You put together an interesting, informative, complete with pictures/links, mobile responsive newsletter. The distribution list has been verified. You have even gone through our ultimate email marketing pre-launch checklist. You hit the Send button. The newsletter has gone. Sit back and relax. Was that the last of that newsletter or is there more to be done?

There are some important factors that will determine the reach of your newsletter. It may have landed in each recipient’s inbox, provided you scrubbed the email for spam words and it was not caught by spam detection algorithms. However, that is not enough to ensure the email will be viewed by your audience. This is where a little analysis comes in handy. Understanding open rates and click-through rates will take you one step further in ensuring your newsletter achieves its intended result. We’ve covered open rates in our blog titled 10 Email Marketing Tips for Improving Open Rates. This piece is dedicated to click-through rates.

Click-through rate for an email marketing campaign represents the proportion of recipients who click one or more links in the email, which then takes them to your website, blog, Facebook page or any other connected link. Simply put, click-through rate shows you how many people clicked on your email. This helps determine the success of an email campaign. Click-through rate is usually expressed as a percentage.

Email CTR (%) = Number of clicks / No of emails delivered

Various factors determine what makes a receiver click on a link in the email.


Distribution List size – Based on the analysis, a smaller list potentially generates higher click-through rates than larger lists. For example, a list of up to 500 members is generally a safe bet as compared to a list that totals 1000 or more members. The reason for a smaller list working better is that a smaller group is easier to target with personalized and relevant links and information that will cater to their potential needs and could also lead to a dialogue, which may be the interaction point. The solution is to create more customized segments/ lists of people and devise content that fits their profile and demographics.

Links – Links are important because they indicate a direct Call to Action (CTA). Emails with more links (>20) lead to more engagement and create more options for people to engage with. Emails with fewer links (<5) tend to see less interaction and involvement. This number may vary depending on each marketer’s goals and thus it is important you test this internally before you zero in on an ideal number that fits your campaigns. Some measures to appropriately design and place links are –

1) Position – Make sure that the relevant links are placed strategically on top, middle and at the bottom of the newsletter so that the reader is not required to travel the length of the text to discover the link. Preferably, some links should be placed above the fold (within the first few sentences of the email so readers don’t have to scroll down), with a CTA for easy access and quick action.

2) Number of Links – An overkill of links with irrelevant information can also lead to list fatigue. Avoid stuffing too many links into your email. Include relevant details and descriptions around the links hat will be of interest to the reader.

3) Link Appearance – It is important to have a well-designed email. But it should also serve the purpose it has been sent out for. Each aspect, especially links should appear clickable i.e. they should be underlined, and preferably blue like most links (dummy link) are. This indicates to most people that the text is hyperlinked and can be clicked.

4) Links in Images – On a website page, users are accustomed to clicking on images or graphics to go to different pages. However in the context of emails, most people do not realize that they are required to click on the graphic / image to get to the relevant page or site. Relevant wording on the image inviting the user the click can help. Additionally, use ALT text to give people an idea of what the image is before it is loaded by their email client. Some email clients block images by default, so instead of graphic buttons make use of text links or better still use an HTML button. The latter will require coding capabilities.

5) Click here embedded in Alt and Title Text – Alt and title text is generally seen when the image is loading and also at times below the loaded image when the mouse is held over it. So while the reader is getting a grasp of what he is likely to see once the image loads, you could also persuade him with text that reads like “Click here for offer” or “Click for more information.”

6) Text and Html version – Make sure your newsletter carries the text version of your HTML campaign as well. The text version will exclude all the HTML links. You will need to insert the URLs manually into the text and indicate that the reader should visit or click, If the URL is long, you could also use a URL shortener and use the shorter URL instead.

Try and incorporate these tips into your campaign and get the readers clicking.


One Comment

  1. Shiva

    This are very useful tips for a successful email campaign to increase you ctr and open rate especially when sending an email, testing is the foremost thing to do because it gives an idea how your email will show to your clients and rectifying errors.

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