Your email’s click through ratio (CTR) is crucial to your mailing list business’ success. There are no two ways about it. If people are not clicking on the sales link in your emails, you are not going to make any money. It’s just plain impossible.
So just what is CTR, or the Click Thru Ratio? It’s pretty simple. The Click-through ratio (or click-thru rate) is the ratio of users who click on a specific link, to the number of total users who see the link in a page, email, or advertisement. It’s commonly used measurement of the success of an online advertising campaign or the effectiveness of an email campaign.
To break it down, if 100 people open your email, and 20 of them click on your link, you have a 20% click-thru rate.
It doesn’t matter how many people are on your mailing list, it doesn’t matter how many people open your emails, if they don’t click on the affiliate links or product sales links embedded in your emails, you’re going to continue to struggle.
Unfortunately, many sales page links in emails are designed to fail. Otherwise intelligent, skilled and experienced list marketers often commit the following errors. They usually don’t do this purposely, but the end results are the same. Here are a few things that can ruin your CTR:
Why Would I Want This?
Many marketers send irrelevant offers. It’s easy to see why people fall for this trap. You have a mailing list about dogs, for example. You’re so pumped up about the huge number of people joining your list and opening your emails, but the subject matter involves dogs. So what do you do?
You hear that an affiliate program has an amazing high-converting new product for hair care. You think that even though your list has nothing to do with hair care products, there should be enough people who might be interested, so you give in. I mean, most people have hair, right? You send out an update with an offer that is completely irrelevant.
Let me tell you, if you keep doing that, you will kill your mailing list.
You have to understand that your list members are very busy. They don’t have time for games and they have very limited patience. If it becomes apparent that you are sending out too many irrelevant offers, your list members will become blind to your updates. At the back of their mind, they have written off the value of your list.
Now, keep in mind that can happen regardless of the fact that they did not bother to unsubscribe. This is what makes it tricky. So do yourself a big favor, just because people remain on your list, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re still interested in your list. It’s only a matter of time until your open rates start sinking like a stone.
Some savvy marketers will check their open rates frequently, and if they see that you have not been opening their emails for quite some time. will send you an email asking if you still want to be on their list. Or they may ask you to confirm that you DO still want to be on their list. This is smart marketing, especially if you are paying your email provider by the subscriber, or by the number of emails you send out each month.
Don’t Become A Money Grabber
Another common problem with unresponsive emails is the fact that even though your offers may be relevant, you’re too blatant about what you’re doing. You have to understand the premise behind your mailing list. The premise is to add value to people’s lives. It’s supposed to be a two-way conversation where you can help list members overcome certain problems.
While they understand, at some level or another, that you have to pay the bills, you can’t be too blatant about it. If it becomes apparent to them that the only reason you have this mailing list is to make money, they’re going to tune you out. The relationship, while it is supposed to be focused on certain content that they’re interested in, has become too commercial. It has become too mercenary for them.
Case in Point
I recently unsubscribed from 2 mailing lists. I bought a product from two creators. I was put on a mailing list for the product, which was fine. But they also put me on their personal lists. They each sent 4 or 5 emails per day, selling one thing after another. The product I bought was for a very small, specific niche of marketing.
I guess they assumed from that, that I would be interested in any and all forms of marketing. So all day long, I get offers for this, that, and the other. Things for traffic, SEO, website builders, coaching programs, etc. It’s easy to see that they are just interested in grabbing my money any way possible, and are not what you would consider to be ethical marketers.
As an email marketer yourself, don’t forget how easy it is to just ignore certain emails, or to hit that unsubscribe link!
Finally, you have to be careful of the length of your email. If it turns out that you’re sending really lengthy emails, which can be a chore to read, many people will tune you out. You have to understand that people have better things to do than read through a wall of text.
Believe it or not, the best performing emails tend to be short. They get to the point, they tell a story, they engage the reader, and they do the job. Writing your life story in an email might be cathartic for you, but it probably does nothing for the end user. If anything, it scares them because they think that your future updates will be equally long.
A couple of my favorite email marketers do this – they state their shorter business-related information at the beginning of their emails. Then they start a new paragraph and say something along the lines of – “Read this part only if you have time” – when they want to talk about their “life story” or something that might not be of that much interest to you. The thing is, these are the guys that really get email marketing.
The Solution? WIIFM
So how do you get explosive CTR rates? It boils down to WIIFM or “what’s in it for me?” You have to understand that people all over the world, regardless of where they come from, regardless of their age, regardless of their job, are always asking this question.
You need to address that question quickly, directly and instantly. You have to quickly get across what they will get if they click on the link. Otherwise, you’re going to lose a sale.
If you find yourself stumbling all over yourself trying to explain what the value of your email is, then chances are, you’re doing something wrong. The key here is to send relevant offers that directly address the problems and concerns raised by:
- The general niche of your email list; and
- The specific problem raised by this particular email update.
If you do this right, you can then go on to number 3, which is to tie the call to action in the email to the main benefits of the solution you’re promoting.
Fail to do any of these and your CTR rate will drop like a rock. It’s only a matter of time until your email list becomes non-responsive, because people feel that you don’t really get them.