Have you ever thought about why you click on an ad or Call-to-Action (CTA) in an email or web page? Is it because of a great offer or that you’re interested in the valuable information? These are questions businesses have to ask all the time. In order for your company to achieve a higher average click-through rate—think about your customers' needs.
What's the click-through rate? No problem! I'd be happy to explain.
In my last post, I discussed the importance of open rates which is also essential when judging the success of an email. The click-through rate is simply the percentage of people who clicked on a link after opening an email. It’s that simple, but can make a huge difference in your company’s success!
According to Constant Contact, the email industry as a whole reports an average click-through rate of about 6%. (For an idea of similar businesses’ click-through rates, check out their November 2014 stats table.) This percentage varies widely based on many factors including the recipients’ industry, the email’s content, timing, and even contact list quality. It’s all about keeping their attention.
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be.
I will share five great tips to improve your average email click-through rate and have you in good shape in no time!
1. Keep It Simple
HubSpot reports that when the number of images in an email increases, the average click-through rate of the email tends to decrease. This makes sense. If people aren’t exactly sure about what they want, giving them more choices will only delay their decisions.
The same goes for the amount of text in the email. People won’t bother finishing an email if it takes too long to get to the point.
2. Match the Content to the CTA
One thing that may turn people off is getting a Bait and Switch email. Your subject line catches a potential buyer’s attention, but then the content and CTA doesn’t go together. We wouldn’t want this to happen to us—so don’t do it to your customers!
Make sure you match the content of the email to the link or CTA. This will make things more convenient for your client and guarantee an increase in future click-through rates. Everybody’s happy.
3. Timing Is Everything
Do you have a good open rate, but your CTA still isn’t getting hits? Don’t sweat it. Your potential customers may not be ready to commit.
One of our clients has a product that is “used up” every 3 weeks. If an email arrives a week after they purchase, there’s no need to click—unless the offer is too good to ignore! The email for these folks could act as an ad telling them the promo’s timeframe or help reinforce brand recognition.
Timing is everything!
Another issue that can affect your average click-through rate is your email’s content. If it doesn’t create a sense of urgency, people feel the offer will last forever. If there aren’t an unlimited number of products left, then they’re more willing to act on the CTA.
4. Send the Right Offer to the Right Person
We’ve all gotten that one email. You know the one. When you open it and think, “Why the heck did they even send this to me?”
This lack of interest in the product means no click-through rates for you and your recipient. According to Jupiter Research, if you segment your email lists and only send it to the eyes that actually want to see it— it’ll pay off! Their findings show that these segmented emails will drive 18 times more revenue than broad-based or generic emails. Increase your average click-through rate and send to the right people!
5. Test, Test, and Test Again
I don’t know who coined it but I first heard it said by marketing guru Dan Zarrella, “Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.” Making random changes to your emails without the ability to clearly analyze the results is simply a waste of time. If you don’t have a powerful system that can give you real insights, try making minimal changes to only one aspect of the email.
If you change both the image style of the CTA and the personalization of the subject line— you won’t know which one worked.
If you need to determine how your changes can impact potential buyers, try the Enterprise level of HubSpot. It offers real-time A/B email testing. You can set up a pair of emails and HubSpot will see which one is doing better and automatically change unopened emails to the higher performing one.
You can also set it to choose based on Opens by Delivered, Clicks by Delivered, or Clicks by Opens. If you’re testing variations on a subject, the Opens by Delivery option will tell you which people prefer. And the Clicks by Open can let you know if your CTA’s wording works better as “SHOP NOW” compared to “BUY NOW”.
I don’t mean to tout HubSpot’s email system, but you can sum up this feature in one word—AWESOME. If the idea of this tool doesn’t excite you too, you may need to consider a career change!
Low Click-Through? It’s Not the End of the World!
When analyzing an email’s performance, it’s best not to get too hung up on click-through rates. We should look at the numbers and how they relate to Delivery Numbers, Open Rate, and “churn” (email addresses that are no longer useable as in bounces, opt-outs, or ones marked as spam).
Yes, clicking the “Buy Now” button is the goal, but watching all these numbers can give you a clue as to why people don’t click. Remember, if your email has a good open rate but a low average click-through rate, it could be anything from unsubscribers, poor subject lines, or people who feel like they got a Bait and Switch email.
With these tips your email click-through rates should be a little more successful in 2015. And if you have any other tips that have worked for you, I would love to hear them!