It’s not fair, is it?  Why did so many people decide your email was good enough to open, yet not quite good enough to click on the links contained within?  Having your high open rate hopes dashed with a dismal click-through rate is a crushing feeling. One which may well put you off email marketing for life.

Thankfully, if this sounds familiar, there’s no reason to panic. This frustrating element of email marketing can be avoided with some simple tried-and-tested tips.  I’d like to share my favourites with you today.

Use double opt-in for new sign-ups

As with every rule of email marketing engagement, it all starts with the way you encourage people to sign up to your lists in the first place.

Attract the wrong audience, and they’re highly unlikely to act on your emails.

If you haven’t done so already, turn on double opt-in for your sign-up forms. This will force the subscriber to confirm twice that they want to be on the list.

Double opt-in will help you comply with the new GDPR regulations, but also ensure your list only contains people who really do want to hear from you.

Remember that it’s all in the timing

As great as email is , if you pick the wrong time to send, your email might get lost in a sea of less important stuff.

Equally, if you want people to take action and click on something within the email (who doesn’t, right?), you need to make sure it arrives at a time they’re most likely to do so.

Some of this is good, old fashioned common sense (for instance, if you’re an online retailer, the bulk of your audience is probably going to be most click-happy in the evening when they have their feet up). But it also pays to look at past results.

Use your email marketing system to review past campaigns. Look for the emails where engagement was at its highest. You may well see a pattern emerge and gain an idea of when the best send time is.

Build a layer of trust

You need to work at your relationship with subscribers; as much as you’d like them to, they’re probably not going to click right away without a bit of nurturing.

This again extends right back to the beginning of the relationship when you first welcome them onboard. Warm them up with an intro email. Use automation to slowly drip feed them information and relevant offers before going for the most important click-through of them all.

They’ll bite, eventually, but don’t expect overnight miracles.


Blanket sending is a bad idea in email marketing. How can you be sure the same message will have the same effect on all of your subscribers?

Segment your subscribers based on their demographics and past interactions with your business.  You’ll be able to send personalised emails containing links to your website. This will really mean something to the recipient.

And finally… don’t forget to test

If your click-through rate was higher than your web analytics suggest, something might be wrong.

What if that all-important link was incorrect or broken? Errors of that kind can destroy the most strategically perfect email marketing campaigns, so always make sure every link is tested by several people before sending.

If you need more help engaging your audience with email marketing, download our free guide to email marketing for marketing departments!