Why Your E-mail Click-Through Rate Sucks

Such a great feeling when you have a growing e-mail list, huh?

People actually want to hear from you, so they sign up for your newsletter, giving you the official Welcome! into their personal e-mail inbox. It’s like scoring that kiss after the first date (or after many, many dates… if they’re a prude).

So you prepare your e-mails, excited for the traffic that will come. More traffic leads to more social sharing. Which leads to more product sales. This is going to be great!

But something’s off when you check your stats. No one is clicking your links. No one is heading to your site after your fabulous e-mail. What in the world could be wrong with them??

This will come as a shock. I know. But prepare yourself. It’s not them. It’s you.

If your content was great enough to entice readers to join your e-mail list, then there’s no reason why they won’t entertain your emails. But if your click-through rate (the percentage of people on your list who click the links within your e-mail) is consistently low, then you’re doing something wrong and need to fix it fast so you don’t lose your good subscribers. Here are some examples of why your click-through rate is sucking:

Your headline sucked, resulting in a low open rate

If you can’t even write a headline that will grab the attention of your audience, there’s no way you can raise your click-through rate. They gotta be in the e-mail in order to click! When you write your e-mails, don’t start in the body. Start with the headline. Write something really great (and relevant) that even you would want to open, and then write the body. When you’re finished, go back to the headline and check to make sure it’s still valid and juicy enough to merit an open.

Remember, if your headline says something your readers won’t understand until they open the e-mail, they’re not gonna open it.

Your content has nothing to do with the headline you sent it with

Don’t disquise an e-mail saying you’re giving out free ice cream and then not give it to me. I’ll be so disappointed, it won’t matter at all what’s in your e-mail. I ain’t clickin’. Your headline should be a tempting statement or question about the content inside. No funny business.

You gave away free iTunes giftcards for sign ups… and you write about (fill in irrelevant subject matter here)

If your free gift is just a persuasive tool and nothing else to get e-mail sign-ups, you are going to get bad subscribers. Especially when you’re giving away something that’s completely irrelevant to your niche. This will be reflected in your open rate as well. It will be WAY low from people who just haven’t taken the time to unsubscribe yet. They’ve been too busy downloading songs on your dime.

Create a product that will be interesting and informative to your reader who already wants to learn more about what you do. When you give away something relevant AND they’re on your e-mail list, you have a people you know are a great target for you.

Where did you get those e-mails from? Really?

I’ve had clients come crying to me about their click-through and their unsubscribe rates and I just have to laugh. Here’s the thing. You’re not fooling me when you’ve only been a live blog for a few months, don’t even have a sign-up form on your front page, and have a list of 3,000+ people. These people did not “opt-in”, no matter what you’re telling yourself.

If you didn’t know, it is NOT okay to put people on your e-mail newsletter just because you have their contact info or got their business card at a networking event. That’s not what they were asking when they said they’d like to stay in contact with you. So just don’t be that person, okay? If anything, at least have the gall to ask them in person if they’d LIKE to be on the list. That’s the only time it’s okay.

What are some other examples you’ve seen of low click-through? Share them in the comments below:


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