How to increase Open Rate and CTR for email distribution

The effectiveness of each mailing depends on the basic Open Rate and CTR metrics, the value of which is formed by many factors: the content of the letter, the niche of the business, the target audience, the volume of the subscriber base, and much more. By improving such indicators, you can achieve higher sales, increase brand awareness and make the audience loyal.

What are Open Rate and CTR and how to increase their value for email distribution – we will tell you in today’s article.

Open Rate and CTR: what it is and why it is needed

Open Rate is an indicator that shows how many subscribers opened the letter in the newsletter. It allows you to track the success of marketing campaigns and identify weak points of email distribution.

It is calculated according to the following formula:

Open Rate = (number of open letters / number of delivered letters) * 100%

The optimal value may vary depending on the type of letter. So, for example, 35-40% openness will be considered normal for trigger mailings, 25-30% for welcome and information letters.

A low indicator indicates that the subject of the letter did not attract the attention of subscribers or the time of mailing was chosen poorly.

CTR (from the English Click Through Rate – clickability) – Indicates what percentage of users followed the link in the email. It talks about the attraction of subscribers and allows you to find out how many of them managed to be motivated to perform the target action.

It is calculated just as simply:

CTR = (number of clicks in the letter / number of delivered letters) * 100%

As with the Open Rate, the optimal value depends on the type of mailing. If it is a trigger mailing, then the result will be satisfactory in the range of 6-7%, for informational and congratulatory letters – 3-4%. The calculation itself is determined only from unique clicks, that is, those when the user clicks on the link once.

To improve both indicators, it is necessary to understand the needs of the target audience and apply the received information in each mailing. Let’s talk about them further.


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What Open Rate and CTR depend on

Let’s consider a number of actions that will help increase the Open Rate and CTR in the email newsletter.


The first thing to work with is the target audience. The process of segmentation will help you with this – dividing subscribers into certain groups. It is needed to make mailings more to the point. For example, if you have an online store that sells men’s and women’s everyday products, it would be wrong to send one newsletter to everyone. In this case, it is important for women and men to receive only those letters that are aimed at their gender. If there is only one mailing, then a man may receive an offer to buy women’s things, and vice versa. As a result, CTR and Open Rate will be minimal, and subscribers will be dissatisfied.

To determine to which segment to enroll a subscriber, you can use information about viewing products on the site. It can also be the amount or date of the last purchase, age, interests and product categories.

The easiest option is to ask the audience directly. You can conduct surveys and find out what subscribers are interested in and what their needs are. You can do this through a newsletter or on the website or in a social network group.


To increase CTR, you can use trending events that are happening now. Subscribers like to learn the latest news, so the openness of your letters will increase. If nothing is happening now, then you can focus on holidays – New Year, March 8, Teacher’s Day, etc.

At the same time, you should not just use a popular topic – it should be related to your activity. For example, if you sell children’s products, you can create a newsletter like “All the best for your child on Children’s Day with a 10% discount.”

Or another example:

How to increase Open Rate and CTR for email distribution

Here the company emphasized the International Whiskey Day. She not only talked about the holiday, but also demonstrated the assortment of her products.


Subscribers become more loyal to the company when the newsletter is sent personally for them. Non-standard letters inspire trust and attract readers to take targeted action. In such mailings, they do not just address the name, but also take into account unique parameters, for example, which products have been viewed or added to the cart. If your subscriber regularly studies the assortment for fishing, you can offer him a promotional discount on similar products – he will definitely appreciate this approach and perhaps make a purchase.

Statistics from the Digital Publishing Survey also show that personalized email campaigns work. A group of experts conducted a survey and found out that 59% of users are happy to subscribe to such newsletters.

To personalize your newsletter, use the following:

  • specify the name, city and other data of the subscriber;
  • make selections depending on the interests of users;
  • recommend those products or services that are most relevant to a specific audience segment;
  • Choose the time of departure depending on the region.

As a result, users will see that the newsletter is created specifically for them, because it meets their needs. They will be happy to open it and more likely to take the intended action – thus increasing your Open Rate and CTR.


One of the most important parameters of any mailing is the responsive version. Subscribers can access mail from different devices, and it will be an extremely unpleasant situation if your mailing is displayed incorrectly, for example, on a smartphone. In this case, the user can not just leave, but even send the letter to spam. The result is a decrease in trust and Open Rate and CTR metrics.

You can check and configure the adaptive version in almost all email services. For example, in Cheapsender it is enough to open the letter editor and carry out all the necessary manipulations in the “Mobile phone” section.

How to configure the mobile version of the letter in Cheapsender

Make sure all buttons are working and links are pointing to the right places. Otherwise, the Open Rate may be at a good level, and the CTR may be lower than expected.


No newsletter can guarantee you success and good values ​​of basic metrics without regular testing, especially if you are starting to engage in email marketing. With the help of analysis and various tests, you will determine the optimal time of sending the letter, its length, as well as segmentation methods that improve Open Rate and CTR.

For testing, you can use, for example, A/B tests when creating two identical emails, but with different content. They go to a small group of the audience, after which the leader turns out to be the letter with the highest Open Rate and CTR values. In this way, you can understand exactly what content will be sent to the audience.

Also, do not forget about the statistics of mailings – with its help, you can analyze the results and adjust the email marketing strategy. It is usually available by default in the mailing service. On Cheapsender, you can check the statistics in the “My mailings” section.

How to view the statistics of letters in Cheapsender

These are the simple steps you can take to increase your Open Rate and CTR. If nothing happened after these manipulations, then you can still improve the content of the letter itself, which will help in increasing the metrics.

Read also

How to increase ROI in email marketing

How to effectively use emojis in newsletters

What else affects Open Rate and CTR

Personalization, responsive versioning, relevance and other characteristics of the newsletter, which we talked about above, affect the perception of users. But the content of the letter itself is an important factor.

Here’s what to remember when creating it:

  • Subject and preheader. This is what a user sees when they open their mailbox. Try to make headlines that scream that will hook your subscriber. If necessary, you can use emojis, as in the picture below. The preheader is to the right of the header, which content usually complements the header.

What is the subject and preheader in the letter

  • Call to action. It should always be informative and encouraging, and the name of the button should be clear, for example: “Go to the catalog”. Use bright and contrasting colors so that the button does not blend in with the text or background of the banner.

Example of a call to action in a newsletter

  • Links to social networks. With their help, users will be able to view reviews or read news. Thus, it is possible to attract a subscriber, after which he can decide to take a targeted action. For example, the reader studied reviews about the company and realized that it is a pleasure to cooperate with you. After that, he returned to the mailing list and took the targeted action.
  • Name of the sender. Make sure that your company name is not too long. Ideally, one or two words under the brand name. For example, Apple, Microsoft, VKontakte and so on. If the name is longer than 20 characters, it will be shortened in the mail client, and the user may not understand from whom the letter came.
  • Informative banner at the beginning of the letter. Try to make your mailing attention-grabbing at first glance. For this, you can use a bright banner, for example, with an assortment of products. It can also be an announcement of a promotion with a high-quality photo of the product or an interesting infographic.

An example of a banner in a newsletter


Open Rate and CTR are important indicators that allow you to track the success of any email campaign. In this article, we’ve looked at a number of ways you can increase these basic metrics and make your newsletter more engaging for your target audience. Try different methods, analyze your actions, and you will surely come to a good result. Thank you!

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