How to Increase Click Rate in Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most popular ways to nurture leads into conversion.

However, according to Campaign Monitor, the average email click rate is about 2%. While that number might seem low, it’s actually a silver lining! It means a successful email campaign can have a bounce rate of 75% or more.

Why is that okay? Because email marketing offers an incredible ROI—provided you can get your recipients to open your email and click your link.

Unfortunately, that can be more difficult than it seems—especially given how quickly emails can pile up in someone’s inbox or trash bin.

Luckily, there are a few simple(ish) steps you can take to avoid the spam folder and increase that click rate.


Ask permission

Letting users opt in to receiving emails from you gives them control over their inbox. It also makes sure that your mailing list only includes those who’ve actively decided they want to hear from you.

This is helpful for multiple reasons. First, it increases the chances of recipients opening your email. According to Campaign Monitor, permission-based emails can have open rates as high as 30-40%!

Second, it decreases your chances of becoming marked as spam, lowering your email sender reputation, and getting added to a blacklist.

Create a compelling subject line

According to Finances Online, 64% of email recipients decide whether to open an email based on the subject line. The numbers are even higher for those who report an email as spam based solely on the subject line.

The message is clear: subject lines are crucial to improving your email open rates.

There are several strategies you can use to create a compelling subject line, such as:

  • Keep it short, sweet, and catchy
  • Hint at the contents of the email
  • Appeal to their fear of missing out (FOMO)
  • Create a sense of urgency

It’s also important to remain honest about your email’s contents, so recipients can continue to trust your subject lines in the future.

Provide high-quality, relevant content

It’s important to provide valuable content for your customers. That means making sure your emails apply to who the customer is and what they want. To do this, it’s helpful to take the entire email design into account.

Copy should be clear and concise. Images can help provide useful, easy-to-understand information. Help them understand how clicking your link can help improve their lives. And be mindful of their time—the quicker they click, the less time they have to decide against it.

Don’t forget to include social sharing buttons to help readers share your content quickly and easily.

Don't skimp on the call to action!

Quality content lets your customers know why they should click. A good call to action (CTA) compels them to do so.

A CTA gives the reader a specific action to perform (i.e., “Click here!”). It’s usually accompanied by something to click on, such as a button or link in your email. Like the rest of your copy, a concise, catchy, and compelling CTA works best.

How many CTAs you use per email and where you place them can also improve your click rates. Many experts suggest using one CTA on the right side of the email. However, I’d recommend testing out different strategies to figure out which work best with your customers.

Segmented campaigns

One simple strategy for improving your email click rate is targeting those on your list most likely to click. Most email marketing clients offer some sort of data analysis to help you divide your user base into segments based on traits such as location, buying habits, and demographic.

Consistently checking and improving your segments can help you make sure your emails remain relevant to those who receive them. Analyzing your email CTR (click through rate) for each segment can help you remove unengaged users or otherwise rearrange your segments for improved success.

Time emails for increased opens

It’s important to send emails at times your recipients are most likely to open them. Because everyone has their own schedules and email habits, this can take research and testing. I recommend sending emails at different times, then analyzing the data. This way, you can find which times work best and/or segment your mailing list based on the times with the highest open rates.

Send fewer emails (yes, really!)

Believe it or not, the number of emails you send can make the difference between higher clicks rates and being blacklisted.

Too many emails is similar to the Netflix problem. Choosing what to watch becomes more difficult when there’s less scarcity. When we can watch a movie or show any time we want, it becomes less urgent that we watch it right now. Now, imagine someone is consistently reminding you that their show is available.

It can easily become too much and end up getting ignored. On the other hand, too few emails can lead to becoming lost in the shuffle. Finding the balance is important. Again, this can take some testing to figure out what works best for your campaign.

Optimize for mobile users

A recent study by Statista found that over half of all email opens happen on Apple Mail Privacy Protection services. We should take this with a grain of salt, as Privacy Protection can lead to false opens. An earlier Statista study found that 46% of smartphone users prefer to be contacted by businesses through email.

Anecdotally, this rings true: most people I know read their emails on their phone (including me!). If you want to increase your click rates, it’s important to optimize your emails to both look good and function well on mobile devices. This can include using short subject lines, using pre-header text, and creating big, easy-to-click buttons.

Ensure arrival

For obvious reasons, it’s important to make sure your email reaches the right recipients. Even though your email marketing client likely shows delivery stats, it might not show its deliverability. Email deliverability means more than simply reaching the intended audience; it’s making sure you reach their inbox.

There are many reasons your email might not be deliverable. Someone might have blocked your email or marked you as spam, their inbox could be full, or their email server could be down temporarily.

The best way to check email deliverability is to test it. Luckily, you can pick from many, many tools to test this for you. If your email marketing client doesn’t offer one, consider searching online for a testing tool that meets your needs and budget.

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