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Turning Clicks Into Conversions: How To Improve Email Performance

Make email work better for you. Let’s talk about clicks vs. conversions, and how to improve both in the Jarrang blog. 

June 21 - 2024

Email Marketing Strategy 5 min read

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Click-throughs vs. conversions

One of the first steps towards improving your email marketing performance is to examine your click-through and conversion rates. These measurements will not only show you what’s working, but they will also help you determine the main areas for improvement. By putting your results into context, you can better understand what you need to do to achieve growth.

You already know that email comes with huge potential, but it also brings significant competition. Email inboxes are jam-packed with brand communications every single day. As a marketer, you need to send emails that people want to open, engage with, and, most importantly, encourage them to take action. Easier said than done, right? 

In this guide, we’ll explore both click-throughs and conversions, including the differences between the two, as well as tips for increasing your conversions from email. Most importantly, we will cover how these two metrics work together to indicate key areas of growth for all brands using email marketing.

Ready to dive in? Let’s get started. 

What is a click-through rate (CTR)?

A click-through is a measure that looks at how many people clicked a link in your email. The ‘rate’ is calculated based on unique clicks (the count of readers who click, rather than total clicks), and it is simply a percentage calculation applied to help gauge overall success.

That means that your click-through rate (CTR) divides the number of people who clicked at link within your campaign against the total number of emails delivered. You then multiply this number by 100 to get a CTR percentage. 

For example, if 10,000 emails are delivered and 400 people click through to your site, your CTR is 4%.

What is the average click-through rate for email marketing?

Like many ‘average’ stats available online, it’s hard to be definitive about CTR. Large email platforms like Mailchimp provide the most reliable source because they have access to a vast pool of real-world data. In Mailchimp’s benchmarking report tool, the average CTR across all industries is 2.62%. 

To set a realistic ‘average,’ we encourage you to use your own reports and build an average figure across a 3, 6, or 12-month period that you can then use as a comparison when you start to grow.  

What is a conversion rate in email marketing?

Conversion rate differs from click-through rate because it shows the percentage of people who took action after clicking through from a link in an email. While CTR is the percentage of people who clicked, CR is the rate of those who took action, e.g. bought a product or signed up for a course. 

Conversions can be different for every business, and you may even set different conversion goals for specific campaigns. One email, for example, may set product sales as a conversion whereas another might instead aim to share a discount code.

How to calculate conversion rates in email marketing

Working out conversion rate relies on being able to track what a conversion is. This varies from business to business, but a simple example is to use Google Analytics UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) links to track email traffic. You can generate these links easily online, and then set up goal reporting linking to the unique URL in GA. 

To calculate conversion rate, you divide your total number of conversions by the total number of emails delivered then multiply by 100. For example, if you sold 500 products from 10,000 emails you’d get a conversion rate of 5%. (500/10,000 x 100). 

What is a good conversion rate for email marketing?

Conversions are the end goal of an email campaign. They require a user to take definitive action on your website or app. So, while the click-through rate is an indication of your email’s success, the conversion rate measures the impact of the whole journey–not just the email. 

Conversion rate can vary considerably between two similar businesses simply because one business has a much more engaged audience than another. 

A quick look at sites that aim to answer the question via Google returns a variety of benchmarks, from 2-5% to 25% and more. 

In our opinion, a ‘good’ conversion rate is one that shows a correlation between clicks and conversion. If you’re sending lots of people to your site with a high CTR but they’re not converting, something’s wrong. If your conversions are aligned with your CTR, you’re in good stead for growth.

What’s the difference between click-through and conversion rate in email marketing?

As the name suggests, a click-through rate measures the number of people who click through to your website from an email. Conversion rate is the percentage of those who “convert” - i.e., complete a goal, such as making a purchase, signing up for a list, or becoming a lead. 

Both clickthrough and conversion rates play important roles in your marketing reports. Together with other stats, they can help paint a picture of how your email marketing is performing, and identify any areas that require improvement. 

For example, if your clickthrough rate is high, but your conversion rate is low, it might be a sign that your website or intended conversion is not working as intended. For example, your page load speed may be too slow – forcing even interested users to leave without completing the conversion.

While all measurements have their place in your reports, your specific goals will indicate which you need to focus on. Only once you know this will you be able to determine what success looks like for you, and how you can start to work on improving these KPIs. 

Whatever your goals, measuring both CTR and CV should help you identify potential areas of growth. Better still, you can examine the relationship between the metrics to gather insight into campaign direction.  

Curious about which email marketing metrics you should be including in your reports?  Check out our full guide on how to measure and report email marketing success

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Tools for monitoring email marketing conversion rates

Now that you know what you should be measuring, you’re probably wondering how you actually do it. We might have discussed some manual calculations earlier to show you how they work, but you can’t possibly track campaigns at scale in this manner, or you’ll spend your life filling out spreadsheets.

Fortunately, there are tools on the market to help you measure and evaluate your key email marketing stats, including clickthrough and conversion rates. 

 

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

SFMC is one of the most popular email marketing platforms, and for good reason. It offers a full-service solution to email marketing, allowing marketers to create and send emails, build automations, and measure success.

In particular, SFMC's reporting element is highly informative and allows marketers to make sense of all the figures. 

SFMC has several built-in reporting capabilities. The reports will give you a snapshot of campaign performance, including clickthrough and conversion rates, provided you have the platform linked to your website analytics. What stands out about Salesforce is that it provides a smart Analytics Builder tool so you can visualise data in a smarter way. This helps give context to figures so you can clearly see your email marketing ROI.

If you’re interested in leveraging this technology for your own campaigns, Jarrang can help guide you through early Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration or training and then provide ongoing campaign management focused on improving conversions. 

Mapp

Mapp Marketing Cloud is a full-service solution covering the creation, personalisation, automation, and deliverability. Mapp’s Customer Data Platform (CDP) presents data in a clear and concise way, prioritising first-party data collection across your emails, website and even mobile apps. This is ideal for monitoring conversion rates, as it follows the customer’s journey from that first click to the purchase. 

Mapp is also leading the way with AI integration, working together with unified data to produce a clear and actionable picture of what your email marketing data actually means – and how you can take action to achieve your goals.

As a fully certified Mapp Cloud Partner, our team can help you make the most of Mapp – whether you’re just getting started or need help improving the value of each campaign. 

Klaviyo

Klaviyo is designed with Shopify and WooCommerce stores in mind, offering small ecommerce businesses the opportunity to tap into their data across both emails and website analytics. The platform’s data analytics focus on the real financial impact of your marketing efforts, with conversions and revenue broken down by channel. 

The platform is currently investing heavily in AI, and its predictive analytics feature helps shopowners forecast everything from next order dates to spending potential. 

Ecommerce owners who want to improve email activity should consider Klaviyo, especially if they want to focus on conversions. Jarrang can help you better understand Klaviyo’s existing metrics and reporting features and strategize for future success. 

Get better click-through rates AND conversions

So now that you know the difference between the two metrics and know more about some of the tools you can use to measure them, let’s look at improving both. Before we delve into each metric, here are some general pointers you need to follow first. 

Set up accurate reporting 

We’ve already created a guide that discusses the importance of email marketing reporting, but it bears repeating. If you don’t measure the right metrics, you won’t be able to access valuable insights or make informed decisions about your marketing efforts. By understanding what works and what doesn’t, you can ensure each campaign is better than the last. 

Improve deliverability

We talk a lot about email marketing deliverability– and for good reason! If your emails aren’t even reaching your audience, then you are failing at the first hurdle. Customers can’t click a link or convert if they aren’t getting your emails.

Before you focus on any other technique, you need to improve deliverability first. Doing so means every performance-based metric will start to rise as more customers successfully receive your campaigns. 

To learn more, take a look at our ultimate guide to improving email marketing deliverability

Work with web development and UX designers

The responsibility of your email marketing doesn’t end when you press send. All marketers should work hand-in-hand with web developers, web designers and UX designers to make sure that the transition from email to website or app is seamless. 

If your user clicks on an offer in your email but is taken to a page that seems irrelevant, they will likely bounce. You only have ten seconds or less to grab your customer’s attention, so if your site or app is taking longer than a few seconds to even load, then there is a problem.

To combat these common issues, make sure your marketing team is working hand-in-hand with development, so every landing page is designed with a single goal in mind. 

Focus on accessibility

A continuation of the last point, be sure to prioritise accessibility when building both emails and landing pages. Your customers should be guided through the process, and they shouldn’t feel that they are unable to understand or even visualise any part of their purchase.

Don’t overcomplicate things

Research shows that if customers are given too much choice, they simply won’t make any decision at all. Choice overload and decision paralysis have been key considerations for marketers for years, but this is even more true now in a world where we are making over 30,000 decisions per day!

This is a lesson you must apply to your email marketing campaigns in order to achieve optimal clickthroughs and conversions. When building a campaign, consider your primary goal and work from there. It’s okay to give customers multiple choices, but make sure they all align with that one goal. 

For example, if your email is promoting a new collection, then give links to specific items and an opportunity to browse the full range. Try to avoid confusing users with links to other ranges, or offers that don’t work on these products in particular. A unified approach will help to achieve your goals by offering clear and direct action for your customers to take.  

How to improve email click-through rates

Here are some tips for improving both click-throughs and conversions you can put into practice right now. Let’s start with how to improve email click-through rates. 

  • Test subject lines: This is your opportunity to set the intention of this email. The language, tone and style of a subject line can be the difference between a user clicking your email or hitting delete. Establish subject line A/B tests to determine what type of language your customers respond to and use this knowledge to iterate for future campaigns. 
  • Target customer segments: To make sure a customer clicks your email, you need it to feel like it’s meant for them. That means creating content targeted to a customer’s interests or needs. To do this effectively, you’ll need to experiment with email segmentation to create specific groups of users. You can then create/tweak campaigns specifically tailored to them. 
  • Personalise content wherever possible: To further appeal to each customer’s unique needs, you should always try to personalise your campaigns. Start by addressing users by their first names and then experiment with deeper personalisation if you have the data. 
  • Keep content simple: If your emails are being opened but your links aren’t being clicked, it’s likely your content isn’t resonating. It could either be through a lack of personalisation or more commonly, the email is too complex/lengthy/distracting. Simplify your email design by cutting copy and aiming to funnel users towards a specific action/link. 
  • Boost your CTA button: Building on the point above, you need to condense a recipient’s decisions down to a single call to action. Simplified content helps direct them to this CTA, but you should also ensure the wording and button around the link are clear, appealing and obvious. 
  • Create urgency or incentivise: This is a tactic to use sparingly, but it can work where appropriate. To get customers clicking your link, try offering a time-limited discount or similar offer. This will help ensure users who read your email click-through as they’ll be worried about missing out.
  • Give them a reason to take action: While a countdown timer might not always be your approach, it’s not the only way to get people to click. Through clever copywriting and goal-oriented design, you can make sure your readers know that they are better off with you than without. 

Get more from your email marketing with Jarrang

While no two businesses are the same, everyone shares the continual challenge of improving click-throughs and conversions in the pursuit of better email marketing results. With both metrics having a tangible impact on your bottom line, it’s easy to get distracted by the numbers and fail to address what actually matters – achieving your email marketing goals. 

There are so many proven strategies for improving click-throughs and conversions– we should know. Jarrang can help you better define your goals, which metrics matter to your business, and what improvements will have the most impact in terms of ROI.

We’re your email marketing partner, meaning we work with your marketing team to support and guide you wherever you need it. Your goals are our goals, so let’s have a chat about how we can help you achieve them.

Get in touch.

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