CTR stands for "click-through rate". CTR is a metric that's used to measure the success of an email campaign. Click-through rates are expressed as a percentage, which SendGrid calculates by taking the number of unique clicks divided by the number of unique opens from an email campaign multiplied by 100.
Let's say that you send out a marketing campaign to 1000 recipients, and of those 1000 messages you register 300 unique opens. Then, out of those 300 unique opens, you record 100 unique clicks. This would give your campaign a click-through rate of 33.3%, since 100 clicks divided by 300 opens equals 0.333 multiplied by 100.
SendGrid has also added total click-through rate (TCTR) as a metric for marketing emails, which is expressed as the total number of clicks divided by the total number of opens. A higher TCTR means that more of your recipients have opened and clicked through your messages more than once.
Click-through rates help determine the relative success or failure of an email campaign based on the engagement of your recipients. The higher the click-through rate, the more successful an email campaign is considered to be. However, there is no standard value for what constitutes an ideal click-through rate because there are many different factors that can affect the click-through rate of an email such as the type of email being sent, the sending frequency, your company's industry, and even the time of day.
As mentioned before, click-through rates can vary between campaigns depending on a lot of different factors; however, the three most significant aspects that affect click-through rates are message content, sending frequency, and overall consistency.
Make sure that the content of your emails is to the point and relevant to your subject line. Keep your paragraphs short whenever possible, ideally no more than 3 to 4 concise sentences. Do not use images frivolously. You should try to convey your updates primarily through text, as too many images in an email body can make a message take longer to load and/or might make it look suspicious at a first glance (since many email clients do not load images within messages by default).
Be up front with your recipients regarding your sending rates. If you tell your users that you will send out one newsletter every week, then it's important to stick to that schedule. Better still, give your recipients options, such as the ability to choose between a weekly and a monthly newsletter.
Ensure that all of your emails are consistent. If you decide to pick a common theme, color, or font style, then you should use it across all of your campaigns so that your recipients know what to expect from you. It's also important to keep the information within your messages relevant to your company and your industry.
Remember, email marketing is not an exact science. Since there is no average value to shoot for, CTRs can vary wildly between companies and across industries, so it's best to keep an eye on your email campaigns and adjust your messages and sending practices accordingly. Find information about the best sending practices and more details on how to improve your deliverability over on our blog.