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The Click-Through Crisis in Email… And How to Solve It

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The humble click-through has always been a simple, straightforward metric for email marketers of all walks of life. Whether your company is an enterprise or you’re a single consultant, click-throughs are great indicators that customers are engaged.

Maybe that’s why email marketers worry more about click-throughs than anything else. A recent survey from Ascend2 found that nearly three-quarters of email marketers rank CTR as the most useful metric for measuring email performance – higher than any other metric.

Low click-through rates also ranks as the top concern for email marketers, with 53% citing it as a leading challenge.

So we’re in the mist of a click-through crisis. But with content marketing and contextual marketing at their fingertips, email marketers can create compelling, powerful content that improves click-throughs and conversions. Here’s how:

Going Beyond the Sale

Email marketing is the best digital channel for ROI, but that’s blinded many marketers to the other opportunities that it can offer. Not every email has to push a sale or advertise a service. Campaigns that offer recipients value can, in the long run, boost engagement and make customers more loyal to the brand.

When we talked about the four eCommerce email mistakes brands can make, focusing solely on sales was number two.

Content marketing is all about creating emails that offer customers interesting and engaging content. You can do this by including live social media feeds in your emails. Or you can develop an entire content marketing program that gets distributed through email. To do that, you need to know your audience.

Harry’s, a shaving company, knows that email subscribers are also going to be interested in other style tips. So, the Five’O’Clock Magazine was born:

Harry's uses a magazine-style email to improve click-throughs.

When you offer people interesting content to read, the odds are good that click-throughs will follow. That means more subscribers end up on your site.

Personalized Emails, Contextual Content

Nickelodeon is anther great example of a brand that uses email marketing campaigns that offer immediate value, instead of sales offers.

During the winter, the brand offered a snow day activity pack to subscribers who were being hit by Snow Storm Juno. Just by giving recipients a great piece of content that could be shared with their children – and targeting it by weather – the brand increased click-throughs by 75%.

Contextual marketing has the potential to make content marketing more powerful than ever before. Email personalization is an important step here. When you can custom tailor content for device, location, weather, and more, you can guarantee that the content is as relevant as possible to recipients.

And, as Nickelodeon shows, relevant, contextual content can drive much higher click-throughs.

Rethinking the Click

Email Clicks are in crisis

A clickthrough on your email campaign means that the recipient is interested in what you sent. You don’t just have to send sales offers to generate that interest. Instead, like Harry’s or Nickelodeon, you can create compelling content.

Content is a great way to ensure that, even if customers aren’t ready to buy, they’ll still visit your site and get to know your brand. If you create contextual content that meets a customer’s needs at the right time, customers will always open the email and always click it.

Really, the crisis in email marketing today isn’t about click-throughs – it’s about content.

Email Mobile Device Conversion ResearchWant to learn what else is happening in the world of email marketing?

Download the Q1 2015 US Consumer Device Preference Report to learn how consumers are using devices to open and read emails, what industries are most mobile, and how people are converting through email right from their phones.


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