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Turn Your Emails to Gold: How to Increase Your Email CTR




There’s gold at the end of the rainbow when it comes to your email marketing — you just need to make sure you’re on the right track towards finding it.

Email has one of the most impressive ROIs of all marketing endeavors at $38 earned for every $1 spent. That alone should be a huge incentive to get it right. However, there are many less tangible benefits that are equally worth your pursuit — including increased brand awareness and recognition, higher conversion rates, and a more satisfied, more engaged audience.

Of course, these benefits don’t happen overnight, nor are they a guarantee. To make email marketing work for you and reach that elusive pot of gold, you need to strategize. Set your sights on specific tactics and outcomes that can take your emails to the next level and help you get more bang for your buck when combined with other best practices.

In this guide, we’re focusing on one of the metrics that play a huge role in the overall success of your email marketing: your click-through rate. We’ll be covering why it’s so important, along with simple things you can do to create your own luck and get more clicks that matter.

What is an Email Click-Through Rate?

Your click-through rate (CTR) refers to the ratio of people who click on a link in your email versus the number of people who saw it.

For example, let’s say you send out 10,000 emails and get 2,000 leads to a click on one of your email’s links. Your click-through rate would be 20 percent, using the CTR formula of the number of clicks divided by the number of opens multiplied by 100.

Notable here is that the dividing factor is the number of impressions, not the number of opens, with every delivered email counting as an impression. If you send out 10,000 emails and only 9,500 make it to an inbox (meaning they don’t bounce or get sent to spam), then you would divide by 9,500, not 10,000.

How Does CTR Compare to Other Email Metrics?

Click-through rate should be studied in conjunction with other email metrics to get a complete picture of the efficiency of your campaign. Click-through rate and open rate are considered to be the top email metrics, but neither should be fully relied on for email success.

Open rate looks at the number of recipients who open your emails. This metric is useful but not as compelling if those same recipients don’t convert or click on your links. Also, with Apple’s iOS15 update, open rate is ultimately inaccurate, depending on how many of your subscribers are Apple users and have opted into the new privacy features.

Click-to-open rate combines the insight from open rate and CTR to provide a more concrete measurement of success. It combines open rate and click-through rate by taking the percentage of recipients who open your emails and click your links.

Why Your Email CTR Matters

Your click-through rate clues you in on a few key insights that you can’t gain from looking at your deliverability and open rates alone. These include:

  • How engaged your audience is
  • How interested your audience is in the content you’re sharing
  • How audience interest changes over time

If you’re looking at your CTRs and aren’t impressed by the numbers, you’re not alone. The average click-through rate is quite low, with an industry-wide CTR of just 2.6%. The industry with the highest click-through rates — government and politics — clocked in at just 6 percent. Retail came in at the lowest, with a CTR of 1.10 percent. Yikes.

What makes this metric so elusive is exactly what makes it so essential to your overall email marketing success. Getting into an inbox and getting an open are big steps, but it’s your click-through rates that really bridge the gap between subscriber and lead or customer. CTRs tell you who’s interested in what you’re selling, and even more notably, who’s most likely to buy.

What’s a Good CTR?

Click-through rates vary by industry, and if you search the web, you’ll find a ton of different answers regarding what the average email CTR rate is and what a good CTR rate is. From our experience and research, we’d say that an average click-through rate is around 2.5 – 2.6%, making anything above that pretty darn good.

The Various CTRs

Yes, there are “categories” of CTRs to keep in mind. Knowing more about what they are will help you determine what you’re measuring.

  • TCTR or total click-through rate – Measures the total number of clicks the links in your email receives. If your TCTR is high, that means the recipients of your email opened and clicked on the link in your email multiple times. We don’t recommend relying on this for success, as you can’t differentiate between which clicks are from the same person on multiple devices (or if links are just being clicked on repeatedly).
  • UCTR or unique click-through rate – Measures how many unique clicks each link gets in an email. If a recipient opens the same email on two different devices, it will only be counted once, which helps avoid the confusion that comes with TCTR. In a nutshell, unique click-through rate tracks how many links are clicked by each unique subscriber.

5 Ways to Increase Your Email Click-Through Rate

Now let’s get to the good stuff: the specific things that you can do to boost your click-through rate and, by default, your email performance.

You might be doing some of these already since there’s a significant overlap between the tactics that improve your CTR and the tactics at the foundation of basic email hygiene. But the more, the merrier, so look through to see if there are any gaps in your email marketing strategy that could inadvertently be harming your CTR.

1. Make Your Emails Mobile Friendly

There’s a strong connection between the device that your subscribers are using and how often they click through, especially when you consider that 70% of your subscribers will automatically delete an email that isn’t optimized for their device.

In the U.S., mobile internet traffic is gaining speed on desktop, accounting for 40.61% of all traffic in the first quarter of 2019. If your emails look great on a computer but don’t translate into a mobile format, you’re taking a huge risk — and likely losing out on a ton of potential clicks in the process.

A responsive email design on mobile can increase your click-through rate by 15%, from a 2.7% average CTR to a 3.3%. Not too shabby for such a simple fix.

2. Rethink Your Layout

A simple email redesign can have a serious impact, and that includes increasing your CTR.

Making conscious email design choices that point your audience in the direction of your most valuable links isn’t sneaky — it’s smart thinking. Put the focus on your content and your CTA, and take it off heavy blocks of text and non-essential images.

If you aren’t sure about a certain layout, test two different kinds to see which yields higher results.

3. Test, Test, and Test Again

A/B testing is your friend when it comes to email conversion rates, particularly your CTR. So why are so few brands doing it?

More than 65% of brands rarely or never A/B test their automated emails. But set-it-and-forget-it complacency isn’t where great emails come from. You want to regularly test out features that impact your key conversions to see what tracks best with your audience and what’s failing to grab their attention.

Go into your A/B testing endeavor with a clear idea of what you’re trying to find out. In terms of your click-through rates, that’s going to be things like link placement and size, the time and day you send your emails, and how you position your copy around the link to encourage clicks.

Will a blue button garner more clicks than a yellow one? Will including an image with your CTA increase your rates? Will you get a higher CTR if you send on Thursdays instead of Wednesdays? A/B testing can answer these questions — and take the guesswork out of what features need to be a mainstay of your campaigns.

4. Include Just One CTA

More than 90% of subscribers who read your headline copy also read your CTA copy. And while it’s tempting to want to cast a wide net with your CTAs, it pays to keep eyes on the prize.

Content clicks are crucial, but your CTA is where the gold is. By narrowing it down to just one — and making it stand out as much as possible — you help ensure that the click-throughs you do get are of the highest value. It plays off of one of the biggest marketing design truisms, which is that when it comes to choice, less actually is more.

Once again, A/B testing is important. In addition to playing around with colors, fonts, and formats, thoroughly test your CTA placement so that you really make it count.

5. Target Your Content

Segmenting your audience so that you send the right content to the right people can boost your conversion rates by more than 203%.

Your audience is busy, and they’re usually rushing through their emails. To snag their attention, everything from your subject line to your body copy needs to be optimized to their preferences, interests, and where they are in the sales funnel. The more personal you can get, the more likely you are to capture their interest — and turn that interest into a click.

If it sounds like a lot of back-end work to ensure you send out targeted content, you’re in luck. Email marketing automation can do a ton of the heavy lifting of personalization and contact list segmentation for you. All you have to do is make sure you’ve accurately defined your audience groups in the first place. In fact, email marketing automation can help you with A/B testing and quicker reformatting — all of which are integral to acing your CTR game.

Any click-through rate boost you can get is worth striving for. Follow the advice above to start gaining more clicks, more leads, and more happy customers.

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10 Brilliant Email Subject Lines to Boost Your Open Rates




Most people involved in email marketing know the importance of a brilliant email subject line. Seeing that you only get a few seconds to nail your email’s first impression, the subject line obsession is more than justified.

That is why crafting poor email subject lines is one of the biggest email marketing mistakes, regardless of how established your brand might already be.
Apart from nailing that first impression, your email subject line is the most decisive factor for recipients to open your email and engage with its content. Even worse, it’s what could get your email marked as spam and harm your sender’s reputation. 

The numbers seem ruthless, but we reassure you there is a way out. All you need is a talented marketing team and a bit of creativity. We know you already have the first part, so all we need to do is help you with the second part. Continue reading to discover how to create clever email subject lines that get noticed – and, most importantly, opened.

What Makes a Great Email Subject Line

Creating email subject lines that grab readers’ attention and serve your marketing objectives should be your top priority. To achieve that, there are certain elements that subject lines should have, no matter what. Let’s check them out:

  • Make it brief. Email subject lines are meant to be short and show the email’s value beforehand. That is even more important, seeing that many recipients will open your emails on mobile devices. Fortunately, most ESPs like AWeber and the most reliable AWeber alternatives allow you to preview how your emails look on different device types and check the components you must improve.
  • Get to the point. Email recipients are busy people looking for the benefits that come with the emails delivered to their inboxes. To stand out in such a crowded space, you need to share what valuable insights your emails have in store for them. So, if you can help your audience see outstanding results and want to spread the news, your email subject line is the appropriate place. 
  • Keep it relevant. Your email subject line could be clever, unique, and precise. But if it doesn’t match the email content, it will do more harm than good. Your subject lines should be aligned with your email objective so that readers know what to expect and if they are interested in reading more. The last thing you want is to make a promise you won’t keep and make them feel misled.
  • Personalize and conquer. Most subscribers have received tons of emails and have grown weary of emails without personalization elements. They need to feel special and that your brand has done its homework about who they are and what they want. Use the recipient data you have at your disposal to show them you care and give a human touch to your email promotions.
  • Avoid spammy tactics. Would you open an email with a subject line that is fully capitalized and includes spam-triggering words? Probably not, and neither will your subscribers. To stay away from spam, avoid too many special characters, excessive capitalization, and spammy words like “buy,”, “money,”, or “click”. 

Brilliant Email Subject Line Types That Get Opened

There are several approaches to catching your email recipients’ attention, from employing humor to piquing their curiosity. But putting in that creative spirit is a whole different matter, right? That’s why we compiled a list of the most brilliant email subject line examples to spark your inspiration and help you increase your open rates.

Generate urgency

When you include an element of urgency in your email subject lines, your recipients will open your emails in no time. Consumers tend to prioritize their purchase decisions based on the time sensitivity of the offer, and recipients are no different. Words like “now” or “limited time” can work wonders for your open rates, triggering subscribers to open and click through your email. So, if you have a time-sensitive offer, choose your marketing messaging wisely to highlight it in your email subject line. However, don’t overdo this type of promotion since receiving too many limited-time-only deals could get the opposite results and annoy your subscribers. 

Subject line: Limited-time offer: free premium wristband with any Steel HR purchase.

Resource: Nokia

Nokia is a brand that knows how to influence its subscribers to take the desired action and move down the sales funnel. This Valentine’s email promotion leverages time-sensitive language to create urgency. Not only that, but they made sure to include all the necessary information for readers to know what the deal is about. Recipients appreciate it when you save them time, and they can tell if they are interested in your promotion beforehand. 

Highlight your personality

Most experienced marketing professionals are aware of the benefits personalization brings to the table. But while tweaking email elements to the recipient’s preferences is of utmost importance, getting personal isn’t just about that. Subscribers love authenticity and unique marketing messages that stand out from the crowd. Your email subject lines must reflect your brand personality, no matter the email objective. But for this tip to work, you must establish your brand’s tone of voice. You can play it funny, witty, professional, or whatever characteristic fits your business objectives. So, get your creative juices flowing as long as you keep it relevant and consistent with your overall branding.

Subject line: Your cart is sobering up

Resource: Whisky Loot

Abandoned carts are an integral part of a successful e-commerce email marketing strategy, and it’s an excellent field to showcase your brand personality. From start to finish, the email copy is brilliant and reveals the personality behind the brand. Liquor Loot uses a clever pun in the subject line related to the product left behind. The email content is aligned with the subject line and the overall brand tone. Even if recipients don’t click on that “Treat yourself” CTA, they will open the email and relate the tone to the brand the next time they get an email from them. 

Show value

Email subject lines that announce exclusive deals, one-time offers, or special discounts are usually the ones with the highest open rates. That’s because they lead with the benefits, letting readers know what they can gain from opening and reading the email content. By being clear with your recipients from the start, you build a trusting relationship with them. When your email delivers on the promise in the subject line, you are one step closer to building customer loyalty. So, if your product or service solves an everyday challenge and helps them meet their goals, your email subject line should give readers a hint. To successfully follow this tip, make sure the language you use is actionable and precise, urging them to take action.

Subject line: Get a free handcrafted gift when you

Resource: Starbucks

This email subject line from Starbucks does much more than just mention a specific offer. They keep the recipient hanging on by stopping mid-sentence, almost forcing them to open the email and learn on what occasion they get the free drink. It’s straightforward, precise, and worth their while. From the benefits-oriented verb to the actionable email CTA, this email is about the reader taking the desired action within the specified time limit.

Ask a question

Posing questions is a popular content optimization strategy. Questions come with a double benefit: they increase recipients’ engagement and pique their curiosity. When subscribers come across a question in your subject line, it forces them to stop and think about the answer. To draw recipients into your email content, opt for intriguing questions that could open up a conversation rather than one with a simple yes or no answer. The sky is the limit here, but try to keep up with rising audience trends while staying on-brand. Their natural curiosity will be more than enough for them to want to learn more about it. 

Subject line: How much do you know about sleep?

Resource: Casper

Casper’s subject line isn’t just posing a question. The email subject line takes it one step further by giving them an idea of what the email is about. That way, recipients know exactly what’s in it for them and expect to find helpful information regarding their sleeping habits once they open the email. This email subject line example ticks all the boxes by combining an intriguing question that picks recipients’ interest and valuable content that addresses their pain points. 

Catchy Email Subject Line Examples

When it comes to email subject lines and the elements you could include to grab your readers’ attention, the sky is the limit. To stir your creative juices, we will present some of the most catchy email subject line examples that left us no choice but to open the emails.

  1. Subject line: Forget FOMO—see what’s waiting for you (Nike)

Looking for ways to leverage FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) in a subject line to catch your recipient’s eye? FOMO is a psychological factor that many marketers rely on to motivate their target audience. Nike is our winner here. Readers know the email content addresses their needs just by reading the subject line. By asking recipients to forget about FOMO, Nike makes them feel included and that they are about to enter a world of exclusive deals and compelling product recommendations.

  1. Subject line: Get the story behind the brand (Drizly)

You can take one thing for granted: people love stories. Recipients have grown weary of companies going and on about their selling proposition. Sharing the story behind your brand adds a human touch to your emails. Your subscribers are curious about how everything started. Drizly’s subject line is attention-grabbing and straightforward. Email recipients appreciate knowing what they will read beforehand – in this case, inside information that makes them feel part of Drizly’s exciting journey.

  1. Subject line: Quiz: Which shower scent fits you best? (Harry’s)

Quizzes are among the most effective elements marketers can use to increase engagement. Even if a recipient isn’t interested in buying, the word quiz in an email subject line will make your email stand out in a stuffed inbox. That’s why Harry’s subject line highlights the quiz included and what it’s about. The quiz is related to the brand’s products, so recipients will be prompted to take it and find which shower scent matches their personality. And why not buy it, may we add.  

  1. Subject line: Your basket is having abandonment issues… 🙁 (Jack Wills)

Humor is, by definition, a crucial element to include in a catchy email subject line. Companies that employ it in their subject lines watch their open rates and recipient engagement increase. This email subject line from Jack Wills is clever and to the point. It puts a smile on the reader’s face and motivates them to open the email, go back to their abandoned items, and proceed with the purchase. 

  1. Subject line: You asked, we answered: What do I get as a member? (Thrive)

We can’t stress this enough; your audience loves knowing you care for them instead of just selling. Even more so when you hear them and are willing to address their concerns. This is precisely why this subject line from Thrive is so successful. It gives precise information on what readers will read in the email, meaning the benefits they gain as members. Subscribers always appreciate getting the answers they asked for, and “You asked, we answered” is as customer-centric as it gets.

  1. Subject line: Share your thoughts and get a chance at a $200 gift card! (Everlane)

Including surveys in your emails is highly recommended to increase recipients’ engagement. Surveys make customers feel their opinion matters and could shape your marketing strategy. In this email, Everlane isn’t limited to asking subscribers to answer the survey. The brand takes it one step further by adding a compelling incentive and highlighting it in the email subject line. Recipients are eager to offer feedback to a brand they have already interacted with. Even more so when it comes with a chance to win a $200 gift card.

Final Words

An email subject line is a critical component of every email promotion, giving marketers’ a headache each time they start crafting an email campaign. That’s because this tiny piece of content urges or discourages email recipients from opening an email. And seeing that they get tons of emails every day, you need to make that limited-character text count.

To do that, make sure to study your target audience and employ a brand tone that hits their soft spots. Create time-sensitive offers, ask questions they will be eager to answer, and always remember to show why your email marketing message is worth their while. Whatever you do, ensure you monitor how your email subject lines perform. 

All you need is reliable email marketing software with A/B testing capabilities that allow you to check what works and what doesn’t. Even if you discover your subject lines hit the target, don’t rest on your laurels and use those insights to continue tweaking your subject lines to drive long-term success. 

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