Click-To-Open Rate (CTOR) — Definition, Measurement, Tips for Improvement

Click-To-Open Rate (CTOR) — Definition, Measurement, Tips for Improvement
14 July, 2022 • ... • 632 views
Irene Dmitrieva
by Irene Dmitrieva

Monitoring statistics and keeping track of your progress are important aspects of email marketing. By analyzing results, you can identify weaknesses in your communications with customers and take corrective action. In this article, we’ll discuss the click-to-open rate (CTOR) metric, how to calculate it, and what are the ways for its improvement.

What is the click-to-open rate?

The CTOR metric is used to assess how many people click on links in your emails compared to the total number of email opens.  What’s more, higher CTOR means you’ll get a larger share of subscribers’ attention. If your email copy speaks to them, there is a high probability that the number of purchases will rise.

CTOR is the metric that tells us the most about the relevance of an email’s content.

Click-to-open rate formula

CTOR is calculated by dividing the number of clicks on links in the email by the number of people who opened the message.

CTOR calculation

Difference between open rate vs CTR vs CTOR

The metrics that measure the success of an email marketing campaign are numerous and varied. There is open rate, click-through ratio (CTR), deliverability, a number of unsubscribes, etc. This can be difficult and time-consuming to track them all but ultimately they provide valuable insights into how your messages might fare with certain audiences. 

CTOR can help you see how well your content is doing in terms of customer engagement. This data can be really useful in understanding what changes you might need to make to improve your content strategy. Having a clear understanding of engagement metrics is crucial for making the most out of CTOR:

OR = number of emails opened/number of messages delivered * 100%

The open rate is an important measure when it comes to assessing the quality of your email addresses. It also gives you insight into what subject lines are most appealing, and what time period works best for mailing. 

  • Email click-through rate (CTR) shows how many subscribers clicked on the link, button, or image in the email in relation to all delivered emails.

CTR = number of clicks/number of delivered emails *100%

CTR indicates the interest of the audience in the emails. This metric tells us how well the different parts of the message work together to get people to take action. This includes the headline, text, and buttons.

As we found out, the click-through rate (CTR) tells you how many people who received your email clicked on the links within it. However, this doesn’t give the whole picture, because not everyone who received the email opened it. To get a better idea of how successful your email’s content was, you need to take those who opened and read the messages.

CTOR is a great way to see how successful your email content is by looking at the number of people who clicked through and opened it.

CTOR provides a good indication of how involved your audience is in the content you send.

Open rate, CTR, and CTOR are essential to consider when measuring the success of an email campaign. These metrics can help identify email funnel areas where emails are not performing well, and improve the overall campaign.

What is a good click-to-open rate?

Statista reports that in 2020, the CTOR for marketing emails worldwide was 14,1%. The US had a higher share at 14.9%.

Statista world CTOR benchmark
Source: Statista

According to CampaignMonitor’s data, the average CTOR across all industries is 10.5%. But this is an average figure for different industries and for different companies (from giants to small businesses). To get a more accurate idea of what to expect, it’s best to look at metrics specific to your industry.

CTOR average data
Source: Campaign Monitor

GetResponse provides data with slightly lower numbers by industries — 10,12%.

The average email click-to-open rate
Source: GetResponse

Acoustic cites an even lower rate of 9.6%.

Acoustic stats
Source: Acoustic

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to email marketing metrics, as various factors such as the size of your business, your mailing list, and demographics can all affect the numbers. 

Having an idea about what is considered “normal” for your specific industry can help you create better email campaigns. 

If your CTOR is lower than average, there are steps you can take to improve it. Use the methods below to boost your email campaign’s performance. With some effort, you can bring your CTOR up to par with other businesses in your industry.

How to increase the performance of your emails

Content is key when it comes to email engagement. Your email copy should be interesting and engaging to encourage recipients to open and click through. A few best practices and tips to keep in mind include:

Use catchy subject lines

Subject lines are crucial in getting people to open your email. 33% of recipients open messages based solely on the subject line. So, it’s important to make sure it’s something that will grab their attention and encourage them to open your email.  

When writing your subject line, think about what would make you curious if you saw it in your own inbox. What would compel you to take action? And finally, is the content timely and relevant? 

Thus, you can make your email subject lines more effective by making them interesting, urgent, relevant, or personal.

  • Interest. Adding text that will pique the reader’s interest is a good way to get them to open your email. 
  • Urgency. The sense of urgency can be effective in motivating people to take action.
  • Relevance. Keep your subject lines timely and interesting by writing about trendy topics that will resonate with your readers. 
  • Personalization. Personalization shows your readers that they are important to you and is a good way to build relationships and generate leads.

Also, don’t forget to keep your subject lines short (with 50 characters or less) to get a higher open rate.

Examples of catchy headlines are:

  1. “You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!”
  2. “We Have a Special Offer Just for You!”
  3. “Time is Running Out! Act Now!”

Don’t make promises in your subject line that you can’t deliver on in the email body. Your subscribers will click on these links at first, but they’ll quickly lose faith in you if you don’t follow through. As a result, your CTR will go to zero.

Make sure your emails are scannable

Your recipients are busy people who receive a lot of emails. They don’t have time to read through long, rambling emails – they will simply delete them. If you want people to read your messages and act upon them, make them scannable.

Use short paragraphs, clear headings, bulleted lists and images to break up the text and make it easy to scan. Highlight the most important points in bold or use different colors to make them stand out.

Place the most important information at the top and make sure you have crisp images as well. 

Notice how Google highlights important info in blocks with headlines and then supplements it with scannable images and links. This makes it easy for readers to find the information they need quickly and without hassle.

Scannable email example
Source: Really Good Emails

Try out dynamic content for personalization

Subscribers generally prefer messages that are relevant to their interests and needs, rather than receiving irrelevant content. This was supported by a study done by McKinsey, which found that 76% of online customers get disappointed when the content they receive is not related to what they’re interested in.

Generic emails are less likely to be successful than those that are tailored to the recipient. Personalization can make an email more effective and encourage the reader to take action.

To personalize your email, try out dynamic content. Dynamic content is content that changes in response to certain criteria that you set, such as the recipient’s location or past purchase history. This can be a great way to increase the performance of your emails since it allows you to personalize the content to a greater extent and make it more relevant to the reader. 

The more data you have on your recipient, the better. Use their name and other identifying features to tailor an email specifically for them — but don’t stop there! Add images, text, or call-to-action buttons that speak directly with what they are interested in.

Apply live dynamic content to customize your sales emails depending on the subscriber’s current location. For example,  providing directions to the nearest store is a great way to create a unique client experience.

Live dynamic content example
Source: Litmus

Pay attention to the design

You can increase the effectiveness of your email by following these email design tips. 

  • Use images that are visually appealing.
  • Write an engaging copy that emphasizes how your product can improve the reader’s experience.
  • Use calls-to-action to guide the reader to links.

If you want people to actually read your email, you need to make it visually interesting. That means using images, videos, and other engaging content to break up the text. Otherwise, people will quickly lose interest.

Using a responsive design ensures that your email can be read easily on any device, whether it is a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile phone. This way, you can maintain a consistent look and feel for your email across all devices, and improve the user experience. 

This Good Eggs company meets all of the requirements above. The image is attractive, the copy is concise and well written, and the CTA is prominent and easy to click.

Good Eggs email example
Source: Really Good Emails

Analyze the results

It’s important to review your campaign and track the metrics to see how subscribers are responding. This will allow you to more effectively plan your marketing campaign using actual data, rather than relying on guesswork.

You can use data from your email service provider to get the CTOR metric and other analytical numbers. Once you have it, you can start to see patterns and areas that need improvement and then make changes to your messages.

If you want to improve your email campaigns, use A/B testing tools to compare different elements and find out what works best for your audience. Selzy makes it easy to set up and run these tests.

Final thoughts

High CTOR indicates that recipients find your messaging relevant and click through to learn more. To calculate CTOR, divide the number of clicks by the number of email opens*100%. 

CTOR rates worldwide have varied anywhere from 9,6% to 14,1%. To benchmark your success, compare your company’s metrics to the average for your specific industry. This way, you can see how your company stands up against other businesses. This can give insights into what areas need improvement and help set goals for the future accordingly.

To improve your CTOR, consider the following tips:

  1. Make sure your subject line is catchy and interesting. 
  2. Create scannable content by using short paragraphs, clear headings and bulleted lists. 
  3. Try using dynamic content. This can be a great way to personalize the content and make it more relevant to the reader.
  4. Consider the design of your email. Use appealing images, write engaging copy, and use calls-to-action.
  5. Be sure to analyze the results of your campaigns. 
14 July, 2022
Article by
Irene Dmitrieva
As a marketing copywriter, I have experience creating compelling content for websites and social media posts. My background in market research helps me ensure that my copy is both on-brand and data-driven. I am excited to bring my skills and experience to Selzy team and help drive success for this company.
Visit Irene's

Latest Articles

Selzy Selzy Selzy Selzy