Click to open rate (CTOR) is a marketing metric that measures the number of unique subscribers who clicked on a link in an email to the total number who opened the email.
CTOR is a more accurate KPI than click-through rate (CTR) for measuring the performance of your email marketing because the latter measures the ratio of clicks on a link to the total number of subscribers who received your email (and maybe didn’t open it).
As the definition of CTOR shows it only measures the activity of unique subscribers. This means if a single subscriber clicks on your link multiple times, only the first click counts.
CTOR provides your marketing team with valuable insights about the performance of their outreach activities. They can use these insights to make changes in their target group or update the content or design of their emails.
The formula to calculate CTOR is quite straightforward. You only need to divide the number of unique clicks by the number of unique opens and multiply the number by 100 to get a percentage.
Imagine you’ve sent an email about your latest promotion campaign to 1,000 subscribers. 100 subscribers have opened your email and there are 40 clicks. Your CTOR is: (40 / 100) × 100 = 40%. Your CTR in this example is: (40 / 1000) × 100 = 4%.
Like most KPIs, a good CTOR varies from industry to industry. What is considered a good CTOR for B2B companies may not be good at all for B2C firms.
According to a report by Campaign Monitor, the average CTOR for all industries in 2021 was 10.5%. The report shows that real estate, design and construction had the highest CTOR (17.2%) while retail industry had the lowest rate (5.8%).
Higher CTOR means your customers are more likely to open your emails and click on the links. This will help you reduce your customer acquisition cost and increase customer engagement over time.
The following takeaways help you improve you CTOR:
Include an explicit CTA in your email. This seems to be obvious but sometimes businesses make it really difficult for customers to find the Call to Action (CTA) link in their emails. Make sure you write a captivating CTA which is easy to digest and easily accessible in your email.
Arrange your content in an appealing way. Use clear headings, informative headlines and subheads, and bulleted or numbered takeaways. Select visuals that support your message. Your use of size, color and visual cues will all influence your CTOR.
Create segments of your audience. One of the most important reasons your email marketing isn’t working is that your mailing list isn’t segmented. Send your emails to the segments that you think are more likely to interact with your message. Choosing the right target group helps you improve your CTOR.
Personalize your emails. Opening all the emails in your inbox is a chore that rarely happens anymore. Only the most personalized emails really get read. Tailor email content to your audience by using personalization tactics, segmentation and behavioral analysis.
If you're interested in knowing how to use analytics to personalize your messaging and improve your CTOR, read our white paper, “Hyper-personalization: The Next Evolution Of Customer Experience.”
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