How to Increase Email Marketing Click Through Rate (CTR)

I have worked with many companies that are bad at email marketing. Even some large brands have issues, so do not think the larger a company is the better off they are. As I write this one of the largest email companies can’t get emails into the inbox. Problems will always present themselves, but this post is about trying to increase your CTR rate so you can increase your conversions and sales from email.

11 Ways to Increase Email CTR

1.) Test your subject lines. CTR is often used in email marketing to refer specifically to the CTR of an offer in the body of your email. But you first need to get recipients to click into the email. Once you figured out how to deliver the email, start A/B testing the subject lines you are using. You have to stand out in your subject lines so make sure whatever you write about will “wow” people.

2.) Less is more with copy. Write shorter emails because very few people actually read the emails. So make sure you get straight to the point in right away. Whatever you are selling or whatever the offer is, make sure you get that out of the way to grab interest.

3.) Include social sharing options. Econsultancy published results finding that emails that include just one social sharing option generated 30% higher click-through rates than emails without any social sharing links. That CTR jumped to 55% higher with 3 or more social sharing options. Even if your readers don’t want to redeem your email’s offer, they might know a friend who does. Give them that opportunity by including social sharing buttons and watch your click-through rate soar.

email list4.) Segment your email lists. I have worked with, the largest health site. They have over 20 email lists. They do it because they sell advertising so its a necessity. But this concept can work for everyone. You don’t want to annoy people with emails they do not care about. Marketers who segment their lists enjoy 18% more transactions, 24% more sales leads, and 24% greater revenue.

5.) Offer targeted content. This is why you segment your list! Now that you know to whom you’re sending your email, consider what content they want, and use that for your offer. If your offer speaks to your recipient’s needs, it’s a no-brainer that you’ll receive more clicks to redeem that offer.

6.) Personalize your emails. You can further target your list and the content in your email by including elements of personalization. Part of effective lead nurturing is knowing about your prospects’ and customers’ purchase history, download history, satisfaction score, and website activity. This will allow you to provide the most relevant offers that will receive higher CTR due to the targeted nature of your email.

7.) Remove distractions from the email. Just like when you’re building landing pages, it’s important to remove distractions from your email template. Resist the urge to include a header that includes your website navigation, or include multiple offers with the hopes that at least something in the email will compel readers to click. This is a signal that your email doesn’t have a specific enough goal. Step back, and consider the objective of the email. What one thing do you want the reader to do? If your goal is to get more Facebook fans with this email, then that’s what you should write copy around, and that’s the call-to-action you should highlight in your email. Don’t give readers the opportunity to get distracted by your blog posts, product pages, or any other part of your site.

8.) Slap your reader across the face with your call-to-action. Ensure your call-to-action is above the fold, bright, bold, and impossible to miss. It’s not that your reader is stupid. It’s that your reader receives unprecedented amounts of email every day and has very little time to read it all. If you make your reader think — by forcing them to scroll down, hunt for your call-to-action, or question what they’re supposed to do — you won’t receive a click-through. Instead, you’ll get sent straight into the trash bin.

9.) Include a P.S. The P.S. is a great tactic to reiterate an offer, or to attract the attention of email scanners (let’s face it, that’s most of us). The eye is drawn to the visual call out of the P.S. and is a great opportunity to A/B test whether your offers receive greater or fewer click-throughs with its inclusion.

10.) Create a sense of urgency. A tactic that works particularly well for product marketers is putting limits on your offers. This forces readers to redeem them quickly, increasing your click-through rate. But don’t feel bad. If your email marketing is well segmented, you’re providing them with a product that is well suited to their needs!

11.) Make sure your emails are mobile optimized. Research shows that of the 70 million US consumers who access email through their mobile device, 43% check their email on it 4 or more times a day. If you’re not optimizing your emails for mobile, you’re completely missing out on a huge opportunity for these mobile readers to click your calls-to-action. If you haven’t already started to optimize your emails for mobile, 2012 is the perfect time to begin and take advantage of this huge segment of the population that’s growing like gangbusters.

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