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Why Are My Click-Through-Rates So Low? | 4 Ways to Increase CTR

Blog title design reading, Why are My Click-Through-Rates So Low? 4 Ways to Increase CTR
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Why Are My Click-Through-Rates So Low?

Click-through-rates (CTRs) are on the decline. Across the board, marketers are searching for solutions as they see their CTRs plummet.

But improving your CTR can feel daunting, especially when you can’t make heads or tails of what’s behind the shift. Here’s a quick rundown of why CTRs are decreasing (while open rates continue to climb). 

  • Open rates are up because…

  • Click rates are down because…

    • A recession means discount-minded consumers. So while customers will be quick to subscribe to a new list for a welcome offer, getting clicks is harder than ever as brands fiercely compete for attention and share of wallet. 

    • Brand marketing has increased in volume and intensity. With brands sending emails to dormant addresses in hopes of engagement, customers are left overwhelmed by the flood of messages.

The good news is, there are tactics that can improve email engagement, and since CTRs are top-of-funnel and top priority, it’s time to act fast. Use these four tactics to create content that truly resonates with customers and boost your CTR. 

#1 Display Your Brand Value

While low prices succeed in grabbing customers’ initial attention and clicks, marketers cannot rely on this tactic alone—otherwise, they’ll find themselves in a race to the bottom. Instead, be sure to balance discount alerts with nurture messages that show customers that a good deal means far more than the lowest price on the table.

Emails from Inkredible Retail displaying tutorial videos, quotes, and automated refill reminders.

In these emails, Inkredible Beauty customers are shown the brand’s unique value beyond price point. On the left, customers are simply a click away from enjoying the recommended product’s effectiveness with a tutorial video and quoted advice. 

In the automated message on the right, Inkredible Beauty drives home their value using social proof. By including the product’s high ratings, customers are encouraged to click and repurchase. And for customers that aren’t quite ready to commit, they have the option to click in for a helpful reminder message.

To increase CTR, you’ve got to give customers a clear reason to click. Communicating brand value is a strategic way to do that, all while building customer-brand loyalty.

#2 Act Fast With Gamified Emails

A quick way to increase CTR is gamification. It’s low-hanging fruit for boosted CTR, because it’s automated, simple to implement, and has a great track record for boosting ROI. Some go-to gamified campaigns are scratch-offs, polls, or animation. 

Examples of all three are displayed below. Florida Panthers’ marketing team added in a simple scratch-off and saw a 24.71% lift in CTOR, My Jewellery added in a progressive poll and generated a 28% increase CTR, and TurboTax used an animated timer for a 32% boost in CTR.

Pi Day Gif

Gamified emails from My Jewellery (a poll) and TurboTax (timer).

Through a single gamified add-on, each of these global brands succeeded in quickly increasing their CTR. They acted fast to add an eye-catching element and it paid off. 

Increasing CTR doesn’t have to be hard—these are all automated! It just needs to be visually engaging and quick to activate. 

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#3 Think Long-Term With Personalization

Gamified emails catch customer attention quickly, but marketers should balance this type of tactic with true 1:1 personalization if they want to keep the clicks coming long-term. 

Click-worthy personalization successfully leverages your zero- and first-party data, as well as AI powered personalization if you’re a true marketing overachiever.

Few master the art of data-driven personalization like Ulta Beauty. They used first-party data to fuel an abandoned-cart trigger, knowing that customers are prone to click when shown content they’ve already shown interest in. To drive further motivation to engage, Ulta Beauty loops in a personalized header and hand-picked product recommendations. The results were undeniable with a 316.67% lift in CTR.

Year in review email from Jimmy John's.

Jimmy John’s year-in-review engages customers in a fun way with a personalized recap. Using zero- and first-party data, the brand displays a complete recap of customers’ favorites, including most-ordered sandwich and side, favorite store location, and most common time to dig in. To truly capture customers’ attention, Jimmy John’s even translated the number of sandwiches ordered that year into total “inches of sandwich eaten.”

This year-in-review was an undeniable success for boosting engagement, with a 51% total lift in CTR.

Personalization doesn’t have to be hard to boost clicks. Just keep these three summary steps in mind:

  • Collect data constantly to learn about the customer and power accurate retargeting.

  • Activate data to visually showcase content customers have shown interest in.

  • Lean on visuals, to bring data to life in an eye-catching way.

#4 Add Some Loyalty Love

As consumers continue to look for deals, they are increasingly leveraging loyalty programs to do so, as 80% of Americans are members of one or more programs. Infusing email communications with Loyalty messaging can drive both clicks and long-term brand loyalty. 

Meaningful and relevant loyalty communications are crucial to engaging customers and increasing program adoption. By incorporating high-value tasks for customers to complete—such as app activity, cross-channel adoption, or leaving reviews—marketers can move away from the traditional earn-and-burn model to create a program that’s continually fresh and engaging. 

Take TurboTax’s loyalty email. Here, the finance brand reminds members to complete their forms using data visualization. This simple but personalized visual allows the customer to understand their progress at a glance and prompts them to take the relevant next step. 

Loyalty progress email from Tide

Let’s take the progress bar a step further. When a new customer signs on with Tide, the finance brand ensures that customers keep clicking in with five activation steps to complete their account. After each step was completed, customers had the satisfaction of seeing their circle graph fill up just a little more. Just by adding these compelling data-visualization graphs, the brand saw a nearly 70% lift in CTR compared to the text-based version. 

By leveraging information from your loyalty programs you not only boost CTR, but keep subscribers engaged over the long haul. Keep these tips in your back pocket:

  • Differentiate your loyalty program by turning marketing activities into point earners.

  • Visualize the experience for quick comprehension so that customers don’t miss out.

  • Automate data collection all year round.

Create Click-Worthy Content

These four strategies each take a different approach to increasing engagement within your program. Consider when and where they can be most successfully deployed for your brand. With these tactics in mind, you’ll create engaging content that has customers clicking through in no time.

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