Steps to Improve Email Click Through Rates

improve email click through rates

As I’ve discussed before, email deliverability is a huge focus of marketers across all industries. We all want our email marketing to reach the inboxes of our subscribers’ — both prospects and customers. If we can improve deliverability, we increase our odds of improving open and even click through rates (CTR). Here are a few steps to improve email click through rates and reach more contacts with your content.

Improve Email Click Through Rates

In other words, don’t “give it all away” in your email. If you’re able to generate a sense of curiosity or interest for your recipients, they will be more likely to click through to find out more information. This can be very subtle or blatant, depending on your brand’s voice and tone. Consider these two examples:

This customer is changing. Is your marketing strategy?

Customer Lifecycle Marketing could save your life. Learn how.

The idea in both examples is to make the subscriber feel like they’re missing out on something that could be valuable or interesting if they don’t click through.

Provide recommendations

Both business and consumer buyers are spending quite a bit of time researching vendors, products and services before even reaching out to learn more or to make a purchase. It’s no wonder that online reviews play such a critical role in today’s buying process. Consider G2 Crowd for B2B and the reviews buyers post on retail sites such as Target and Amazon.com. What other people think about a purchase matters to us, even if we don’t know them.

So why not provide “social proof” such as reviews and testimonials in your email content? Consider this study published by the Wall Street Journal:

Researchers tested how powerful social proof was as a driver of customer behavior. They used four different messages in an effort to convince buyers to use fans instead of air conditioning.

  1. Message 1: Informed customers they could be saving $54/month on their utility bill by using fans instead of air conditioning.
  2. Message 2:  Told customers they could prevent the release of 262 pounds of greenhouse gasses every month by switching from air conditioning to a fan.
  3. Message 3: Conveyed saving energy was the “socially responsible” thing to do.
  4. Message 4: Let customers know that 77% of their neighbors were already using fans to save energy.

The study found that Message 4 was the most effective, beating out the messages about saving money or protecting the environment.

If you want to improve email click through rates in your email marketing campaigns, try including forms of social proof such as customer testimonials to show other people have taken similar actions and to also reassure subscribers the offer you are making is legitimate and of value.

Speak to readers, not at them

Let’s be honest, we all like our ego stroked from time to time. Your subscribers are no different. Instead of spewing content at the them and hoping something “sticks” try content that speaks directly to them.

For example, business video producer, idzideo, ran a split test on a pay-per-click landing page that delivered a 90% increase in click through rate by changing one word in some button copy. The word they changed? Instead of asking website visitors to “Start your free 30 day trial,” they suggested “Start my free 30 day trial.” One little word caused an increase of 90% click throughs to their payment page.

Keep this example in mind the next time you make an offer to your subscribers. Personalization is key, not just in your greeting but also in your offer.

Try these simple steps in your email marketing campaigns and you may improve email click through rates. A/B test different approaches such as wording and even link colors and design elements. Bottomline, don’t assume your click through rate is your average forever — take the time to understand your audience better and get the results you’ve been hoping for!

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Lauren Littlefield

Lifecycle Marketing Consultant at Right On Interactive
With over ten years of experience in technology, marketing, public relations and higher education, Lauren joined the Right On team in April 2013. She is a 2013 graduate of the Hamilton County Leadership Academy (Ind.), and a board member of Girls on the Run of Central Indiana. She has previously served as the vice president, programming and the secretary of the Indianapolis Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Lauren earned her BA in Communication from Hanover College. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, running, IndyCar and the Indianapolis Colts.

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