6 Email Marketing Tips to Instantly Improve Your CTR


6 Email Marketing Tips to Instantly Improve Your CTREmail marketing is all about sending emails to people who want to learn more about your business and consume more of your content.

In a perfect world, your emails would be opened and read by all your subscribers, thereby increasing the engagement on your website exponentially. But sadly, we are not living in a perfect world and you may face several challenges while deploying your email marketing strategy.

Two of the most common challenges you'll face while implementing your email marketing strategy are:

  1. Your email may get lost in your subscriber's inbox. Or even worse – get SPAMMED. This in turn will reduce the open rate of your emails.
  2. The second scenario is where customers are opening your email but not clicking on the call to action (CTA) – affecting the clickthrough rate (CTR) of your emails.

These two factors may really make you lose faith in email marketing. If the performance of your email campaigns is poor, you may feel like giving up on email marketing.

But don't worry! We've got you covered – here are 6 simple email marketing tips which you can implement right away to improve your email's CTR.

6 Ways to Boost Your Email CTR

1. Email new contacts in the first 24 hours

It's imperative that you take advantage of the time when your brand or content is at the top of the subscriber's mind.

Set up an email automation that is triggered the moment someone signs up for your newsletter or any other offer on your site. It's a great way to set expectations for your new contacts and give them a glimpse of things to come. As such, it's one of the most essential email marketing best practices to send an email to your subscriber within the first 24 hours of signing up.

Make no mistake – If you haven't setup automation workflows yet, you're missing out on a great opportunity to engage and nurture new subscribers.

Related: Sendinblue vs Mailchimp vs ConvertKit: Email Marketing Tools Showdown

2. Send the email from a person, not your brand

Research indicates that email open rates increase significantly when sent from a real person, rather than a brand/company. This is because people trust a personalised name rather than a generic brand name.

Remember that we are living in a world where people subscribe to so many blogs that they are inundated by emails from left, right and centre. So instead of sending email from:

  • Sender name: 99signals
  • Sender email address: contact@99signals.com

Try this…

  • Sender name: John Doe
  • Sender email address: john@99signals.com

By adding a personal touch to your email campaigns, you can differentiate your content from others and significantly improve your email's open rate and clickthrough rate (CTR).

3. Use mobile-friendly email templates

Despite having the ability to use apps, play games, and watch movies, people still spend majority of their time checking emails on their smartphones. According to Litmus, 46% of all emails are opened on mobile.

So while choosing templates for your email campaigns, keep your mobile subscriber base in mind. Choose a template that is responsive and mobile-friendly. Always preview the template in mobile mode and open the test email on your smartphone to see how it really looks.

Related: 35 Email Marketing Stats to Shape Your Strategy

4. Optimize your subject lines

Your emails are competing with several other emails within the subscribers' inbox. As a result, you need to create subject lines that are snappy and clickable:

Follow these tips to optimize your subject lines:

  • Subject lines should be fewer than 50 characters so that they are not cut out by mobile devices
  • Include verbs and action-oriented language to create a sense of urgency and excitement.
  • Avoid spam trigger words such as "Earn Extra Cash", "Click Email", "Increase Your Sales", etc.
  • Include an exclusive value proposition (like a 20% off deal or a free ebook) so people know what they're getting.
  • Make use of time (By using words such as 'Limited Time Offer')
  • Personalize (sometimes; don't over do it for the risk of sounding too intrusive)

5. Keep your email copy short and concise

No one has time to read lengthly emails. As a general rule, people prefer to read short emails rather than long ones. Too much content is also a red flag for spam alert.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but too many brands try to cram in as much information as they can in their email copy. This is probably because of the other school of thought which goes along the lines of, "If my subscribers have signed up to get email updates from us, then obviously they want to read as much as they can about us in our emails."

Research, however, points to the contrary. Based on research done by Nielson Norman Group, the average time allocated to an email newsletter after opening it is only 51 seconds. The predominant user behaviour is to scan the newsletter. Often times, users only skim a small part of the newsletter and just glance at the content.

Keeping your emails short and concise with the aforementioned data in mind, here are some more tips we can follow while writing our email copy:

  • Get to the point – Subscribers usually tend to skip through the introductory part, so avoid adding any important information here.
  • Focus on the message – Avoid talking about too many topics in the email. If your email is about informing users of a new feature in your product, just talk about that feature alone and avoid talking about the features which they are already aware of.
  • Make it scan-friendly – Use images to convey important points (not too many, be selective) and highlight some of the key elements within the copy. Your email will just get 51 seconds of fame. So make sure you're able to convey your message in easily-readable paragraphs.

Here's a perfect example from Dropbox on how to keep your emails short and to the point:

Dropbox Email Example - Short and Concise Email Copy

6. Include Just 1 CTA Button and add links to your images

Generally people wont't read the whole copy of your email, they'll just scan the email especially if they are reading your email on a mobile device. Hence you need to include a clear CTA button that entices the recipient to click on it.

Your ultimate goal in email marketing should be increase your clickthrough rate. Research indicates that subscribers are more likely to clickthrough if there is just one CTA button in your email. The only time you can break this rule and have multiple CTAs is when you're creating your monthly newsletter.

Here's an excellent example from TradeGecko:

TradeGecko CTA Button: Email Marketing Tips to Improve Your CTR

Do you have any other email marketing tips to improve the performance of your campaigns? Let us know in the comments section.

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Sandeep Mallya
Sandeep Mallya is the Founder & CEO of Startup Cafe Digital, an award-winning digital marketing agency in Bangalore, India. He is an active member of the startup community, having worked with several early-stage startups and accelerators. 99signals is Sandeep's online marketing blog. The blog currently features 200+ in-depth articles, how-to guides, and hacks on a wide range of online marketing topics such as SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, blogging, and more.


  1. […] In this article, we will share 6 email marketing tips to improve your email's open and clickthrough rates.  […]

  2. Here we are new in E-mail marketing. Really found you blog useful for e-mail marketing. Always found the unique details in 99signls blogs.
    Keep sharing your details like this 🙂

  3. Hey Sandeep,

    This is indeed a very useful post. As 53% of all emails are opened on mobiles, we should use mobile optimized email marketing templates. This will maximize the success of our email marketing campaigns. Also, you have stressed an important point – subject line. The more engaging subject lines mean increased response rate.

  4. […] "By adding a personal touch to your email campaigns, you can differentiate your content from others and significantly improve your email's open rate and clickthrough rate (CTR)" says sandeep from 99signals. […]

  5. […] Facebook's custom audience feature to run ads targeting people in your email list. These could be people who have subscribed to your blog, downloaded an eBook, or any other resource […]

  6. Loved your six tips to help us increase email open rates and clickthrough rates. I actually average between 50% – 70% email open rates. But, my click through rates suck (sorry). I will take your advice and add a button and make the pics clickable.

  7. Great tips to improve CTR! I would like to add one more is customers are spending only about 15 seconds reading your email! 64% of decision makers read their email on mobile, so all important content needs to be immediately visible when the email is opened on a phone.

  8. Hey Sandeep,
    Our openrate is between 30% – 50% is it okay? Can It be improve further? We are in competitive niche so maybe email marketing is not the most powerful in our domain.

    • Hey Amna – Your open rate seems great, but I'd need to get a complete picture before I can comment further. What's the size of your email list and your CTR?

  9. […] Sandeep Mallya shares tips, like the use of mobile friendly templates and including just one CTA button, to maximize your open and click-through rates. […]

  10. This is especially helpful for beginners and for those who plan to create email marketing. It is very helpful and useful for e-mail marketing I hope they will find this article to help them better understand these topics. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Love your blogs. The way you write them in such a simple tone, and easy to follow tips. thanks for sharing the insights with us.


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