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Calculating Click-Through Rates for E-Mail Campaigns

One of the more practical and valuable features of using e-mail to market your business is using e-mail tracking reports to find out what your audience is doing with your e-mails after you send them.

Most E-Mail Service Providers (ESPs) can track your e-mails and allow you to view the results in an e-mail tracking report. E-mail tracking reports are analytical summaries of the results of a given e-mail campaign. Among the many interesting and insightful bits of information you can pick up from a report is your click-through rate.

Your click-through rate is the number of unique individuals who click on one or more links in your e-mail expressed as a percentage of total tracked opens. ESPs calculate click-through rate by taking the total number of unique individuals who click a link in your e-mail and dividing by the total number of tracked opens. Here are the steps for calculating click-through rate:

1. Take the total number of clicks on all links in the e-mail and subtract any multiple clicks attributed to a single subscriber to get total unique clicks.

For example, if your e-mail contains two links and ten people clicked both links or clicked the same link multiple times, subtract ten from the total number of clicks.

2. Take the total number of unique clicks and divide by the total number of tracked opens to get clicks per open.

For example, if 30 of your e-mails track as opened and you receive 3 unique clicks, your e-mail received 0.1 clicks per open.

3. Multiply clicks per open by 100 to get click-through rate.

For example, the click-through rate for 0.1 clicks per open is 10%.

Because clicking a link in your e-mail causes the e-mail to track as an open, your click-through rate never exceeds the number of tracked opens. Your e-mail might receive more total clicks than tracked opens, however, because some people click a single link multiple times or click more than one link in your e-mail.

Even if your audience clicks multiple times, your click-through rate represents only the number of unique individuals who click one or more links. Most e-mail tracking reports also allow you to view the total number of clicks attributed to each unique individual as well as showing you exactly which links are clicked. Average click-through rates vary widely by industry.