Are You Measuring the CTOR of Your Email Campaigns?


There’s lots of metrics we can use to measure the success of our email campaigns. We look at delivery rates, open rates, unsubscribes, hard and soft bounces and so on. And then there’s the click-through rate (CTR). The CTR gives us a percentage of how many recipients clicked on our email, but what exactly does this measure? Well, that depends on how you calculate it.

Most email marketing platforms will calculate the CTR by dividing the number of unique clicks by the total number of emails delivered. This ratio can provide some insight into the overall performance of our campaigns, but if we want to know, specifically, how our content is performing we should dig a little deeper. This is where CTOR or click-to-open rate comes in.

Email CTOR

CTOR helps measure how readers respond to your email content

What is CTOR?

In addition to dividing clicks by the total number of emails delivered we should also divide the clicks by the number of opens. Doing this helps us measure the effectiveness of our email content.

Where CTR factors in variables such as deliverability and open rates that affect its ratio, CTOR focuses only on those who opened and their response, or lack thereof, to the content.

This isn’t to say that CTOR is a better way to measure, but it’s just another way to look at your data to get a more complete picture.

3 Ways to Improve Your CTOR

So you’re email has been delivered and it’s been opened. To use a sales analogy, you got  your foot in the door. Now it’s all about the content. Are you providing value to your reader? Here’s three ways to help you stay in the door and keep your subscribers engaged.


Segmenting your list(s) into smaller groups is the key to personalization, and personalization is the holy grail of marketing. Being able to scale personalization and speak directly to your audience’s interests or pain points will put you miles ahead of your competition. You can segment your lists by industry, geography, customers, what they clicked on your website (interests), inactive leads and so on.

Less is More

Make your emails easy to read with one or two images and quick, easy to read paragraphs. Most readers will give it a quick scan before deciding to click on anything so have a prominent headline or image that will get their attention.

Too many click options often leads to less clicks. Instead of a general newsletter with lots of links try to focus your emails on a single topic and a single call-to-action. One or two, maybe three click options depending on the length of your email is enough.

Clear Call-to-Action

Make it obvious what you want your readers to do. Have a single primary call-to-action (CTA) button that is easy to see even with a quick scan of the email. While a button should be used for the main CTA, text links can be used for secondary CTAs.

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