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More clicks


Click rates in a death spiral?

Good. I mean, good that you’re reading this. I could be the only blockade between you and a pipeline job in Alaska. Man, where did it all go so wrong?

Kidding, I have full confidence we can prevent cold dark scenarios like that (for most of you).

I have 21 techniques to get your click rates up and keep your butt off frozen tundras. 

Where Clicks Happen

First thing’s first. Emails get no clicks unless they hit the inbox.

  • Keep your sender score high
  • Send to only people who opted in

Second, emails must get opened. A nasty challenge in some industries…


Automotive service emails (9.72%) should add a prayer list (religious 29.42%) or take a pipeline welding class.😬

If your industry gets naturally low open rates, what’s that tell you? Tells me you should NOT send emails similar to your competition – they don’t work!

No one cares about car care until it won’t crank. Automotive email campaigns must make subscribers care. 

Flipside. Nonprofits get high open rates. What’s that tell retail mailers (11.04%)? Partner with nonprofits in campaigns. 

Nonprofits get decent CTRs too…

The Challenge of Clicks Varies

Industry affects click rates.


Technology, e-commerce, and consulting are in the low 2% click-through range. In those arenas, you’ll have to work harder for clicks. The travel world (5.48% CTR) has it made.

Fast Tips to Ramp up Clicks

#1 Personalization boosts CTR. Just beware overusing {FIRSTNAME}. 3 times is annoying. 

Yes, it depends on your subscriber base. Other marketers know what you’re doing but Connie Consumer may not mind a triple-Connie.

If it sounds unnatural, skip the name game.

#2 Get easy clicks by sending special offers to subscribers who click frequently. This can generate sales while helping deliverability.


#3 People are wary of text links with no indication where they lead – be clear. 

#4 Clicks today produce clicks tomorrow IF they’re worthwhile. Don’t let readers down when they follow your links.

#5 Mobile mind. Don’t just test emails on phones, imagine what else the subscriber is doing while reading email on their phone. Use that knowledge in some links. (ex. Heated toilet seat anyone?)

#6 Buttons > Text links. Text is fine but not for your main CTA.

In a promotional email, there’s no main CTA. There’s one CTA.

#7 Images move people to click. Unless there’s no prompt on the image. Readers may not realize it’s clickable. They’re not mind readers.

#8 Test CTR with stock images versus originals. Test user-generated images if available. 

# 9 Test how-to infographic links versus links to short video how-tos.

#10 Boring charts may not get clicks but try a snazzy button on top of the chart (cover up a crucial number w/ button 🤯)

#11 GIFs are great but more clickable if they relate to your offer.

*More visual click tips here.

Trigger Better Click Rates


#12 Triggered emails get more clicks because these emails are all about the subscriber. Their action caused the email. Their desire, recent desire, comes into play. 

#13 Resending emails. They won’t get blockbuster opens or clicks, but even 1% more clicks is worth hitting the send button.

#14 Timing is key. But you’ll find a hundred “best times to send an email” guesses. I’ll share guess quotes:

  • “Campaign Monitor suggests that you send emails by 8 PM because people would likely check their emails before going to bed.
  • Also, there’s a suggestion that you send emails by 6 AM because people would start off their day by checking emails in bed.
  • And finally, MailChimp suggests you send emails by 2 PM because it probably would be lunch and people might look for distractions.”

The bolded words say it all without smart-aleck comments from me.

Just in case though: Bed’s for sleeping, not emailing. Digital daybreaks suck. I’d hate to know my email success depended on being a “distraction.”

#15 Can you test best times to send based on your specific audience? Yep. Or you can test Inbox Mailers for the absolute best time to send→ when readers are actively reading emails. Schedule a demo to see higher open rates and click volume.

inbox mailers demo

#16 Automation. A click-booster and the answer to every marketing question, right? 

Not if your ESP shoots 5 emails to new subscribers on day one! Beware of new sign-ups triggering a welcome email, a thank-you, and newsletter on the same day. Tags can prevent these automation slip-ups.

#17 Email formatting. When’s the last time you changed your email body format?

Have you tested more images in your emails?

Text that funnels visually into a CTA?

Tripled-up GIFs / used AMP?

Use text only? 

#18 Readers aren’t bookworms, they’re skimmers. When proofreading your campaigns, proof-skim them too. See the messages as your readers do (a blur). Be sure your lead-up to the CTA is a can’t-miss just like the CTA button.

#19 Have you made clicking urgent? People don’t plan on not taking action. They plan on doing it tomorrow, which is the same as not taking action! Move them to act today. 

No fake inventory limits or countdowns that reset all the time. Create real urgency. 

#20 Connected to urgency is social proof and scarcity. I once bought a cigar box guitar because I saw others gathered around the booth pulling out cash. I blew a c-note on an instrument I haven’t a clue how to play. 

If you have clients and customers already, make it known near your call-to-action. Especially if what you’re selling is in limited supply. 

#21 Abandoned cart emails can get more clicks if you include images of the item they left behind. 

Wrapping Up More Clicks in Campaigns

There you go. A pile of ways to increase click rates. 

Remember, don’t swing for the fences. Try one tactic at a time to nudge your click volume up.

You can’t test 5 variables at once. Test 2 subject lines, compare the open rate and click rate.

Then test 2 versions of the email content. Next, test button colors and size (go big).

Last, not least. You believe in what you’re promoting, right? Now transfer that belief to your subscribers. More clicks will come.

Knowledge Base

Knowledge is power, but first, a mental cat-nap.

Content funnels are a lotta work and you look sleepy – rest on this funnel guidance

B2B marketing in 2023→ the forces that’ll be with you (or against you)

Campaigns falling flat? Have you considered these alternate content options (💡ie. storyboards)

Can you use the Zeigarnik effect to boost click rates? Think CTA cliffhangers

Self  Help 

Help yourself to more conversions.

Take all those scary risks and cover yourself in them.

What risks?

The ones preventing subscribers from clicking on your offers.

Why put all the risk on your audience? 

What if they don’t gain new business from your agency, hate your widget, or don’t benefit from advertising on your site?

Risky business. But if you’re confident you can do what your offers claim…

Stamp a guarantee on it. One that puts your bottom line at risk instead of your clients’ and customers’ bottom line. 

Double their money back perhaps —- nah, too risky, right?

Non-clicking subscribers are thinking the same thing. 

Take the risk off them, see click rates and conversions jump.

*Shout-out to Inbox Hacking Subscribers → A @ CelebritySeries (live art) and Alice @ DBSinstitute (cool technology)

Facts and Stats

  • 13.5% of people report unsubscribing due to being tired of the brand 
  • Button CTAs > Text CTAs, 28% better click-through rate (Campaign Monitor)
  • 8.4% of email addresses submitted via web forms are invalid (WordStream).

*Pre Inbox Mailers Quote Circa … “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. Second best time is today. Unless it’s cold out. Or rainy. Or…” Bobby ‘Couch’ Laredo.

Marketing Musings

Highlights of Validity’s What’s Next for Email Webinar.

Big-3 for 2023:

  1. Watch for firewalls blocking even clean email lists
  2. Lean into triggered emails
  3. Do subscribers a favor (ie. Spotify’s concert recommendations)

BTW: 61% of the webinar attendees said deliverability is getting harder.

See full post at Validity for more 2023 insights.

They talk:

  • Email timing
  • Flash sales
  • GIFs
  • How one brand sent 40% more emails than the prior year (standardization)

Get Hacking

We’ve had this survey up for a while. About 15% of you need help reaching the inbox. Gotcha.

Open your ESP and get to slashing. Delete contacts who haven’t opened an email in many moons.

These NOPEs (non opening peeps ever) are sucking the deliverability from your campaigns. They don’t open, which sends signals to ISPs that ding your deliverability, which can keep you from reaching other subscribers’ inboxes.

Cut the NOPEs loose. 

📝Please click on the survey below. It doesn’t bite, anymore.