Created with Sketch.

What Do Open Rates And Click Through Rates Mean?

Click Through Rates Image

What Are Click Through Rates and Why Do They Matter?

Click through rates, or CTRs, are an important measurement when it comes to search engine optimization. They matter because they give a good indication of how relevant and valuable your content and adverts are seen to be by users searching for certain terms; more importantly, they represent the percentage of search users who end up at your site.

The click through rate is the number of times your web page is selected by a search user, expressed as a proportion of the number of impressions (i.e. views) of your web page’s search entry. Click through rate = clicks/impressions. In other words, if your web page is displayed in the search results 5000 times but clicked on 5 times, your Click Through Rates will be 5/5000 (or 1/1000, or 0.1%).


Email Open Rates – What Are They and What Do They Mean?

Your email open rate is just what it sounds like – the percentage of people who have opened the email you’ve sent them. It is a measurable statistic that you can track through your auto responder. When your email is sent out, it is embedded with a tag. When someone opens the email in their browser, it’s recorded as an “open”. Email open rate statistics are important, but are not totally reliable.

Some email services have a “preview pane” and the email can be read without clicking on it. This would not register as an open. Also, your email recipient needs to be able to view html with images for the email to be considered an open. If you send text-only emails or if the recipient has images turned off, it wouldn’t register as a viewed or opened email. Still, you can look at your open rates as a general guide, and use the percentages to watch your overall trends.


Are there any other metrics I should be tracking besides open rate and click through?

Web traffic

If a goal of your email marketing strategy is to increase traffic to your blog or website, you’ll want to track your web traffic results as well. Web analytics will not only show you how many people are coming through to your website from your email, but also how long they’re staying on your site, where else they’re going on your site, where they’re leaving your website, and more. If traffic is low, for example, that might mean you need to make your email content more engaging. Or perhaps the content you’re sending them to isn’t compelling enough, and you should try sending them a web page or blog post related to a different topic.

Number of New (or Total) Leads Generated

Maybe instead of focusing on subscribers, you’d like to work on growing lead generation. If this is the case, you should be sending emails that offer lead generation content — in other words, content that requires the viewer to fill out a lead capture form in order to access it.If the goal of your email marketing is lead gen, you should be tracking how many leads you’re capturing every day, and every month. You can decide to focus on all leads generated, or only new ones added to your database, depending on your priorities.

Here are some tips for improving the click through rates:


Personalizing your emails is important because it helps build familiarity and trust between you and your readers. Include your recipient’s name in the following places:

  • The subject line of the email (this immediately reassures recipients that the email isn’t spam)
  • The greeting (you can use their first name or last name here)
  • In questions and statements in the body of the email

Using Layouts

Reading a computer screen can quickly cause eye strain. This means making your emails easy to read is very important. There are two rules to follow here.

First, limit email lines to 40 characters wide (doing this will require you to use carriage return instead of letting your email client determine the line width). This may look odd, but it vastly improves readability because the eye can scan down the email without moving from side to side. In fact, this is precisely why newspapers and magazines use columns.

Second, use a double return after every six to eight lines. Adding more white space to your copy gives it a neat, clean look that is very inviting, and breaks the text up into chunks that the eye can scan more easily.


What’s your Call to Action?

What do you want your readers to do after they’ve read your email? That’s your call to action. It should be easy to understand and tell the reader exactly how they can take the action. Ideally you should include the instructions at least twice.

Allow your Readers to Opt-Out

Every email you send should have a working opt-out link that allows your readers to opt-out quickly and easily. The system should be automatic so that when the recipient clicks the link they’re directed to a page where one click will opt them out. This helps reassure your email recipients that you care about spam issues (and in many countries including an opt-out link is mandatory).

Don’t Use Spam Language

Using symbols such as $$$!!% and ALL CAPS makes your emails look like spam both to readers and to spam filters. Adding this type of language will reduce your delivery rate considerably. It’s a good idea to use a spam checker program to make sure you’re not including any trigger words or symbols in your emails.


Another important point to note is that your email needs to be consistent throughout. If you promise something in the headline you must deliver ion your email. If the link you add is not consistent with what you have promised then people will not bother to click through.

Getting the Online Results You Deserve

If you’re not seeing the click through rates or open rates results you want with your online efforts then it might be down to what you’re actually selling. I have discovered that when you create your own information products you are far more successful but you need to keep the momentum going and get products out quickly.