Are you bored to tears with click-through rates (CTR) as your email campaign’s performance metric? Is it time to find something better, or different? Consider the click-to-open rate as an alternate metric, as it yields a greater, more noteworthy measurement for email campaign performance.
(CTOR) is simply the combination of email opens and click-through rates. CTRs and email opens are common email marketing benchmarks that provide quick and reasonably accurate snapshots of an email campaign’s performance.
Both are easy to use, however, limit the amount of information you can track.
For example, the click-through rate is normally a metric that measures email relevance, such as content, links, and images. It compares the number of unique clicks to the number of emails delivered. However, CTR does not measure the percentage of opens, which is calculated as the percentage of unique email messages opened in a delivered email campaign.
Neither metric measures the success or failure of a mailing.
The click-to-open rate, therefore, uses both metrics in a simple ratio to generate a truer measurement for email campaign performance. It expresses the measure of click-through rates as a percentage of messages opened, instead of messages delivered.
This difference is important:
- An email recipient that does not open your message will never click on a link in that message. A click-through percentage that includes unopened messages is, therefore, irrelevant. Click-to-open takes those unopened messages into account, making it a better analytical tool.
Specifically, the CTOR measures:
- Relevance of the message content
- Success of offers
- The value of the message design and layout
- Timeliness and immediacy of the content of the offer
- The effectiveness of the number and location of text and image links
Essentially, you are calculating the success of your campaign by measuring the percentage of your opened email messages that also register link clicks, instead of measuring success based on the number of unique opens in a campaign. Therefore, the click-to-open rate is a diagnostic tool for email messages.
For example, out of many segments, one of them reports a lower or could be higher email campaign performance, compared to the rest of the segments in a similar mailing. As a diagnostic tool, CTOR shows this could be attributed to:
- A high number of text versions opened (opens for text are not tracked, clicked links are)
- A high use of the preview pane function
- Delivery issues with an ISP/domain (spam filters, junk folder, blocked)
- Significate demographic or behavioral differences for that segment.
Email reports are not as accurate as we would like them to be. Always look at the entire picture. There are several influences that affect email besides content and subject lines. These include the day, the time, the message size, and so on. Even within the same industry, similar email campaigns have many variations and factors beyond control: i.e. when a major ISP goes offline.
Email analysis is challenging. For a more accurate measurement of email campaign performance, use click-open rates. It will require some work, such as hypotheses, modification, optimization and A/B tests, but well worth it.
Need help contact email@example.com for tips on how to get started with CTOR.