Between social media, websites, email marketing, and ads, there are so many different ways to reach your audience online these days. Email marketing still continues to be one of the most effective ways to captivate your audience as most people have an email account, check it daily, and if you're collecting the right data, you have a record of their habits and preferences.
If you really want to get results from your email marketing campaigns, you need to be looking at the right metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of every campaign. While so many business owners and marketers immediately think of the open rate as the best metric to use when determining how successful a campaign is, I would argue that the click-through rate may be the most important metric of all.
What is a click-through rate?
By definition, a click-through rate measures the amount of recipients that clicked on a link in your email and arrived at a desired destination (e.g. landing page, blog post, online store, etc.). To calculate the click through rate, you divide the number of unique recipients that clicked on the link in your email by the total number of delivered messages.
How does it differ from an open rate?
In contrast, if you just looked at the open rate (the number of recipients that simply opened your email divided by the total delivered messages), you would not be able to keep track of the number of recipients that took an action and clicked on the link.
Recipients that clicked on an offer to learn more have expressed a genuine interest in your business, and keeping track of this data can allow you to best measure how effective your email marketing campaigns are.
A typical click-through rate will be much lower than an open rate. For example, while 20 percent of your email recipients may open your email, only 3 percent may actually take an action by clicking on the link provided in your email. The results can obviously vary by industry, and MailChimp has compiled a list of the average click-through and open rates by industry for benchmarking purposes.
What does the click-through rate mean for your email marketing campaign?
The main reason why you want to keep an eye on your click-through rate is because you want to see how your content is resonating with your recipients. While someone may choose to open up your email, he or she may quickly delete it if the content doesn't really make an impression. Using this data to make decisions for future campaigns is crucial for long-term success.
What can you do to improve your click-through rate?
The more you can make your content easy for readers to skim through, the better. Your call-to-action should be highly visible and strategically placed in the top of your email. Also, considering that more than half of your recipients will likely view your email from a mobile device, you'll want to make sure that your email campaign and website design are both responsive and mobile friendly.
What are some resources for measuring your click-through rate?
There are fortunately a number of great resources available to help you keep track of your click-through rate as well as other important metrics when it comes to measuring the success of your email marketing campaigns. MailChimp, for example, has these metrics built-in by default to help make your email campaigns easier to monitor.
We're just skimming the surface, of course, on what you can do to optimize your email campaign to improve your click-through rate. As you ramp up for your next email marketing campaign, try taking a closer look at this metric instead of the others and ask yourself...is your content worth clicking through to?