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5 Tips for E-Commerce Companies to Boost Their Email CTR

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Jun 01, 2022

Nicole Hanson

Email marketing has long been a successful avenue for e-commerce companies to engage with their potential and existing customers. While e-commerce brands strive to stand out in cluttered inboxes and compel shoppers to open their email, this is only half the battle. Click-through rate (CTR) is an important measure of success in email marketing, as it shows how many people are engaging with your messaging and want to learn more about (or buy!) your product. So, how exactly can e-commerce companies boost their email CTR?

Let’s explore 5 best practices to improve your email CTR and, in turn, drive more purchases.

Why It’s Important to Track Your Email CTR

By tracking CTR in your e-commerce email marketing, you can determine whether your messaging is resonating with your audience and compelling them to click through and learn more. Over time, you can assess the performance of an email campaign and compare CTRs based on factors like content, link placement, and email frequency. According to HubSpot, the average email CTR in the retail industry is 8.53%

If your email marketing tool doesn’t already calculate it for you, you can determine your CTR by dividing the number of emails where a recipient opened a link by the total number of emails sent. It’s important to track both your overall CTR as well as the CTR of each email campaign so you can measure your average audience engagement and see which messages perform exceptionally well and which fail to land with your recipients.

5 Best Practices for Improving CTR on E-Commerce Marketing Emails

No matter where your average CTR currently stands, there’s always room for improvement. And e-commerce emails that consistently deliver a strong CTR always come down to one element: personalization

Effective email personalization shouldn’t just focus on your messaging but also on your segmentation. The more you can segment your email list to provide the most value to each group of recipients, the better your CTR will be.

Here are 5 best practices you can implement to optimize and personalize your emails.

1. Analyze audience data to effectively segment your email list. Before you can craft engaging, personalized emails that resonate with your recipients, you need to dig into your data to better understand the different segments within your audience so you can divvy up your email list accordingly. For example, you might create separate email lists for one-time customers, repeat customers, and prospective customers. You should also segment out any non-engaged people on your list (meaning they haven’t opened one of your emails within your chosen amount of time, e.g. the last 3-6 months) as these will only bring down your email metrics since you know the chances of them engaging are slim to none.

Sephora sends emails with rewards program perks addressed from ‘Sephora Insider’ so members know it’s an exclusive offer just for them.

2. Write attention-grabbing subject lines. In order to improve your CTR, you need to entice people to open your emails first. This means your subject lines need to stand out in a recipient’s inbox. Using numbers—especially odd ones—is one way to catch someone’s eye in a sea of text (e.g. “3 New Tops We Think You’ll Love”). To continuously refine your subject lines, consider testing 2 or more variations for each email you send to learn what your audience responds best to.

Old Navy leads this subject line with an odd number and creates a sense of urgency for a new promotion.

3. Test different calls-to-action (CTAs). Once someone has clicked on your email, you need to write a clear but catchy CTA that compels them to click on your link (and hopefully make a purchase!). Similar to subject lines, try testing 2+ variations of your CTAs (e.g. “Shop Now” vs. “Buy Now”) to see which resonates more with your recipients. 

Clothing subscription service Nuuly tests different CTAs when sending personalized product recommendations to their subscribers.

4. Optimize your visuals. Just like with any of your email copy, the visual aspects of your email have a huge impact on your CTR. First and foremost, make sure your most important message (e.g. a time-sensitive promotion) is displayed above-the-fold on all devices and is visually appealing. When including imagery in your emails, verify that your images are the appropriate file size so they don’t take too long to load, potentially causing a recipient to close out of your email. This is especially crucial for the mobile version of your emails, as 81% of people prefer to open emails on their mobile devices.

Skincare brand Tonymoly uses a bright, eye-catching design to promote their sale and includes their promo code above-the-fold.

5. Find the right timing and frequency. You don’t want your audience to see your emails as a nuisance, so it’s critical to find the right time of day and frequency to send these emails. As with most aspects of your emails, you can test different sending times to see when your open rate and CTR are the highest. As for your email frequency, you should consider different sending frequencies for different audience segments. For example, repeat customers will likely find more value in hearing from you multiple times a week as compared to non-customers. It can take time to find the right frequency for different audience groups, but there are best practices you can follow as you work to optimize it.

Loft includes an ‘Email Preferences’ link in their email footer where users can select how often they want to hear from the brand.

Conclusion

Optimization and personalization are key to continuously improving your e-commerce emails and increasing your average CTR. But getting your email recipients to take action and click on your link is only half the battle—after that, you need to ensure your website is personalized to meet a customer’s needs and compel them to make a purchase.

For tips to personalize your website experience and drive more revenue, check out these articles: