What Is the Average Click-Through-Rate for Email?

Whether you geek out on statistics or despise them, they are the key to revealing if our marketing plans are really working (or aren’t).

We measure, record and analyze even the simplest things in life, so how can something as valuable as our email marketing efforts be left behind?

Imagine this: you see a beautiful scarf online and decide to buy it for your friend who’s turning 30 next week. You are sure this is it but the many color options confuse you.

You then decide to send the link to the scarf to another friend with the message, ‘Hey Jane! I want to buy this scarf for Sarah’s birthday, help me pick a color.’

Now tell me something. What do you want Jane to do? Do you want her to just open your message, open and read it, or open, read and click on the link to help you decide the color?

I’m guessing it’s the last option that you are looking forward to. After all, just opening and reading the message is not enough for you to get the desired answer/reaction.

This is an everyday situation to understand what click-through rate looks like in email marketing.

What is click-through rate (CTR)?

When it comes to measuring email marketing metrics, one of the first things we measure is the email open rate, i.e, how many email recipients went ahead and opened the email. This helps us know if we are making an impact in their inbox, if our subject lines are resonating with our subscribers, as well as how many good contacts we have on our list.

But that’s not all we want, right?

The click-through-rate (CTR) comes next. It’s a metric that tells us how many people not just opened the email and stopped there, but actually went ahead and clicked on the links within the email content. This could be a link that redirects them to your website, takes them to an abandoned cart, or whatever the call-to-action is.

Thus, a click-through-rate email marketing metric is the rate at which subscribers took the desired action or were compelled enough to go on and get some more information from us.

Why is the click-through-rate an important metric?

Every email you send should have a specific email marketing goal.

Whether you are asking them to buy something, follow you on social media, subscribe for a newsletter, donate for a cause, or volunteer for your next event- it’s all an ‘action’ that you are driving your readers towards.

Click-through-rate helps us measure how well we achieve this goal in our marketing emails. Are we able to convince our subscribers to take an action? Was the message or content compelling enough? Did subscribers understand what you want them to do?

The click-through-rate is also important to know what works and what doesn’t with your email contacts.

When you interpret your email marketing results and see the click-through-rate rising or falling, you will be able to further analyze the main reason behind it. Did you try a new call-to-action or was the ask confusing or misleading? Did the content or design overshadow the main goal of the email?

Industry Average CTR

A lot of people ask, ‘What is a good click-through-rate?’. And while that’s a good question, there is actually no one single answer.

The thing is, a good or bad click-through-rate depends on the industry you are a part of. The click-through-rate industry average differs, and before you get excited or feel poorly about your results, make sure you are checking the email marketing benchmarks within your own specific industry.

For example, as of 2018, overall average click-through-rate for Animal Services was 8.71%, however, the overall industries average click-through-rate was at 7.77%.

So, if you start measuring your email metrics, which you should if you aren’t already, an understanding of the overall industry measuring rates will help keep you on track and go further from there.

Let’s take this up with an example.

You run a nonprofit organization that is a shelter for animals. You regularly host adoption events, fundraising camps, and are in constant need of volunteers to keep the shelter clean and successful.

You start running email marketing campaigns to reach out to your many donors, volunteers, leads, and people who have shown interest in your cause.

While the contacts start increasing, the response is not as you expected. You start measuring your email marketing metrics and the CTR stands at 5%.

However, when you check for click-through-rate average industry rates (2018) you notice that the industry average shows that Animal Services stand at 8.71% and Nonprofits as a whole stands at 8.03%.

Now if you were a Real Estate or Technology based company this 5% is not so bad, but for the industry you are in, you need to pull up the numbers.

Of course, email marketing efforts and results take time and build over time, but always keep the industry average on unique clicks as your benchmark and start building from there.

Once you ace email measurement and get the hold of the many big and small things that you can do to make your emails more compelling and impactful, your numbers will start climbing.

What impacts the click-through-rate?

Now that we’ve spoken about what a click-through-rate is, why it’s important and the click-through-rate industry average, we come to the next important point: what elements and points impact the CTR?

Whether you are looking to improve the CTR on your email marketing campaigns or just getting started, making a note of these key elements will help you get better results:

You want to make sure that the links you are adding within the email campaign are easy to see and also relevant. But, how many links should you add? There are two things to consider here:

  • Action
    The number of links depends on the number of actions you want your readers to take.
  • Tracking
    The more links you include, the more you’ll have to keep a track of the CTRs for each. Ideally, not more than 2-3 links should be added within a single email. This makes tracking easier and makes the specific actions stand out without overwhelming the reader.

2. Know your contacts

The majority of click-throughs come from a small percentage of your subscribers; the people who are most interested and thoroughly engaged by your email messages. These are the people you need to understand and see what works for them. This will help you understand the kind of content, actions, and emails that are really making an impact among email recipients.

3. Email length

No one has time to read long and lengthy emails; short, crisp and to-the-point is key to better engagement and higher CTR. Aim to send emails with 15-20 lines of text with 1-2 relevant images and a bold and highlighted CTA . The easier it is for your subscribers to locate the CTA and within a few seconds know what the email is about, the higher the chances that they will go through and take the action you want them to.

Want some more tips on how to improve your email click-through-rate?

Here’s what you MUST do:

  • Keep email content short, crisp and relevant
  • Create action-oriented emails
  • Include the relevant link multiple times
  • Balance words with visuals/videos
  • Make your call-to-action button stand out

Make the desire to click irresistible

Get creative, compelling, and influential to drive your subscribers to click on your links, and take the action you want them to.

Also, be direct about which action (or conversion) you want them to make.

Want them to sign up for the newsletter, say ‘SIGN UP’ loud and clear. Don’t assume that your subscribers will ‘read between the lines’ or interpret what you may mean. You need to tell them exactly what you mean and in such a way that they respond affirmatively.

Over time, your subscribers will know you offer them the very best, and as soon as your mail pops up they will be excited to jump in and click through to you.

Get ‘em clicking!