18 Replies Latest reply on Aug 7, 2018 12:32 AM by Ronen Wasserman

    Click to open rates are low

    Jamie Barclay

      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

        • Re: Click to open rates are low
          Josh Gilchrist

          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.

          2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • Re: Click to open rates are low
            Shannan Hearne

            It is a bit ambiguous to look at CTRs across the board.  If you are curious about standards I would look for reports within your industry/niche.  I agree that if you have a great open rate and a low CTR your CTA may not be matching your subject line in the emails.  The flip side, though, is if the low CTR people convert to your offers at a high rate than perhaps you are only pulling the hottest leads down through the funnel with your email marketing message.

             

            Do you use any of the scoring features in Marketo or in your CRM to ascertain how MQL ready or sales ready the people receiving these emails are?

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Click to open rates are low
              Jo Pitts

              Jamie,

              Everyone has spoken to the technical aspects of the low CTR that you've got.  This is super valid! 

               

              While your open rates might be inflated (but they may not if people aren't loading images), It is reasonable to assume that tracking of opens is working (otherwise you'd see 0%, not 5%). 

               

              However, a different view may be that your CTAs are simply not compelling or visible enough.  If you have the ability to reach any of the audience through a different channel (i.e. phone), it might be worth finding out why they aren't clicking through.

               

              Cheers

              Jo

                • Re: Click to open rates are low
                  Grégoire Michel

                  Hi Jo,

                   

                  While your open rates might be inflated (but they may not if people aren't loading images), It is reasonable to assume that tracking of opens is working (otherwise you'd see 0%, not 5%).

                  You know it's working, but you can also be sure the number is wrong. If can be totally off the mark if you are addressing medium to large companies with antivirus software, that will all download the images and trigger an "open" event. The validity of the open is only to check how it evolves over time or how it compares between 2 email addressing the same targets.

                   

                  And to be complete, the click detection also tend to become seriously tempered with by the anti phising / link scanners. read this: [Shared Blog]: I Want to Believe, But: Your Email Link Clicks Aren’t Real and vote here: GDPR & reporting: Link scanner-proof email click detection is urgently needed

                   

                  -Greg

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Click to open rates are low
                      Jo Pitts

                      Greg,

                      Grégoire Michel wrote:

                       

                      Hi Jo,

                       

                      While your open rates might be inflated (but they may not if people aren't loading images), It is reasonable to assume that tracking of opens is working (otherwise you'd see 0%, not 5%).

                      You know it's working, but you can also be sure the number is wrong. If can be totally off the mark if you are addressing medium to large companies with antivirus software, that will all download the images and trigger an "open" event. The validity of the open is only to check how it evolves over time or how it compares between 2 email addressing the same targets.

                       

                       

                      I completely agree with you hence why I acknowledged that the numbers might be inflated.  I was just concerned that everyone was ignoring the elephant in the room - namely a poor CTA is a poor CTA is a poor CTA .  It is easy to get wrapped up in the technology aspects of a problem and ignore the human side of it.

                       

                      cheers

                      Jo

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Click to open rates are low
                          Grégoire Michel

                          Hi Jo,

                           

                          I acknowledged that the numbers might be inflated

                          In fact, you don't even know this for sure On average, you are right, but in detail and for a specific vendor, because averages can hide very disparate situations, it totally depends on your target and the kind of email clients they are using, and the kind of anti-virus they are using. It can be deflated too.

                           

                          You can assume that a target of large companies will be well equipped with anti-virus software and will give you an inflated number, while a target of senior B2C people using Outlook will give a deflated number.

                           

                          -Greg

                          1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • Re: Click to open rates are low
                              Jamie Barclay

                              Hi Greg, can you elaborate on this... not quite sure what you mean.  How would Outlook give a deflated reporting on click rates?

                               

                               

                              In fact, you don't even know this for sure On average, you are right, but in detail and for a specific vendor, because averages can hide very disparate situations, it totally depends on your target and the kind of email clients they are using, and the kind of anti-virus they are using. It can be deflated too.

                               

                              You can assume that a target of large companies will be well equipped with anti-virus software and will give you an inflated number, while a target of senior B2C people using Outlook will give a deflated number.

                      • Re: Click to open rates are low
                        Ronen Wasserman

                        Hi Jamie,

                        It also depends if you are sending them to private emails or to a company and corporate emails. Most of the companies servers detect the email and open it automatically to check if it is harmful. In this situation, you see that it was open however the person never saw the email.