CTOR vs open rate: pros and cons
Both of these metrics provide useful insight into the success of your email marketing, and time should be spent looking at both. CTOR provides a deeper level of understanding concerning the content itself, while open rates give an insight into how immediately enticing the subject appears to the relevant recipient.
Some of the pros of looking at the email open rate include:
- Insight into the overall reach of the email campaign
- Indicates the effectiveness of the email's subject line and preheader
- Whether the correct audience is receiving your emails
- It can be used to determine the best time to send emails
As mentioned previously, a low open rate may indicate an ineffective email subject line or preheader. However, it can additionally provide insight into the best time of day to send an email and when people are most likely to look through their emails. Consider using some of our techniques to discover which time is best for you to email your customers.
It can also give you a good idea of where your emails end up. It could be that if the open rate is low, then the emails end up in a spam outbox as opposed to the preferable inbox that email users look through daily. Likewise, a high open rate indicates that your emails are reaching your ideal target audience, with the recipients wanting to engage with the content.
However, there are also some areas that the open rate metric does not cover. These include:
- Clear indication of subscriber engagement with the email's content
- May be influenced by factors such as image-blocking and preview text
Unfortunately, the open rate metric does not give any insight into the value of the email content itself. Instead, the open rate shows us how enticing the email is to open and does not provide any information on how interesting the recipient finds the actual content inside. External factors such as image blocking and preview text may also prevent the email from being opened.
How to improve your open rate
Improving your open email rate is crucial for the success of your email marketing campaigns. While several factors can influence open rates, you can also implement various strategies to increase them.
Prioritize email subscribers
If the customer has not opted in or subscribed to your email campaigns, there is a low chance that they will open it.
Rather than wasting time sending unsolicited email marketing to potentially unconvertable customers, prioritize the pre-existing subscribers who are already interested in your brand and ready to engage with your content.
Build a strong preheader and subject line
Grab the attention of your readers with a simple, informative subject line. But how can you create an impactful subject line that generates curiosity?
Ensure you highlight any offers or communicate deadlines or urgency in the subject line to heighten your chance of readers opening it. Personalizing your subject line by using automation techniques could also help with this.
Reduce the frequency and keep your emails meaningful
Although it can be tempting to inundate your subscribers with every slight update, be specific about the purpose of your email. Of course, email frequency is relative to each type of campaign, so while a large amount of updates is necessary in some circumstances and not in others, keep in mind that an influx of emails may make the reader more likely to ignore your brand when they see it in the inbox.
Click to open rate
The click-to-open rate is an interesting metric to look at because you can gain an understanding of how your recipients respond to your content.
Some interesting, important information you can learn from the click-to-open rate includes:
- Reflects the engagement level of subscribers with the content
- It can be used to measure the effectiveness of the email's call-to-action
- Provides insights into the overall effectiveness of the email campaign
- More reliable than open rate for comparing the performance of different campaigns
The CTOR is one of the metrics that will be really useful to you when experimenting with your content. If you are trying to find which type of marketing works best within your brand or business, you may be using a variety of marketing campaigns with different styles to find your feet. In doing this or using A/B testing, you can use the click-to-open rates to decipher which style your audience responds to best.
The CTOR metric can also help you evaluate your email's effectiveness in getting the user to take action. Integrating call-to-action terms such as "click here" or "follow the link below" can help directly engage your subscribers and direct them to a page or attachment you want them to see.
Like the open rate metric, the CTOR has some areas that may limit how useful this metric is. These include:
- Factors such as the placement and number of links in the email
- It may not be as helpful for campaigns that do not have a clear call-to-action
Other factors could influence a low CTOR score, such as how clear the link is to the reader.
Rather than demonstrating how captivating the content is, this factor disrupts any insight into it because if the links are hidden or not obvious, some readers may not know to click on them. Likewise, if a few links are in the email, the metric will be thrown off as the CTOR only factors one click per user per email.
Not all email marketing campaigns need the recipient to take action or click on any links. Instead, it might just be an informative email that you want your subscribers to see. In this case, the CTOR metric is not relevant at all, as there is no way to measure how engaging your subscribers found the content, apart from direct feedback, for example, via a survey or questionnaire.