How to increase email click rates

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Learn what potential reasons for this decrease may be and how to boost your click rates.Click rates allow you to measure engagement, granting you insight into how often recipients click the links you send. There are a variety of reasons why click rate may decline over time as you send campaigns and flows. 

This article specifically focuses on email click rates. If you are instead focusing on SMS click rates, head to Campaign SMS and MMS Benchmarks for guidance.

What is click rate?

Click rate is the percentage of people who clicked a link in your email out of the people who received your email. This is not to be confused with click-through-rate which measures those who clicked your email divided by those who have opened that email.

  • Click rate
    The number of people who click your email divided by the number of people who receive your email.

Why click rates matter

The more people who click your emails, the better your deliverability will become. Thus, this informs inbox providers that your content is wanted and of value to recipients, often leading to better inbox placement. Click rate is also a great indicator of whether or not your content resonates with your audience. When click rates rise it’s a sign that you’re sending content that recipients want to receive; whereas, when it falls you should look for where to improve in your messaging going forward.

A great click rate is around 2.5% or higher. For more information on what qualifies as good (and bad) for deliverability metrics, head to our article, How to Monitor Deliverability Performance.

How to increase click rates

Some key strategies to help you increase click rate include:

  1. Optimizing links
  2. Segmenting your audience
  3. Matching subject lines to email content
  4. Incentivizing customers
  5. Ensuring that emails render for all recipients

1. Optimize links

Links are the backbone of click rate because, without a link, there is no click. Be strategic with where and when you add links, emphasizing them so that they are easily found in your emails. You should also ensure that your emails are optimized for desktop and mobile so that links do not render poorly on either device.

When adding links to emails, have a clear call-to-action (CTA) that explains why someone should click your link and what it will lead to. For example, a flash sale CTA will direct customers to your sale (e.g., shop our sale or claim your coupon). You can likewise link out to product recommendations, new collections, or a navigation bar for your site, among other things

Example of a campaign with a clear, flash sale CTA near top of email

Some CTA best practices include:

  • Start with an action verb
    Action verbs grab a reader's attention and direct them to what action needs to be taken. When writing a CTA, start your phrase with a verb to immediately ground subscribers on a particular goal. Some examples of how your CTA may start include: get started, learn more, shop now, etc.
  • Ensure that no links are broken or lead to the wrong destination
    Broken links can confuse and frustrate subscribers, leading them to not click your emails, or worse, to unsubscribe or mark them as spam. Always ensure that your links are valid before sending or scheduling emails to avoid this.
  • Design your CTA and links to stand out
    It is best practice to use buttons in Klaviyo to direct customers to click a link. You can also use larger fonts or colors to guide a reader's attention. That being said, only emphasize what is most important. This ensures that you do not distract from your main CTA and clickable content.

Did you recently introduce new designs to your email templates and are unsure if this affects whether or not recipients click into links? Check out our template best practices and use A/B testing to see what emails resonate with your audience.

2. Segment your audience

Sending to engaged segments is a crucial first step to improving your deliverability and open rate. That being said, if your email content does not interest those who open, then they may not take that crucial next step of clicking the link provided.

One way to boost click rate is to further expand upon your engaged segments. Add conditions around customer interests, location, characteristics, and more to target your messaging. You can tailor what content goes to each audience, making sure that you always send to those most likely to click into your emails. For example, if you create a campaign informing customers of a new store opening, then you’ll want to specifically target a location-based segment — in this case, subscribers in and around Boston.

A segment setup based on location in and around Boston with engaged subscribers

In a similar vein, you may target specific genders or age groups when sending emails about a new clothing line, or target VIP customers with exclusive deals or promotions. The possibilities for targeted marketing are endless when you employ segmentation. For more inspiration, head to our Guide to Advanced Segmentation.

With the release of iOS15, macOS Monterey, iPadOS 15, and WatchOS 8, Apple Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) changed the way that we receive open rate data on your emails by prefetching our tracking pixel. With this change, it’s important to understand that open rates will be inflated.

To see if your opens are affected, we suggest creating a custom report that includes an MPP property. You can also identify these opens in your individual subscriber segments.

3. Match subject lines to email content

Subject lines play a crucial role in getting people to open your emails. However, subject lines should not only entice recipients to open, but should also inform them of the content of your email. If your subject lines are misleading, then those who open the message may not continue to click a link. On the other hand, if your subject lines do not adequately convey an incentive or piece of information you’re offering, then recipients may not even open, and thus will not click your email.

For subject line strategies, head to our blog on subject line best practices or Level Up: Subject Lines That Open live training session.

4. Include incentives in your emails

Incentives — like flash sales, free shipping, buy one get one offers, and more — are a great way to boost click rate. Incentives encourage recipients to open your email in the first place, and the link to obtain the incentive will boost click rates, conversions, and revenue.

If you recently increased the price of your products or offered fewer discounts, a drop in incentives may translate to a decrease in clicks. Alternatively, if customers find themselves receiving too much of the same incentives, they may be less likely to click into your emails. Thus, be strategic with these offers and avoid sending the same content to the same groups of people. Instead, keep them engaged with new collections and creative content, and use segmentation wisely.

5. Ensure that your emails render for all users

Always account for mobile versus desktop layouts for your emails. If there are rendering issues on either layout, then customers using one device-type are less likely to click in your emails. A dip in click rates may also signal that your recipients are experiencing slow email load times or clipping. For example, Gmail clips emails that are greater than 102 KB in size. Be cognizant of this and adjust your email design accordingly.

Likewise, some recipients may use dark mode on their devices. Dark mode inverts or darkens the colors that a viewer sees to reduce eye strain from screen use. That said, it can impact how your email appears. As such, make links noticeable and optimized for dark mode.

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