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7 Ways to Improve Email Click-Through Rate (CTR) | Boost CTR!

Written by Andriy Boychuk
1 min read
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    In this video, I am going to share the 7 great strategies to improve your email click-through rate. It is great having a high Click Rate (CR) but even better to have a higher Click-Through Rate (CTR) because this means they are clicking on your call to action, product links, and landing on your website.

    The goal of each of your emails is to get people to your website, a set page, or a product link, so it is important to have the correct email format and style. You want to have call to action near the top, but not too many! Arrows and images are a powerful way to get people to a product, but make sure people realize they can click the image, this can be done by “click here” or “click below”.

    If you write long emails, make sure you put the important lines nearer the top because once people click off your email, they miss the other information and may not go back to email. I will show you some examples of how this works from a variety of different brands and their email call to action.

    Today, I would like to discuss seven ways how you can improve your click-through rate. And please, do not confuse click-through rate with click rate. There’s another video I recorded discussing, what’s the difference between the two terms. But click-through rate, in short, it’s the percentage of people who open your email and they click on your call-to-action, or click anywhere in the email.

    So first, I will discuss seven general techniques that you need to follow. And then, seven things you should split test in your campaigns or in your automations, and show you examples.

    #1 – To have one call-to-action per email

    So the first one, it’s a great rule of thumb, is to have one call-to-action per email. So if you’re selling something, you should call them out saying like, “Hey, buy this product”. Do not include multiple call-to-action.

    I have another article called “5 Email Design Mistakes”. And the common mistake people do is, they add-website menu style in their email under their logo at the top. And it defeats the purpose of email, because people are confused about where they click. So they lose interest, and they just close your email, archive, delete or unsubscribe.

    So the goal is to have one call-to-action in your email.

    #2 – Personalize your email

    Second general idea is to personalize your email. Do not send one email to all. For example, if you have customers, buyers versus non-buyers. So you should send them different kinds of emails with different call-to-action.

    For somebody who’s already your customer, you can say buy again, versus somebody who’s not a customer, You can say something like “Buy now. So those are just there for example, but you understand that call-to-action can be customized. Also, if you’re using email marketing software like Klaviyo, you are able to include two call-to-action, but show only one depending on who they are.

    #3 – Don’t hide CTA at the bottom of the email

    General idea number three is the location of CTA. Do not hide it at the bottom of the email. Try to maybe put it in a few places, maybe at the top, in the middle and at the bottom if it’s a very long form email.

    #4 – Make your CTA mobile responsive

    General idea number four is to make your CTA mobile responsive. What I notice a lot, people are using images as a CTA and they do not optimize for mobile. So when you check on desktop, it looks amazing and looks cool, design is cool. But when you check on mobile, it’s very, very, very small and not readable.

    So make sure your CTA is optimized for mobile. Also make sure your emails have proper layouts. So just imagine like a triangle pointing down, so the person needs to scroll and your email should lead to the CTA.

    Again, back to the example about bad design emails. People are putting too many calls to action in the header of the email. So it defeats the purpose and your email does not point down to the CTA. Mind your scrolling down.

    #5 – Make sure that your emails are simple

    And two more general ideas, general tips are make sure that your emails are simple. Do not overcomplicate it. You know how you receive that newsletter or catalogs where pharmacies or your local store put so many products on their newsletter.

    Sometimes people use the same technique for their emails. They put as many products as they can, as many call-to-action as they can. And it’s too busy, there’s no time for a person to check everything out, it’s not clear. So they just delete, archive or skip and move on.

    Make sure it’s very simple and with one or a fewer call-to-action.

    #6 – Track your clicks

    And the last thing is, track your clicks. So, Heatmap. We have a how-to track where they click in the email, We call it Heatmap. The idea here, if you have as a same link in the email three times, you need to understand where they’re clicking, because right now, the majority of the email marketing software is not able to tell you.

    So we have a workaround. But you need to understand, because – just giving the example – one company we work with, they have very long emails. But what we find out, 80% of people are clicking in the first part of the email. So the rest of the email is useless, but they invest a lot of money and time in developing those emails.

    8 things you can split test in your emails to improve click-through rate

    So those are general seven ideas. But right now, I will switch to my computer and I’ll show you seven things you can split test in your emails to improve click-through rate.

    #1 – Relevant CTA

    Okay, so now let’s start from the first one. I call it Relevant CTA, meaning, depends on who your audience is. For example, this is a great example of a shorts company called Chubbies. As you can see, their CTA is not “shop now,” “buy now,” “shop collection.” They have like, “JUST FOR FUN, FACT #4,” so it sparks curiosity and it’s relevant to their audience because they know their audience and they send this kind of CTA to them. So people are more likely to buy because they can relate.

    If you are like a female-oriented brand, maybe there are some words that will work for a woman versus men. And you know how to use those CTA. So try to avoid something like “shop,” “buy,” “new collection.” Try to come up with creative ideas like Chubbies have, or like this one, the next call-to-action, “SHORT SHORTS. LONG SUMMERS.” Or “SKY’S OUT, THIGHS OUT.” It’s relevant to their audience. Or “GO GO GO.” I mean, it’s a simple call-to-action, “Go!” But, you see, they’re repeating and it looks fun. “TAKE ME TO THE HOODIE.”

    So, as you can see, they introduce fun in their call-to-action. But it does work. Spark curiosity. Here’s a Last Crumb cookies a cookie brand, cookie subscription brand. And they have, instead of just regular waiting lists, or “buy” or something, they have “Cookie me, please.” Like, the thing is, like, the proper way to say it is, count me please. But they’re playing with the words, “cookie me,” which sparks curiosity. They want to check it out, what do they mean, and so forth.

    Another one, Niyama Sol. You see? Like, “FIND MY SOL,” the call-to-action. I mean, they have like a very unique audience and they are like soul oriented, the spiritual things, yoga, workout. So that call-to-action is very appropriate for their audience and it sparks curiosity as well. Like, “what do they mean by spark my soul?” So, I mean, right now they’re just redirecting to the collection page on that theme. Like spiritual, hippie style and all of that. So those are two examples of how to spark curiosity.

    #2 – Images & GIFs

    Okay, so image & GIFs. You want your hero to either point out call-to-actions or create some kind of GIF which shows people where to click. I did not find great e-commerce examples, but the one I found is from Fiverr. As you can see, “WE’RE OPEN, OPEN NOW.”

    So it’s mimic my mouse and, like, not forcing me, but like, I just want to repeat that action and click on that image. This is one thing.

    #3 – Landing page

    And the second thing is landing page. I did not find a email as an example, but here’s a example of a email landing page. You see that lady is looking on the form call-to-action. So when you open this page, the first thing you look at that lady, and second, like what she’s looking at, and now you see where she’s looking at and it leads people to click.

    #4 – The location of the call to action

    However, here’s the big thing, which is not in my list, but also important. All call-to-action in the US and majority of countries should be on the right side, not left, because we are reading from left to right. If you’re in a country where you do business, where people read the other way, make sure to include call-to-action on the left side. But it’s better always put it on the right side. Okay, so we have that.

    #5 – Time-sensitive

    So here’s the Last Crumb. And as you can see, they have a time counter. Of course it’s already out. They also have the time here and it’s like blinking. And again, this is the same email I showed you before. Like, “Cookie me, please.” But this is time sensitive, so that’s why it’s urged people to take the action. You’re asking them right now. Call-to-action.

    #6 – Multiple call-to-action

    We want to include, especially for longer emails, we want to include call-to-action in multiple locations. So this is HU or HU Kitchen. And as you can see, they have a call-to-action, “SHOP NOW.” I would personally word it differently, but anyway, I want to show you this example because they have multiple call-to-action. You can see that they here, “SHOP NOW,” and here, “SHOP NOW.” And I bet it will have higher click-through rate than any other email with a single call-to-action.

    Typically, majority of companies, they will remove this call-to-action, and will have only this call-to-action, and this will look like that. So this is just a good example.

    And another one is Flo. So this is Flo. It’s a new brand that I just learned about today. So, they have a “SHOP FLO” here call-to-action, and another one here. The call-to-action does not stand out. So I would recommend for them to pop their call-to-action, because right now it’s like unaligned with everything else and people might miss it.

    #7 – Direction

    Okay, so Direction. As I said, in the general ideas or tips about improving click through rate, direction of the email is important. So you want to guide people. You want to tell them what to do. So here’s one example from SmartSweets. By the way, when I said about bad, not to do multiple call-to-action in emails, this is what I meant. Those two things are extra, because it creates too many call-to-actions and it’s bad for emails. Anyway.

    So as you can see, it’s like, “6 FREE BAGS OF SWEET FISH, “JUST PAY SHIPPING.” You see, this is how I see my email. It sparks curiosity. Okay, number one. Okay, I want to see what’s next. Number two, number three. So you are guiding people step by step, and then like, “SHOP NOW.” So like 1, 2, 3 “SHOP NOW.” 1, 2, 3 “SHOP NOW.”

    Another email, Black Oak LED. They just do it, not 1, 2, 3, but they do it with an arrow. And subconsciously, we want to see what’s next because the arrow is pointing down and we’re like, okay, I got you. And I mean, of course you can click or not click. But this kind of email will have a higher click-through rate than any other emails.

    #8 – Text colors

    Another thing you should split test as well. All those things that I just described and showed in examples, it doesn’t mean you have to do it that way. This is just ideas for you to split test in your campaigns. So try to, for example, like for sparking curiosity, include something unique for your brand versus something like “shop now” and see what kind of difference you have. For time sensitive, one email like no countdown timer and another with a countdown timer and see what results they have.

    Okay. So about the text color. As you can see, Huckberry. Typically, all hyperlinks or links in text is blue underlines as a standard. However, as you can see, they modify it, change the color and font to match their brand. And it pops. So this is a call-to-action. So you should play with call-to-action. Ezra Firestone, who is owner or co-founder of Boom! by Cindy Joseph, in one of his training videos said that they tested blue underline versus pink, and he thought it will not make a difference. But pink had such a higher click-through rate that he was shocked, and they kept the pink. And until now, they use pink color in all hyperlinks. And this is another company, Nona Lim. Very simple email. I like it. Everything’s good. And as you can see, they have their links different color as well.

    Okay, so those were seven general ideas that you need to do to keep, as well as seven ideas and examples how you should split test it. There’s no set in stone rules for high click-through rate. You might have different brand, you might have different audience, you might be in a different industry, you might be in different seasons.

    Let’s say in the Christmas season, it may work like, red and white color might work with some snowflakes. In another season, something else might work. So it’s nothing set in stone. So you should always split test.

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