Measure Your Email Content’s Effectiveness With CTOR

Data Analytics

Email is one of the best ways to communicate with your customers. It’s a powerful tool that has the highest average ROI of all digital channels at $38 for every $1 spent. In fact, 72 percent of consumers prefer email communication from companies.

Measuring the success of your email campaigns can be tricky at first. There are many factors that contribute to email conversions. If you want a refresher on important email metrics, quickly learn about Bonfire’s five crucial email marketing KPIs.

See why CTOR (Click-to-Open Rate) is the best metric to measure success of your email content and how to improve it.

Within those KPIs, you’ll find two important metrics: open rate and CTOR (click-to-open rate). In MailChimp, CTOR is already calculated and called “clicks per unique opens.” Subject lines make or break open rates. Effective subject lines inspire your audience to open and read an email while emails with unappealing subject lines are often deleted without opening.

If your audience opens an email, they may further engage with your content by clicking through to learn more. This is where CTOR comes into play. Here’s how to calculate the percentage:

CTOR (Click-to-Open Rate) = Unique Clicks / Unique Opens x 100

What is CTOR? 

This metric tells you how many people clicked a link in your email out of the people who opened it. For example, if your email had 138 opens with 45 unique clicks, then your CTOR is 32.6 percent. This means about a third of people who opened your email had enough interest to click on a linked element.

CTOR is more accurate in measuring your email’s content effectiveness than CTR (click through rate). CTR is unique clicks out of successfully delivered emails, which paints a broader picture. CTOR looks at the smaller pool of people who actually opened your email, since email campaigns across many industries only average a 15–26 percent open rate. It’s important to note that CTOR and CTR are generally proportional when compared, but CTOR is more granular.

Some marketers report an overall 19.3 percent average CTOR. But CTOR can vary widely based on industry, email list freshness, segmentation, and personalization. Calculate your campaign’s historical CTOR to get a fresh benchmark for your future emails.

3 ways to improve CTOR

1. Logo and image links

It’s easy to overlook unlinked elements. Customers often click on logos to visit the home page or images to visit whatever your text refers to.  Always double-check to make sure each is linked to the correct page on your website. If you design emails in illustrator or photoshop and hand-code them, every splice should be linked.

2. Mobile user experience

See why CTOR (Click-to-Open Rate) is the best metric to measure success of your email content and how to improve it.

More than half of emails are opened on mobile devices. If your email template isn’t mobile friendly, your message may be hard for customers to view on a smartphone or tablet. It also makes call-to-actions (CTAs) difficult to tap or click, which will lower CTOR.

Open your email on a mobile phone or view it using the device preview many email campaign clients offer (example above). Make sure your mobile text size is legible and that CTAs (whether text links or buttons) are easy to recognize and large enough to easily tap with a finger.

3. Relevant content

If the above accessibility issues are fixed and CTOR hasn’t improved then your content may not be interesting or useful to your audience. Consider reviewing your content strategy including updating marketing personas for your email list. If you have data to segment your email list and can serve more tailored content, that may greatly increase your success as well. For instance, you can send different emails with unique messaging by product interest, age group, or other audience attributes.

Keeping CTOR in mind will hopefully help you send customers more relevant information that is accessible anywhere they open your next email. Let other readers know about your challenges or successes with improving email metrics in the comments below.

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