall within the 10-15% or come up a little short, you can use this metric to get you to where you need to be. 

About the Author

Emma is an email marketing platform that gives you all the tools you need to send campaigns that really connect with your subscribers. With our

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