Click To Open Rate (CTOR) Guide: How To Calculate, Analyze and Optimize?

CTOR rate email click through open rate graphicThe efficiency of any email marketing campaign depends on many factors such as the number of recipients, how much you keep subscribers engaged, and so on.

This efficiency or lack of it is normally deduced from a number of metrics notably the Open Rate and the Click-Through-Rate (CTR) which just but partially measure the extent to which your audiences are engaged.

However, Click-To-Open-Rate (CTOR) leads the pack of metrics if your interest is to have a better idea of how your email marketing campaign is performing.

This is because CTOR is one of the most crucial marketing metrics through which marketers analyze the quality of content in order to understand whether it measures up to the expectation of email recipients. And how is this even possible?

It is possible because this metric only considers users who open emails and thus those that are interested right from the beginning.

Consequently, you may learn about measuring CTOR by focusing on the following highlights:

How to Calculate a CTOR

Simply divide the number of unique clicks by the number of unique opens and then multiply by 100 to get a percentage.

Now let us find out what you may consider to be a healthy click-to-open rate by looking at what is the average CTOR from the analysis of a report by Campaign Monitor here below;

  • The report claims that the largest CTOR which is above 15% is seen in media, retail industries, publishing and entertainment.
  • That in contrast, the lowest CTOR which is below 10% is seen in professional services, automotive, food and beverage.

Despite conclusions therein the above report, it should not be lost on you that email marketing metrics continue to depend on such factors as the size of your business, demographics, your unique value proposition, seasons, your mailing list and etcetera.

Therefore, it is fine to know about average data in your industry but it is better to define for your business, a normal open rate, CTR as well as CTOR and thus improve your email campaigns based on the same data. This definitely calls for the need to adopt some of the best practices to help in improving your click-to-open-rates such as the ones listed here below;

Using Active Language

Use active language in your calls-to-action since they are a crucial factor that prompts people to click-through your email and you need such examples as ‘Shop now’, ‘RSVP’ or ‘Learn more’

Remove Unengaged Subscribers

This group will not read or click through your emails and it is, therefore, foolhardy to keep sending emails because inactive subscribers are of no use to your business. You can best identify inactive subscribers from your email list by segmenting your audience based on the level of engagement and you may attempt to reach out to them for one last time through a re-engagement email. After which, remove those who shall ignore and nurture those who opened.

Send Relevant Emails

You can superbly do this firstly by collecting user data from which to contact your audience with personalized and relevant emails. Also, it is advisable to find out the level of engagement with your subscribers, behavior patterns, demographics, and the stage of the buyer’s journey. Equally important too are triggered emails which are very good at returning clients to shop with your brand.

The best example here is an abandoned cart email flow; which are messages connected in a series whereby each email is automatically sent after a certain predefined period as determined by user behavior. To compose such a message, create an event and place a code to generate on your website, create email templates, set up a series of emails and add previously created templates to every email in the flow.

Use Email Design Hacks

Given that CTOR checks the effectiveness of email design, it is necessary to make your emails look trustworthy and professional by:

  • Making use of ready-made email templates. With SendPulse, you can select and send responsive templates based on your goal and customized to your liking
  • Writing the subject line properly. Avoid excessive use of CAPS and limit your email subject line to the optimal length of not more than 50 characters including the use of emojis
  • Crafting an ideal footer. An ideal footer should contain contact details of your brand, visible links to the ‘About’ and ‘Private Policy’ on your website, ‘Unsubscribe link’ and ‘Social sharing’ buttons.
  • Mastering a Mobile-friendly email design. Confine yourself to short subject lines, single-column layout for ease of reading, and optimized images for faster loading with ample white space around CTAs to make it more eye-catching.
  • Adding a perfect pre-header. This should be there to complement the subject line while being kept precise and to the point with no more than 70 characters.


For the record, it should be noted that click-to-open-rate which is abbreviated as CTOR combines measures of Opens and Clicks to give a better idea of how an email marketing campaign has performed.

In other words, you can tell from CTOR how many of your subscribers who open a given email actually clicked something in the email. Besides, CTOR measures how relevant a given email is to the extent of being able to answer the question ‘Did your email marketing campaign effort engage the subscriber enough for them to take that next critical step of developing a relationship with your brand?’ Or ‘Did all the activity just end at the stage of open?’

Whereas a lot of statistics come in through reports from Open Rate, Click-Through Rates, unsubscribe actions, and Conversion Rates, it can be overwhelming to keep an eye on all these.

However, click-to-open-rates (CTOR) provides quick insight into a campaign’s overall health; just in a single number. In fact, measuring CTOR gives a precise and easy look at how your content is performing by giving you data based only on subscribers who do the actual opening of your given email. 

Contact us to get a custom mailing list of your target audience! 

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