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Email Marketing by the Numbers: How to Use the World’s Greatest Marketing Tool to Take Any Organization to the Next Level by Ali Sales, Chris Baggott

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Click-Through Rate

Your click-through rate is much more important than your open rate. A “click” happens any time a recipient engages with a hyperlink included in your email. These links may take the subscriber to your website, landing page, or even a downloadable document or video. Each of these indicates a positive step that your subscriber took in order to engage with your message. Of all top-level metrics (those that measure initial success), high click-through rates are exactly what you want to accomplish as a first step. I repeat: As a first step.

Many email marketers use a combined metric called a “click-to-open ratio” to measure success. They compare the ratio (or percentage) of how many emails are opened to how many click-throughs registered. The higher the ratio, the more successful the marketers’ efforts... right? Well, not really. Because of the open rate issue we discussed earlier (the fact that there is a trend in decreasing open rates that may represent an image problem, not an actual open problem), you may be getting a “false positive.” Because your click-to-open ratio goes up, you assume you’re improving. The reality is that you might be treading water. Or, you could even be less successful than before. Another problem with click-to-open ratios is that they can reward marketers for poor deliverability. A far better way to measure success is by click-through rate. ...

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