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A Guide on How To Improve Email CTR

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 30/12/217 min read
A Guide on How To Improve Email CTR

Table of Contents Understanding Open Rate  Understanding a Good Click-through Rate  Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing Open Rate and CTR Key Takeaways Conclusion FAQs According to Tech Jury, 2.4 billion emails are shot across the Internet every second. You will find spam and promotional newsletters flooding your inbox at any given point. However, as… Continue reading A Guide on How To Improve Email CTR

Table of Contents

  • Understanding Open Rate 
  • Understanding a Good Click-through Rate 
  • Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing Open Rate and CTR
  • Key Takeaways
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

According to Tech Jury, 2.4 billion emails are shot across the Internet every second. You will find spam and promotional newsletters flooding your inbox at any given point. However, as a business, you have to send those emails, too. Why? Because even in a world where you have social media, email marketing remains one of the most effective marketing methods. For each rupee spent on email marketing, you have the potential of unlocking 4 in return. However, to even begin converting leads into active customers, you would first require them to open the emails you send. 

How do we make sure our emails get opened and not blindly deleted? You do this by working on the open and click-through rates. 

This article is a quick guide on how to improve your email click-through rate or CTR using the following best email marketing tips. Let’s first talk about open and click-through rates. 

Understanding Open Rate

An email campaign’s open rate is the average number of times the recipient has opened its emails. The right email marketing tools will help easily calculate the open rate. An email marketing campaign is unsuccessful if your target audience has chosen to ignore the message inside and not even clicked on the mail. So, if you are wondering how to improve your email marketing game, you should also be looking at how to improve your email open rate! 


Understanding a Good Click-through Rate

A good click-through rate is essential for an email campaign. However, it also depends on how concentrated you have been while defining your target audience for the campaign. For instance, if you have only targeted loyal, active customers, who frequently purchase from you and click through your newsletters, but your conversion rate for these emails has been in single digits, you would need to reconsider your strategy. 

So, this brings us to the point: how to improve email CTR? Let’s cut to the chase right away and give you the 13 best email marketing tips on how to improve your email campaign’s open rate and CTR.

Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing Open Rate and CTR

Most of the ‘best email marketing tips’ guides will give you generic advice telling you to write better copies and use better design; however, the following are 13 tested ways on how to actually improve your CTR:

Email new contacts within 24 hours

Every time a new lead is captured, you should ideally reach out and welcome them onboard. This not only makes you look like a well-proactive brand but also hospitable. You can have a standardized onboarding template for the job. 

Ensure your opt-in process complies with GDPR

The GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation was mandated in May 2018 for all businesses targeting Europe. However, even outside that geographical terrain, you should comply with GDPR. 

GDPR ensures that users willingly sign up for newsletters, rather than being offered an already ticked box, which might get submitted accidentally, leading to spam. This, in general, would lead to focused leads who are willing to hear from you. 

Personalize email preview text

Your customers get a lot of emails from your competitors, too! Perhaps that is why they deserve a little ‘extra’ special treatment. Instead of ‘Dear customer,” go for “Hey <insert name>.” Ask them about their day. Genuine attempts at getting to know them better help!

Write a clear and compelling subject line

Imagine you sell sunscreen. Which mail are you likely to open? Subject line 1: Buy sunscreen.

Subject line 2: The Sun is out; so are the best sunscreens!

There are no wrong answers, but catching the reader’s attention would help. The second subject line does the job! However, we understand that fun may not be the way to grab the readers’ eyeballs for some industries. For instance, finance or automobile would rather be serious. However, in such cases, too, it’s important to grab attention, but that doesn’t have to be clickbait-ish. 

For instance, takes these two subject lines. Subject Line 1: Health Insurance that truly cares

Subject Line 2: Health Insurance for you and your family at INR 100/-

In this case, the second subject line does better since it gives the reader a motive to click. So, for your business, we believe you are the best assessor of the tone and language for not just a one-liner but also the entire mail. 

Keep your email concise

Longer mails also take way too much to load. Plus, nobody has got so much time to read a 1200-word essay on their mail anyway. We have to be conscious that mails are now read over phones; thus, it’s important to keep it short, simple, and to our point. 

Ideally, a mail should make the point in less than 2-3 scrolls, and 150-400 words are generous enough. You would also have to work on how the text and image play together. Neither should compete; instead they should complement each other. 

Add alt text to your CTA image

Often, the user may not be able to load the images in your mail. This isn’t necessarily the sender’s fault; however, not calculating for the lag is. To avoid bounce off just because they couldn’t load an image, you should add the alt text for that image in the CTA. Why? An alt text helps them understand what the image was about; this is particularly helpful for blind readers who use screen readers to read mails and blogs.

Use a CTA button for every email

Every email has a purpose. Maybe you’re requesting your mail viewer to buy more products, or maybe you need them to fill in a feedback form. You may also be simply checking in and would love to hear how they are doing! So, we have established that purposes vary, but they are nonetheless driving our mail campaigns. Your Call-to-Action (CTA) button would help reinforce the purpose. Do not go overboard with multiple CTAs, or the consumer would be too overwhelmed to pick a single button. 

Avoid background images

They make your mail bulkier and harder to load! It’s best to be minimalistic and use vector designs wherever needed. 

Simply sharing with pre-written tweets

You can use ‘Click To Tweet’ – a free tweet generator facility – to enable your mail recipient and help them share your newsletter with the general internet faster. This makes the process easier by giving them an already filled-out tweet box, where they just have to hit ‘send.’

Add an email forwarding option

Say they would like to share your content on Facebook, Instagram, etc., then add the feature to help them. You can give them simple click and share buttons as you would find in most emailers nowadays. However, what most people overlook is a button to help them forward the mail. People tend to see the same channel when sharing a message. For instance, if you saw a Facebook post, wouldn’t your first reaction be to share the post on Facebook itself? This is why an option to forward the mailer while retaining its formidability needs to be there. 

Preview and test your emails before sending them

This is crucial! Before you hit send, make sure your mail is optimized for different screens, from laptops to mobile to tablets to monitors TV. Not just from the design perspective, you would have to check whether your content is hitting the way it was meant to. You can do A/B tests as well, where the A group is sent one template and the B group has to critique another. You should also put yourself in the shoes of your mail recipient and question how likely would you be to respond to such a mail. 

Keep your email list clean

Requirements change with time. A dormant customer may be ready to become active; an active customer may go passive for a year. Someone who bought a shampoo may no longer want to buy one from you, but you could still get sales in the conditioner department from the same lead. Up-selling is a possibility! However, you have to constantly filter the list to make sure your campaigns, emails particularly, win the deal. Re-categorize them, don’t be afraid to go overboard with labeling; the more narrow you are, the better your approach will be. Also, it may be challenging, but it’s best done early than late: Throw a few leads! If a customer isn’t responsive and hasn’t purchased for long, perhaps you should put them on a cold list and be less aggressive with pushing mails to them. It would save time, effort and increase ROI. 

Monitor each email’s performance

While it may seem complicated, it isn’t. You can make use of CRM tools to perfect your email marketing campaigns. They would give you numbers on how many times your mails were opened, where people left the mail, how long they spent on which portion, the number of click-throughs, the number of buttons used, your open rate, and your attrition rate, and more!  

Key Takeaways

  • Email marketing is among the cheapest ways to promote your business.
  • First, you would need a clear and concise copy, which isn’t bogged down with too much going on on the design front. Be simple, short, and sweet. 
  • Optimize your images and content for all screens and sorts of users as well!
  • Segregate your leads into different groups and target each group with different mails. 
  • To check if a mail is working, you must monitor your email marketing campaign constantly. 


These email marketing tips will surely help you crack the code and hack the minds of your users. This was a quick read on how to improve email CTR. If you are looking at more ways to improve email CTR, let us know in the comments. 


1. How do I measure my CTR?

In layman’s terms, your click-through or open rate is the number of emails that have actually been opened. However, we have to consider the number of emails that didn’t even get delivered (due to wrong ids, etc.). So, here’s a formula to use:

Click rate = Number of emails opened / total number of emails – bounced mails. 

To arrive at the total number of emails opened, you can use various tools like Mailtronics, Campaign Monitor, Google Analytics, Boxbe mailing, etc.

2. How do I segregate my mailing list?

You should make labels based on different criteria – for instance, active customers, dormant since the last 30 days, dormant since the previous 60 days, inactive since the previous 90 days, 120 days, 150 days, and so on. Another criterion would be to label them as per their sales cycle or how long they have been with you. For each business, the criteria vary; however, once you have decided on the labels, the next step would be to sort them into groups and target each group differently.

3. How many CTAs do I include?

There is no ‘one size fits all’ regarding email marketing. However, it is okay to have a CTA for ‘visit the website’ or ‘add to cart.’ In addition to this, you may also leave a CTA that allows them to forward it easily. However, too many buttons would be overwhelming. Thus, a golden rule is 2 to 3 CTAs.

4. How many images do I include?

This depends on the nature of the emailer. However, if you are a heavily aesthetic brand, we understand you may need to use loads of images. In such cases, do proper A/B testing before sending it out. Moreover, you would have to resize your images. However, if your mail doesn’t depend on ‘looks’ of it, you should keep the images to a minimum.

5. How long should an emailer be?

The word count and length of the mail aren’t set in stone, but usually, an emailer should be covered within 2-3 scrolls on an average mobile screen, which allows for 150-400 words. More words are only going to bore the reader; however, in cases where there is an annual meeting or huge events that require closures, you may have to go further.

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