9 Tips to Boost Your Email Click-Through Rates

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Email is one of the most effective digital marketing channels, but sending emails to leads and customers is just the first step.

Ideally, you want recipients to not only open an email, but also click a link to perform an action such as making a purchase, downloading a piece of content, or scheduling an appointment. According to the 2020 Email Effectiveness Report, 55% of marketers say click-though rate (CTR)—the percentage of people who click a link in a marketing email—is the most effective metric to measure the success of an email marketing campaign.

According to a 2021 report by Campaign Monitor, the average email click-through rate across all industries in the United States is 2.6%. If your email CTR is higher than that average, your email campaign is probably relevant to its recipients and is successfully motivating them to take action.

Assuming your open rates are adequate (the average for 2020 was 18% according the Campaign Monitor study), how do you get email recipients to click through on a call to action once they’ve read the email content? Follow these tips to increase your email marketing click-through rates.

  1. Make emails mobile-friendly. About half of all email opens occur on mobile devices and 70% of consumers immediately delete emails that don’t display correctly on mobile devices, so it’s crucial that you create marketing emails that are easy to open and read on mobile devices. Mobile user experience also affects whether people interact with the email—a mobile-friendly responsive design will generate 15% more clicks.
  2. Try triggered emails. According to a 2020 report by GetResponse, triggered emails, which are sent automatically to give people information about a process they’ve initiated, like a purchase, registration, or download, have an average click-through rate of 6.8%, compared to 3.6% for autoresponder emails (like welcome emails), and 2.1% for email newsletters. If you don’t already send triggered emails, consider adding them to your email marketing arsenal to take advantage of the higher click rates they deliver. If you already use triggered emails, consider including an extra incentive like a special deal or discount to encourage clicks.
  3. Focus on value. People are busy and distracted, so to get their attention your email needs to clearly and immediately show them what they will gain by clicking on a link or call to action. Be specific about the value you're offering, including the benefits provided by your products or services and what makes them different from your competitors.
  4. Appeal to their emotions. The decision of whether to click a link in an email is often dictated by feelings rather than logic. To get more clicks, use emotional triggers in your email messaging to prompt recipients to take action. Emotional triggers can include fear of missing out on a deal or opportunity (scarcity), curiosity or anticipation about something new or exciting, or a feeling of belonging to an exclusive group.
  5. Try different send times. According to GetResponse, click rates don't vary much between days of the week, with a slightly higher CTR on Fridays and slightly lower on weekends. Time of day, however, can make a big difference. GetResponse found that emails get the most click-throughs at 3 a.m., 6 a.m., and 11 p.m. Every email marketing list is different, however, so make sure you test which days and times work best for your business.
  6. Personalize email content. Adding a name in the subject line of an email might get you a little bump in open rates, but the real opportunity with personalization is in developing unique email content for each target audience segment, such as product recommendations using data from past purchases or images customized to the subscriber's location. 
  7. Include a video. Adding a video to a marketing email can increase click rates by 65%. Make sure you don't actually embed the video in the email. Instead, use a thumbnail or screen grab of the video with a link to the video on your company YouTube channel or a video landing page on your website. 
  8. Use a call-to-action button. Many people skim emails rather than reading them word for word, and a call-to-action button is more eye-catching than a simple text link. According to a test by Campaign Monitor, using a call-to-action button rather than a text link boosted click-throughs by 28%.
  9. Use a powerful call to action. Make sure your call-to-action button uses compelling, action-oriented text that encourages people to click, like Shop Now, Claim Your Coupon, Learn More, or Sign Me Up. For more ideas, see this list of 75 calls-to-action.