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February 3, 2022

7 Ways to Boost Email Click-Through Rates

As marketers, we know that emails that look nice but don’t produce results waste time and money because no one wants to engage with content that makes them feel like they’re being sold to. 

Promotional emails should convert customers, drive traffic, and increase engagement. This is why tracking open rates, conversions, views, and click-through rates have been effective in producing content that drives better leads.

Unfortunately, Apple has thrown a huge wrench in traditional email tracking capabilities.

Recently, Apple announced significant privacy changes to its newest operating system that impacts email campaign metrics because it causes an artificial increase in email open rates. 

And for marketers, unreliable data equals useless data.

iOS holds a market share of approximately 60% in the United States. And now, all of those Apple users get to choose whether they want to activate "Mail Privacy Protection" on any Apple Mail apps they use to read emails. 

This creates a problem for email marketing metrics because once a user opts-in, ALL emails sent to them will be marked "opened"—even if they haven’t been reviewed by the user. This means that as marketers, we can no longer rely on the stability of the email open rate metric. 

Recent surveys show that 43% of marketers are changing how they measure email performance because of Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection. However, click-through rate data (true engagement) continues to be relevant—despite the changes in iOS. 

Below, we’ve outlined seven great ways to help you generate more clicks and opens, reduce unsubscribes, and increase engagement.


1. Nail the email subject line.

The subject line affects email click-through rate, conversions, and unsubscribes. According to Litmus, 34% of recipients say the subject line is the most crucial factor in email opens. Just based on the subject line, 69% of people will mark an email as spam even before they open it.

It’s important to get it right, and here’s how:

  • Create email subject lines that make people curious.
  • Use urgency and trigger the fear of missing out.
  • Ask questions.
  • Make emails stand out by using emoji and symbols (but not more than two).
  • Keeping it short because many email opens will be on mobile devices.

2. Use the preview text wisely.

According to leading research, 24% of people look at the preview text before they decide to open an email. Preview text must be related to the content the reader will find inside.

In most email marketing software, you should be able to edit this text and utilize it to:

  • Display a second subject line that might be a secondary CTA within the email.
  • Summarize the email and express why it’s important for the reader to open it.
  • Add a call to action or sense of urgency.

Apple Mail and Gmail, which are used the most, support preview text. Don’t ignore this opportunity to boost your email marketing click rate. They have to want to open the email in order to click through!


3. Add interactive elements inside of the email.

Interactive elements are pieces of content that encourage recipients to actively engage with your email—such as animated graphics, surveys, or and videos.

You can create interaction by simply adding relevant GIFs and/or videos. In fact, 72% of consumers prefer watching gifs and videos rather than reading.  

Gifs can add an extra element of delight, and videos provide an easy way to showcase a product or service. But remember, create videos that talk to your audience, not at them. It’s important to not just list benefits of a product or service. Instead, tell them how you can help them solve a specific problem.


4. Ask questions.

Questions are engaging, especially open-ended ones if presented in the right way. And, if they feel like part of a solution and you give them an effortless way to answer, they probably will engage. It’s also important to be clear about what subscribers could gain by clicking through and sending a response.


5. Include product recommendations.

Product recommendations can account for up to 31% of total revenue, but they must be extremely relevant. If you can, personalizing product recommendations is critical to encouraging clicks and increasing sales.


6. Insert social proof.

Even with the best content, most readers won’t believe you can help them unless they get a little nudge from others. They need to hear how a product or service has helped others solve the same problem they are experiencing. 

In fact, as much as 91% of shoppers check recommendations and reviews before making a buying decision.

Social proof might include authentic user-generated content from your social media accounts, relevant testimonials, or product reviews.


7. Improve your designs.

Just like the header of your website, you have less than eight seconds to get them to engage with your content. Your email design should not overwhelm your reader. 

Keep your layout and design clean and simple while providing an intuitive flow of action. Great designers understand the strategy of design and will be able to develop clever, creative, and clean designs that draw attention and delight the reader. This, naturally, encourages clicks when accompanied by strategic content.


Ultimately, the success of any email marketing campaign relies on opens and engagement that drives revenue. By creating content that puts your audience’s needs first and following the seven steps above, you’ll be able to improve your click-through rates. 


Our proven marketing protocol helps companies make more money, free up time, and plan an effective strategy.

Treefrog Marketing is an agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Leverage Kelly’s marketing experience, insights, and leadership to grow your business.

As the founder and chief marketing strategist at Treefrog Marketing, a co-host of the Priority Pursuit Podcast, a StoryBrand Certified Guide, and fractional chief marketing officer, Kelly Rice has spent more than two decades helping small businesses take their companies to the next level by providing trustworthy leadership and building effective marketing strategies and systems.

She has dedicated her career to helping small businesses succeed because she knows, firsthand, how hard they work to make their communities a better place. 

Still, many people undervalue the strength and ingenuity of small businesses, but not Kelly. She believes they deserve to have a marketing partner and strategy that works as hard as they do.

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