Click to open rates are low

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Click to open rates are low

Hi everyone,
I've noted that in general our open rates are pretty good (almost 40%) but the click-to-open rates are hovering around 5%.  This seems low especially when the CTA is to an informational website or to download a PDF that provides far more information that is included in the email. I'm wondering if this seems low (especially since the open rates are good) and/or if you have any insight you can share.

Thank you

18 REPLIES 18
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Level 2

Re: Click to open rates are low

Hey Jamie,
As you're probably aware, there are a lot of variables that contribute to setting an accurate baseline for comparing CTRs.

That being said, in your own analysis, take the open rates with a grain of salt.

Open rates are notorious for becoming inflated.

Opens are tracked based on a pixel load, and many email browsers load emails as they arrive in the inbox regardless of if the user wanted to "open" them or not.

There are also anti-spam services that pre-check emails prior to delivery that could result in opens.

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Re: Click to open rates are low

Thanks Josh,
I am aware of these issues.  However in terms of the anti-spam service prechecking I also ran a smart list and the number of actual people in our database that open email aligns to the open rate in the email performance report.

I also know that really open rates don't reflect those that may have clicked through so open or click = true open rate.  So the open rate in the reporting in my experience is underreported.  I'm wondering if there's a gitch on the Marketo side that is underreporting click-to-opens.  Something is off given the CTA would drive people to learn more.

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Level 5

Re: Click to open rates are low

Hi Jamie,

If the CTA in your email is using a tokenized url then double check to make sure it's set up for successful tracking.

Here's an older thread that might help: Can you use URLs in Tokens? YES - here's how.

-Tom

Tom Kerlin
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Re: Click to open rates are low

Tom thank you for that insightful thread.  Just wondering are you suggesting that the links will track better/more accurately if we use a token vs. embedding the URL in the email?  Thank you

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Level 5

Re: Click to open rates are low

Sure no problem - I was just pointing out a common error people make when tokenizing their urls in emails, but it doesn't make much of a difference tracking-wise whether you use tokens or just embed the URL directly in the email. Just make sure you enable tracking in the WYSIWYG editor

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Tom Kerlin
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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Click to open rates are low

... it matters if you include the http/s:// in the token, though, since that will make the link untracked.

Re: Click to open rates are low

thanks Sanford - I was aware of this. 
http/s:// in the token, though, since that will make the link untracked

Appreciate everyone's feedback - I still think there may be an issue.  Will continue to assess.

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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Click to open rates are low

"actual people" and anti-malware/anti-phishing scanners can't be distinguished using this method, Jamie. That's the very idea behind security scanners.

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Level 5

Re: Click to open rates are low

Open rates could also be an indicator of how optimized your subject lines are.

Tom Kerlin