What Is a Click Through Rate?

Return on Investment—every marketing and advertising tactic you use needs to produce a return. Of course sales are ultimately the most important indicator of ROI, but they aren’t the only measure you can use to determine if a tactic is producing results. When it comes to email marketing, your click through rates (CTRs) are one measure of success.

Click Through Rates Defined

The CTR is simply the percentage of people who opened your email and then clicked on a hypertext link. Assuming you are using an email marketing tool (either your own system or a service), the CTR of every email you send is available on the campaign dashboard. With a glance, you will know how many people clicked through. You can also see the links people clicked, which is very helpful in determining what draws your customers’ attention.

What’s a good CTR? If you’re looking at click through based on your entire list (so including those who didn’t open the email), anything over 10% is good. If you’re only looking at the rates of opened emails, it should be higher—in the 30% range.

How to Increase the Click Through Rates of Your Campaigns

There are strategies you can use to increase your click through rates, and that ultimately increases ROI (and sales). In terms of the actual links, there are three things you can do:

  1. Add more links: Only providing one link is not enough. You don’t want to put too many links in your message, but placing links through out the message will increase the chances of getting clicks. The right number will depend on your audience, but place at least three links in the body. And experiment with putting links in different locations throughout the message and see where people click.
  2. Make links visible: Don’t hide all of your links in images because many users don’t download the graphics, especially if they’re accessing your messages from a mobile device. Make sure you have text links that they can see.
  3. Make links look like links: Make sure your links are underlined and a different color than your text—this has become a well known hint that the text is a link. Don’t make your users guess.

Of course, the actual links aren’t the only factor in getting clicks. Good offers and good calls-to-action are critical to garnering interest. Give your customers what they want and they will click.

Finally, your email list quality plays a critical role in CTR. Quite simply, if you want your campaign to perform, you have to send it to people who will be interested in your offer. And that’s the job of your list. You can keep your list working for you by cleaning it up and, if you need to augment it with more names, working with a quality list broker to find a list that will reach your target.


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