When it comes to emails, the CTR is as important—if not more so—than the open rate. The click is where the action takes place. While a good open rate shows that subscribers are engaging with your emails, a good CTR is essential if you actually want to get your subscribers to take action. If your CTR could do with a boost, here are some tactics you can use.
Have One Goal Per Email
Are your email newsletters too … like newsletters? One of the common problems with email marketing is that the name “newsletter” implies that you need to pack your emails full of newsworthy information. So you get lots of companies cramming in numerous links to stories about their companies, their latest awards, their four latest blog posts, etc. This can work in some situations, such as a once-monthly round-up packed with useful content to keep your brand top-of-mind. But if it’s clicks you want, you should keep your emails simple and make it very clear what subscribers should be clicking on.
Just like the most effective landing pages only have one CTA, the most effective emails also have just one goal. This helps to avoid decision overload, which can end up with subscribers making no decision at all and simply archiving your email away to read another day (i.e. never).
Try a Different Subject Line
Although the subject line would seem to have more to do with the open rate than the CTR, it can still affect how many people click the link within the email body. One of the best goals with the subject line is to increase engagement from the start, perhaps by asking a question. That way subscribers are more likely to open it, read it, and take action. But don’t fall into the trap of trying to increase your open rates by tricking subscribers with the subject line. Instead, you want to increase open rates by providing something that your subscribers really want. So play to their interests and mention something you know will interest them, then provide them with what they want inside. Segmenting your emails can help here, allowing you to create more tailored emails that are highly targeted. Better targeting means more engagement and a greater chance of clicking through.
Take Advantage of the Welcome Email
The welcome email consistently gets the most opens, so make use of it. People are more likely to open and read an email that they have just signed up to, and they will be quick to determine if they will bother to open any future emails. There are many strategies for creating an effective welcome email. For example, why not provide subscribers with an offer they cannot refuse? Or a really valuable blog post that you know they’ll love? The benefit of this is that it will get them into the habit of clicking right from the first email. As long as you send them something of value, they will make the connection that good things happen when they click, which could improve your future CTRs.
Add a Sense of Urgency
Urgency is a powerful persuasive tactic, and it can do wonders for your CTR. The fear of missing out is a strong one, after all. All things being equal, you are more likely to get subscribers to check out your special offer if you limit it to the next 72 hours or 24 hours. Or if you make it clear that there are only a limited amount going. One of the big problems with emails is that people receive so many of them. Once your email has been closed, perhaps to read later, there’s a good chance it will be completely forgotten. So get subscribers to take action as soon as they open the email, and boost those CTRs.
Add Social Sharing Buttons
This research from GetResponse found that adding just one social sharing option led to a 30% increase in CTR, and that using three or more led to an increase of 55%. So why is this? Why add sharing buttons if you want subscribers to click on the link? Your subscribers may not want to read the blog or take advantage of the special offer … but they might know someone who does. So let them share the content with their networks. That way you can get more people to sign up to your list without any effort on your part, and you can increase the overall CTR.
Use the Same Link Multiple Times
Some people might be ready to click on the link halfway through the email. They may be so keen to take advantage of your special offer that they don’t need to read the rest. That’s great … but other subscribers will want to read the whole thing before they make a decision. So include a couple of links in your email body. Or three. Of course, you’ll only know which is most effective when you test your results …
Test adding a P.S. at the end of your email. Test putting the CTA in the P.S. Test the subject lines. Test the number of links. Test the link copy. In short, test everything until you start getting a good idea about what works and what doesn’t then modify your emails to improve the results.
Finally … Don’t Forget the Basics
Make sure your emails are optimized for mobiles. All of the above can help you increase your CTRs—but it won’t count for much if subscribers cannot read the emails in the first place. If your subscribers cannot read the content because it is not optimized for mobile, you can hardly expect them to click on the link. In addition, remember that many people will be opening the email on their mobile devices, so keep this in mind when you write and design your message. Take the mobile-centric approach, and don’t let the design become an issue that gets in the way of your CTRs.