As an email marketing professional, it’s your job to reach the right people with the right messages to create positive action for your brand.
To achieve that, you must accurately gauge the performance of your marketing emails and understand how your subscribers are interacting with the messages they receive from you.
In this endeavor, collating data is key, and there are a variety of key email analytics that can give you an indication of whether your marketing emails elicit the right responses from your subscribers. Here’s how click-to-open rate (CTOR) fits in this puzzle.
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What does click-to-open rate mean?
The click-to-open rate, or CTOR, of an email is a number that measures clicks as a proportion of opens for that message. It is not to be confused with click-through rate, which measures clicks against the total number of emails sent out.
The click-to-open rate only takes unique clicks and unique opens into account, which prevents the data from being skewed by users who open emails and click links more than once. To illustrate, let’s say that a marketer sends out an email to 200 people. 20 of the recipients open the email, and 5 of those click on a link within. This would give that particular email a CTOR of 25%.
From a marketer’s perspective, click-to-open rate is a highly valuable email marketing metric, as it provides a strong indication of the effectiveness of an email’s design and content.
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What is considered a good click-to-open rate?
As with almost all email marketing metrics, what constitutes a good click-to-open rate varies from one industry to the next, so it’s best to do some research to find the benchmark for your specific sector.
When not adjusted for industry, the average click-to-open rate tends to be approximately 10-15%, and ambitious marketers typically aim for a CTOR somewhere in the region of 20-30%. Still, these numbers are only given to provide some context, as what truly constitutes a good CTOR will depend on your business, industry, and objectives.
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How to improve your CTOR
Once you have a strong grasp on what click-to-open rate is and what you can learn from it, you can focus on increasing it. The following are some ways that you can improve your CTOR:
1. Personalize your emails
Adding a more personal touch to your email marketing efforts is always likely to generate more engagement, as email users are far more likely to open messages that they feel are designed to meet their specific needs.
Data and segmentation are your friends in this regard, and you can collect and use information like customer purchase history and pages visited to inform the content they receive. This will help you create a more tailored experience that resonates with your subscribers, and the effect will be reflected in your click-to-open rate.
2. Be clear in your CTA (Call-to-Action)
Including a variety of different links in your emails might seem like a good way to improve your chances of success, In reality, the inverse is often true. Emails with multiple links lack a clear path for the reader to follow, and this makes it difficult to generate conversions.
Instead, focus on one primary objective with your marketing emails and include a simple, intuitive call-to-action. This will improve your click-to-open rate considerably as it makes it easy for interested readers to complete desired actions, making your email marketing campaigns more effective.
3. Align your subject lines with your body content
Subject lines play an important role in generating interest and increasing open rates for emails. However, it’s important not to get carried away in pursuit of the highest possible open rate.
Though a high open rate raises the ceiling for potential conversions, it is the body content of your emails that drives those conversions. An eye-catching subject line may pique a reader’s initial interest, but if it doesn’t represent the key message of the email, it is unlikely to yield much.
For this reason, it’s best to align subject lines and body content so that they work in conjunction with one another.
4. Monitor your results closely
When striving for a high click-to-open rate, you must keep a close eye on your key data to see what your next course of action should be.
For instance, if your email is achieving a good open rate but has a poor CTOR, you can surmise that it has an effective subject line that is let down by the body content. As a result, you may need to fine-tune your copy.
Conversely, a low open rate coupled with a high CTOR suggests that you are accurately meeting the needs of those who are reading your emails. If you are ambitious, you may then seek ways to expand your reach without compromising your market focus.
In email marketing, it’s always best to look before you leap, so every decision you make should be an informed one.
How does Apple MPP affect click-to-open rate?
Apple released iOS 15 on September 20, 2021, which included Apple Mail Privacy Protection (MPP). Apple MPP is an opt-in feature for Apple Mail that masks a recipient’s IP address and automatically caches all images, including the pixel responsible for determining if a user opens an email.
By caching this pixel, users who opt into Apple MPP skew your CTOR metrics. In other words, any Apple Mail user who takes advantage of MPP is automatically counted as a unique open, even if they haven’t interacted with your email.
As a result, click-to-open rate may not be a reliable metric to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns. If your subscribers overwhelmingly use Apple Mail — or to avoid the downsides of measuring CTOR all together — it may be more beneficial to focus on other, more reliable metrics, such as click-through rate and conversion rate.
The click-to-open rate is the number of times recipients chose to click a link after having opened your email. It is a highly important metric in email marketing, and so every marketer should strive to reach the optimal CTOR range for their industry.
By keeping a close eye on the results of your marketing emails and producing relevant, high-quality copy with a clear imperative, you can ensure that you achieve a high CTOR that generates conversions and improves the success of your email marketing efforts.