Picture this: you’ve spent hours crafting the perfect email, meticulously selecting compelling images, and crafting an irresistible offer.
You hit send, filled with anticipation, only to be greeted by disappointing click-through rates (CTR).
No clicks = no traffic = no conversions.
It’s disheartening, but don’t worry.
A lot of my clients started there too.
In this document, we’ll run through a comprehensive breakdown of some of the best practices we use at Strike Copy to maximise our client’s CTR.
But first, let’s start at the root.
What is Email CTR?
Email Click-Through Rate (CTR) is a crucial metric to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns.
It refers to the percentage of recipients who click on a link in your email after opening it.
A high CTR means your email content and call-to-action are engaging and compelling.
While a low CTR indicates that your email failed to resonate with your audience.
Improving your email CTR can:
- Drive more traffic to your website
- Increase conversions
- Ultimately boost revenue
Why Am I Getting Low Email CTR?
The reason lies in your email content and structure.
Not too long ago, a client came to us frustrated by the declining engagement of their email campaigns.
Almost every email they sent was met with indifference.
When we looked into their emails, we saw that 90% of their content was sending promos and relying on discounts for quick sales.
This was slowly killing their brand, value-wise.
To truly capture the attention of your subscribers, you have to make your content:
Here are some tactics you can steal to achieve that:
1. Segment your audience
Segmenting your email list involves dividing your subscribers into smaller, more targeted groups based on specific criteria. This enables you to create personalised and highly relevant email content for each segment, leading to higher engagement and CTR.
Here are some common segmentation criteria:
- Demographics: Age, gender, location, job title, etc.
- Past Behaviour: Purchase history, browsing activity, previous engagement with your emails, customers, non-customers, etc.
- Preferences: Product preferences, content interests, subscription preferences, etc.
To illustrate the point, imagine this:
You’ve just bought your first set of gym clothing from a sportswear website.
You’re pretty happy with your purchase.
Then all of a sudden you get an email, getting you to click on women’s gym wear.
You’d feel confused, and maybe even slightly offended.
But while that example might be overly simplistic, you need to realise that your emails should be as relevant as possible to the recipient.
Otherwise, they won’t click.
And worst of all, they may even unsubscribe from your list.
Know the high-value segments within your list and cater to each.
Adding onto the last point, another way to boost your CTR is to go even deeper into your segmentation.
Add conditions around:
– Customer interests
Think, an email with a flash sale…
For a specific location…
For a specific category…
For a specific customer group.
That’s just one example.
The more personalised your content gets the more likely you catch interest for your click.
2. Your Subject Lines And Content
Subject lines play a crucial role in getting people to open your emails.
Remember, your subject line is the first touchpoint. It’s crucial to make it relatable and appealing to your audience.
Are they busy entrepreneurs, excited to maximize productivity?
Or are they passionate creatives, ready to explore a new art form?
Your subject lines should not only encourage your recipients to open but should also inform them of the content of your email.
If your subject lines are misleading, it’s highly likely they won’t click on your email links.
On the other hand, if your subject lines don’t convey an incentive or piece of information you’re offering, then recipients may not even open, and thus will not click your email.
The best subject lines mirror the content.
Avoid clickbait at all costs.
It may spike your open rates momentarily, but the trust you lose isn’t worth the temporary gain.
10 Tips to Optimise Your Subject Lines to Maximise Link Clicks
- Priming the Click: Use your subject line to prime your readers for the click. Give a clear and compelling reason to click your links. For example, ‘Discover 5 life-changing productivity hacks inside!’.
- Connect Subject Line to Link: Make sure the subject line and the linked content are coherent. If your subject line promises a solution to a problem, the link should directly lead to that solution.
- Use Numbers and Lists: Subject lines that promise a specific number of tips or steps, like ‘7 secrets to a successful start-up,’ can entice readers to click on the links within your email.
- Create Urgency: Use subject lines that inspire immediate action. Phrases like ‘limited time offer’ or ’24 hours left to register’ can drive immediate action.
- Curiosity-Inducing Questions: Posing an intriguing question in your subject line can pique your reader’s curiosity and drive them to click the link in your email to find the answer.
- Personalize Based on Behavior: Use information about past user behavior to personalize subject lines and links. For example, ‘Loved our yoga mats? Check out our new collection!’
- Powerful and Actionable Words: Use strong, action-oriented verbs in your subject lines. Words like ‘discover’, ‘unlock’, or ‘experience’ can motivate readers to click your links.
- Tease Upcoming Content: If your email contains exciting content, hint at it in your subject line to stimulate interest. ‘Sneak peek: Exclusive interview with a bestselling author!’
- FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out): Tap into your readers’ FOMO with subject lines like ‘Don’t miss out on our exclusive webinar!’ or ‘Last chance to grab your early-bird discount!’.
- Make it Exclusive: People love feeling special. Subject lines that suggest exclusive content or offers can effectively encourage clicks. Try something like, ‘An exclusive offer just for you.’
3. Optimising Your Call-to-Action
A powerful call-to-action (CTA) can make all the difference in your email marketing campaigns.
It’s the bridge that connects your message to action, driving link clicks and conversions.
To optimise your call-to-actions for clicks, let’s consider these key strategies:
Focus on One Call-to-Action per Email:
A lot of brands are tempted to promote multiple products at once when sending emails.
I mean, why not?
If you keep it personalized it shouldn’t matter that much, right?
In an ideal world, possibly.
But data throughout the eCom world point to 1 fact:
1 call-to-action = better conversions.
Consider this email campaign test sent out by Whirlpool.
The campaign shown on the right outperformed the left by a staggering 42% increase in CTR.
The reason is simple.
When you present too many options for your customers, they get overwhelmed.
It’s called the paradox of choice.
To avoid confusion, limit your emails to one primary call to action.
Instead of overwhelming recipients with multiple options, clearly direct them to a specific action.
This helps maintain clarity and encourages higher click-through rates.
Now just because you have 1 call-to-action doesn’t mean you can’t make copies of it throughout your email.
In fact, you should.
The reason for this is the fold, the area right before you need to scroll.
If a user scrolls all the way down, and you have only one call-to-action at the top, you massively reduce the likelihood of your button getting a click.
Depending on the length of your content you should aim to make it as convenient as possible for your customers to take action.
Take for example these 2 campaigns:
The key points here:
- Have a CTA above the fold
- Have CTAs strategically placed along anchoring elements of your copy or design
But what about Plain text emails?
Conceptually, it’s similar to how you would execute design emails.
But it needs to follow the narrative of your copy.
Depending on how you write your emails, deciding on placement can be made much easier.
For example, if you’re following the A-I-D-A framework, you would add the plug nearer to the end, and so forth.
4. Email Images
Last, but not least, we ask the question:
Do images in your email affect your clickthrough rate?
The simple answer is yes, they do.
Both MailChimp and Vero conducted data studies on over 5 billion emails combined and found that campaigns with images had a 42% higher CTR than campaigns without.
Now the less simple answer, it depends.
More specifically whether you use text-only or designed campaigns.
- Text-only campaigns performed optimally with 1-10 images
- Design campaigns performed staggeringly well with more than 10 images
While these studies do give some interesting takeaways, I think the best practice is:
If the images will add to your message, add them.
If not, don’t.
Always prioritise the fundamentals over tricks and hacks in your emails.
You’ll see a massive increase in engagement long-term.