An article at EmailLabs discusses the average click-through rates (CTR) for email newsletters.
EmailLabs defines click-through as the recipient’s act of clicking on a link in the email. It defines the click-through rate as the result of dividing the number of unique click-throughs by the total number of emails delivered. To express the CTR as a percentage, that result should be multiplied by 100.
The click-through rate may portend conversions but EmailLabs warns that there is no single benchmark and it depends on many factors, including:
- sending to a business or consumer audience;
- the kind of email sent;
- the relevance of the email to the audience;
- the frequency of sending;
- the opt-in process used;
- the use of personalization and segmentation;
- the number of links in the email; and
- the email content - whether the entire article is included within the body of the email or a teaser or snippet requires subscribers to click through to a Web site
EmailLabs also points out that companies could calculate and report CTRs differently, e.g., using total clicks instead of unique clicks. Since subscribers often click on multiple links leading to the same target, CTRs based on total clicks are usually twice higher than those based on unique clicks or one click per person.
EmailLabs establishes that the following ranges of average CTRs are based on unique clicks over total emails delivered to permission-based house lists:
1. The average CTR of B2B newsletters ranges from 5% to 15%.
B2B newsletters with CTRs lower than this may have content that is not of much value to recipients, or may be providing complete content in the email with no reason for recipients to click-through to their site.
2. The average CTR of B2C promotional emails ranges from 2% to 12%.
B2C promotional emails with CTRs lower than this may have used questionable opt-in processes or may have over-mailed.
3. The average CTR of emails sent to highly segmented and personalized mailing lists of both B2B and B2C emails ranges from 10% to 20%.
4. The average CTR of emails sent to unsegmented lists - despite having very strong content such as news or trend-type newsletters - ranges from 10% to 15%.
5. The average CTR of trigger or behavior-based emails is from 15% to 50%.
Trigger or behavior-based emails are emails sent to a recipient based on some behavior he or she exhibited, such as clicking on a product link or visiting a specific Web page.
EmailLabs says an average CTR of below 2%-3% for emails may be due to the following:
1. Poor permission or opt-in processes. This includes the use of pre-checked boxes, not clearly explaining beforehand the type of email subscribers will be receiving, and automatically adding recipients to the mailing list even if they have actually signed up for something else such as a whitepaper.
2. Poorly written subject lines. These do not direct and motivate recipients to take action.
3. Poor delivery rates. This may be caused by the blocking or filtering of emails.
4. Poor open rates. Obviously, unopened email will not get any click-throughs.
5. Poor design and layout. This can deter recipients from finding or being interested in the links.
6. Lack of links. Recipients do not have links to click on.
7. No reason to click. Recipients do not have anything to pursue by clicking, e.g., articles, limited-time discounts or limited-supply special offers.
Email newsletter publishers, take note.