How to Calculate and Easily Improve Your Email Click-Through Rate

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Are you struggling to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns and have no clue how to improve?

One of the most important metrics you’ll need to look at is your click-through rate (CTR), as it’s a direct reflection of what percentage of your audience is engaged.

In this post, we’ll tackle what an email click-through rate is, how to calculate it, and what you can do to improve it.

1. What is a click-through rate?

click-through rate

First, let’s break this term down.

Click-throughs refer to the number of people who click on a link you’ve provided on a piece of content.

This content might be any one of the following:

  • An email
  • A blog post
  • A landing page
  • A sales page
  • An upsell page
  • A Facebook or Google ad
  • An affiliate created post/email/page

A click-through rate refers to the ratio of people who click on your link out of how many people saw or received that link in the first place.

Click-through rates give you a measure of how convincing your content was at prompting people to engage with your site or email.

Marketing platforms like help you create your content and then provide you with a dashboard where you can monitor metrics like these.

1.1. What’s the difference between email click-through rates and other click-throughs?

As we mentioned before, click-through rates can be calculated for all kinds of different content — basically, anywhere you place a link.

Email click-through rates refer specifically to the number of people who clicked on a link in an email campaign or newsletter.

The return on investment (ROI) for email marketing is the highest in the marketing industry at 4,200% (that's a $42 return for every $1 spent).

This means that your email click-through rate, and other email metrics, are where you want to invest more of your time and effort.

2. How to calculate your email click-through rate

If you’re lucky, your email marketing service provider will calculate this for you.

However, you must have an understanding of where this information comes from so that you can understand its value.

This handy infographic shows you how to calculate a more general version of your click-through rate for emails:

Click-through rate formula

Click-through rate formula

Remember, a low open rate or poor deliverability will affect your click-throughs — if fewer contacts receive or open your email, fewer contacts will be able to click on your links.

When working closely on improving your email marketing campaigns, we suggest you get a little more specific.

There are different ways to frame your click-throughs so that you can see where people are dropping off of your email funnel.

Here are 3 useful versions of your click-through rate to track:

  • Total click-through rate
  • Unique click-through rate
  • Click-to-open rate

Let’s take a closer look at each variation and how you’d work them out.

2.1. Total click-through rate (TCTR)

The total click-through rate indicates the total amount of clicks a link in your email receives.

However, these clicks are not unique — repeat clicks from the same contact are counted.

This means that your metric is affected by people opening the same email on different devices and firewalls opening links as part of their safety measures.

Your TCTR is less a measure of how convincing your email is and more about how popular it is.

2.2. Unique click-through rate (UCTR)

Your UCTR is where you can figure out how successful your email campaign is.

This metric measures clicks-per-contact — even if someone repeatedly opens the same link, only one unique click is counted.

This rate might look less impressive than your TCTR, but it’s a more accurate measure of your email performance.

2.3. Click-to-open rate (CTOR)

The click-to-open rate is similar to your click-through rate, but it measures unique link clicks divided by unique opens.

This rate is often higher than your other CTRs, as it measures your email performance with contacts that are already engaged.

Comparing this with the other versions of your email CTR will help you understand what elements of your email campaign are working well and which ones still need some tweaking.

These different metrics communicate how and why contacts choose to engage with your content, helping you refine your email strategy.

Now, let’s take a look at how you can judge whether your email CTR is good enough or if it needs improving.

3. What is the average email click-through rate?

average email click-through rate

Knowing how well your email campaigns are doing in comparison to your industry is a good way to gauge your success levels.

Here’s a table of the average industry email click-through rates across 7 of the most common niches:

Campaign Monitor

Source: Campaign Monitor

If you don’t see the industry average for your niche here, or you’re looking for other industry benchmarks, click here.

Once you know where your competition is sitting, it’s time to compare your own email click-through rates.

If you have a low click-through rate or even an average one, you should look at improving it.

Average click-throughs might be good enough for other email marketers, but you and your email campaigns deserve better.

Here are our top 9 tips to help you strive for email excellence.

4. Top 9 tips to improve your click-throughs

Improving your email click-through rate will have a knock-on effect and positively impact the rest of your marketing efforts.

Include these 9 tricks into your strategy, and you can only win.

4.1. Keep your email list clean and healthy

Keep your email list clean and healthy

Your email clients can only click your email link if that email gets delivered.

The best way to improve email deliverability is by cleaning out your contact lists.

Regularly cleaning your email list will help you:

  • Keep your spam rate low
  • Ensure your emails are delivered
  • Improve your other email marketing metrics, including click-throughs

Emails delivered to non-existent email accounts are a waste of time and money, so making the effort to remove these from your list will save you in the long run.

You should also remove unengaged leads from your contact list — engaged leads are more likely to click on your links.

This will also save you time and money, by keeping your list full of contacts that want your content.

Deliverability directly affects the number of unique clicks you’ll get, so a healthy contact list is essential.

4.2. Use enticing subject lines

Stand-Out subject Lines

To get more eyeballs on your links, you need to convince your subscribers to open your emails.

Eye-catching subject lines are the first thing your email recipients see, and it’s what makes them want to know more.

Here are some important things to note when crafting your subject line:

  • Avoid words that trigger spam filters
  • Keep your subject lines under 40 characters
  • Use emotive words to connect with your audience
  • Try including emojis to stand out in crowded inboxes
  • Keep your subject line relevant to your email message

Strong headlines lead to more opened emails which increase the chances that the link in your email will be clicked on.

If you’re looking for other tips to help you improve your email open rate, click here.

4.3. Personalize your emails

Adding a Personal Touch

Personalization is one of the most powerful tools an email marketer has at their disposal.

Personalized emails not only improve click-through rates by up to 14%, but they also increase conversions and generate more revenue than other, mass-produced and generalized emails.

These are some simple ways to add a personal touch to your emails:

  • Tag your contacts — Segment your audience into different sections based on their preferences and behavior
  • Create segmented campaigns — Send out content that caters to different segments of your audience
  • Use personalization fields — Include subscribers’ names, or add other relevant information
  • Include dynamic content — Create content sections that change according to your email clients’ interests

Sending the same campaign with the same content to every contact on your list will harm the relationship you’re building with potential customers.

This is because different parts of your audience will be interested in you for different reasons and/or products — you need to cater to them all.

Sending good content to the wrong audience might even earn you a high unsubscribe rate, so be wary.

Steer clear of impersonal, purely promotional emails, and you’ll earn a better click rate.

4.4. A/B test your email content

Test your email content

Think of your email content as real estate — you can only sell if you populate it with what consumers want.

Before you start building, you need to test the waters and find out what your potential customers need, so you can guarantee some sales.

Another benefit of using email marketing platforms is that you can test different versions of the same campaign on parts of your audience.

A/B or split tests allow you to send slightly varied emails and compare the results.

You can then optimize your campaigns by sending out more relevant content.

This is where your CTOR comes into play, as it’ll give you a measure of which content was better at:

  • Keeping email recipients engaged
  • Encouraging more user clicks

By A/B testing your content, you can better segment your audience and choose the content and format that gets more clicks.

This is also a great way to test which call-to-action (CTA) text link gets more clicks, especially if your email includes only one.

4.5. Ensure your content is mobile optimized

Mobile Optimized Emails

41.6% of emails are opened on mobile devices, so if your campaigns aren’t mobile-optimized, you’ll lose nearly half of your audience.

Optimizing for mobile devices can be achieved by following these steps:

  • Use font size 15 or bigger to keep your emails legible on smaller screens
  • Ensure there’s plenty of space around text links so that they’re easy to click on
  • Space multiple links far apart from one another so that a thumb can easily select the right one
  • Avoid using too many images, as some devices automatically disable image downloads
  • Keep your content short and direct, as large blocks of text might bore the recipient

Mobile optimization is made even easier when you use platforms like

Our mobile optimization software automatically applies the necessary changes to keep your emails clean and clear on any device.

4.6. Use strong CTAs

strong CTAs

Your emails should always include at least one link to your website in them.

This prompts your audience to continue engaging with your content and return to your website.

These links should be included as part of a call-to-action (CTA) embedded button or hyperlink.

These factors affect how successful your CTAs are, so consider them carefully:

  • CTA color — Sometimes using a different color helps you stand out, but multicolored emails may trigger spam filters
  • CTA size — If you’re using CTA buttons, ensure that they’re big enough to click, even on a mobile device
  • Number of CTAs — Research shows that having less than 3 CTAs actually improves your average click-through rate for email campaigns
  • CTA placement — With only 50 milliseconds to make an impression, your CTA should be introduced and visible sooner rather than later

Many of these factors will depend on your audience and their preferences.

That’s why we suggest you test different variations of CTAs on your audience to figure out which one gets more engagement.

An increase in engagement is measured through clicks, so you need to choose the CTA that excites your audience the most.

4.7. Create a sense of urgency

Create a sense of urgency

Human psychology shows us that deals that expire soon inspire us to act soon too, for fear of missing out.

You can create a sense of urgency by highlighting sales that end soon or even explaining why your potential customers can’t go on without your product.

However, don’t create false urgency — extending deals will harm your trustworthiness and damage your relationship with your audience.

An audience that doesn’t trust you, won’t click-through to your website, and might unsubscribe from your campaigns altogether.

4.8. Time your emails perfectly

Time your emails perfectly

Getting lost in a crowded inbox harms open rates and click-throughs alike — that’s why timing is everything.

As with an average CTR, data published across the web about the so-called perfect time to send an email isn’t 100% accurate.

Some research says that early morning is the best time to send an email, others argue for midday.

To really understand when you should be sending emails, you’ll need a little more context than random internet averages.

Here are a few tips to get your timing just right:

  • Create and consider your ideal customer persona
  • Note when that type of person is most likely to check their emails or be online
  • Send your emails at roughly the same time so that yours is on top of the list when they open their inboxes
  • Use email marketing software to send perfectly-timed emails to international clients
  • Decide on an email sending schedule that won’t overwhelm your audience
  • Stick to your schedule, and don’t irritate or disappoint your subscribers

Sticking to this kind of content schedule will give your audience clear expectations that you can meet.

When people look forward to receiving your email campaigns, they’re more likely to open them and click on the links inside.

4.9. Create automated email sequences

Use Email Automation

Constantly recreating and monitoring your own campaigns is time-consuming and can lead to more errors.

By creating automated email sequences, you can save time.

Email campaigns like this can:

  • Increase your average click-through rate by providing more relevant content
  • Help you nurture your customers toward a conversion
  • Make more product sales even when you’re sleeping

The best way to set up these nurture campaigns is to use email marketing software.

Often, powerful email platforms come with a hefty price tag, but there’s a hidden gem being used by email marketers worldwide . . .

5. The best email marketing platform logo logo is an all-in-one digital marketing platform that’s completely cloud-based.

Not only are there no downloads required, but our software comes packed with all the tools you need to run your entire business, including your email marketing strategy.

Let’s see what kind of features you’ll get access to when you sign up with

5.1.’s features

We put the power in your hands with our fully-fledged email marketing offering.

Here are some of’s email-specific capabilities:

  • Store and segment your contacts and their details
  • Send targeted content to different segments of your audience
  • Create newsletters with our easy drag-and-drop editor
  • Build text-based or visual campaigns using different tested templates
  • Save time with automated email campaigns
  • Send unlimited emails to your contacts
  • Monitor your email metrics with an in-depth analytics dashboard

While this is already pretty impressive, gives you even more features so that you can run every other element of your business too.’s other marketing features’s other marketing features

Some of our other features include:

  • Build sales funnels to control your customer journey, and lead your contacts toward a conversion
  • Create websites with our fully-customizable templates and easy-to-use page builder
  • Run and manage your own affiliate program, and get your happy customers to send you referrals
  • Use automation rules and workflows to save you time and run your business while you focus on more creative tasks
  • Create evergreen webinars to sell your products automatically for years to come
  • Monetize your expertise by creating membership sites for your online courses with unlimited students
  • Use SEO to create a blog with unlimited posts, and reach a wider audience
  • Make money online as a dropshipper or by selling your own products, with upsells and order bumps

Everything on our platform is built-in, so you won’t need to worry about clunky integrations that will slow your business down.

If you’re familiar with other all-in-one software, you’ll know that it usually comes at a pretty high price.


5.2.’s pricing’s 4 pricing plans’s 4 pricing plans is one of the few all-in-one software platforms that offer a completely free option.

Perfect for beginners, or if you just want to test the software out, our Free plan includes:

  • Space for 2,000 contacts
  • 1 email campaign, 1 tag, and unlimited emails
  • 3 sales funnels with 10 steps and unlimited file storage space
  • 1 membership site with unlimited members
  • 1 blog with unlimited posts
  • 1 automation rule and workflow
  • 1 order bump, coupon code, and 1-click upsell
  • Stripe and PayPal integrations

And more!

Each of the paid plans is built to suit your business’ needs as you grow, so they’re always affordable.

If you choose to pay for your account annually, you’ll save 30% on your subscription!

With access to so many essential features at such a reasonable price, there’s no reason not to sign up and start optimizing your email marketing.

6. Conclusion

Your email click-through rate is one of the most important marketing KPIs that you need to monitor.

This ratio determines how successful an email campaign is at engaging your audience.

By partnering with a world-class digital marketing platform like, you’ll increase engagement and click-throughs in no time.

Sign up for one of our annual plans, and we’ll migrate your whole business — for free!

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