“Help! My click through rate is going down!”

Help! My click through rate is going down!

A number of questions came up this week on the topic of open and click-through rates.

If you’re new, open rate refers to the percentage of people who open an email you send.

Click-through rate refers to the percentage of people who click on a link in that email.

First, and you need to be aware of this, both of these numbers are completely unreliable in any kind of absolute way. If your newsletter says your open rate is 50%, that’s not actually even kind of true. It cannot be accurately measured, no matter what song and dance routine your autoresponder software goes through to convince you otherwise.

The only reason we care about open rate and click-through rate is in a relative way. Are your open rates generally going down, going up, or staying the same?

Is your click-through rate is usually 4% but today it was 2%? Well, it looks like you missed the mark on today’s email.

Is it usually 4% but today it was 12%? More like this one, sweetie!

With me so far? Percentage rates = relative. Cool? Cool.

Now that’s all well and good, but it leads to a very natural problem.

If Monday’s click-through rate was 4% and Tuesday’s was 3% and Wednesday’s was 2% – that looks bad, right? Houston, we have a problem?

Well, yes and no.

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