Click To Open Rate

What is a click to open rate?

The click-to-open rate (CTOR) is measurement of the number of people who opened an email, then clicked a link within it.

Unlike the click-through rate, which is a measurement based on how many clicks your entire distribution received, the click-to-open rate measures ONLY how many clicks opened emails get. So, for instance, if you have 20 unique opens and 2 of them clicked a link, you have a 10% CTOR.

CTORs are dependent on your open rate, so it’s very possible to have a low open rate but a high CTOR. This can tell you a couple things: Perhaps your subject lines aren’t performing well (low opens), but the email content itself is highly engaging to those who do open (CTOR).

This is a great argument for extensive A/B testing to optimize subject lines, open rates, and further list segmentation, because a higher CTOR usually means higher conversion rates as well.

How to calculate a CTOR?

Your click-to-open rate is the number of unique clicks divided by the number of unique opens, multiplied by 100. In email marketing, your click rate includes recipients who clicked at least one link (including links outside your CTA, even your social media buttons).

Here’s an example of the click-to-open rate formula: You delivered 1000 emails. Then, 200 opened (20% open rate), and of those 200, 50 people clicked a link. So while your click rate is only 5%, your click-to-open rate is 25%.

In general, the average open rate is 20% and the average CTR is 2%, which makes a 10% CTOR standard.

What is the difference between open rate and click-to-open rate?

Your open rate is how many delivered emails were opened. Even if you send 1500 emails, if only 1000 are delivered, then 100 opens gives you an open rate of 10% rather than 15%. The CTOR is directly related to opens, because the CTOR is dependent on the amount of emails opened.

Both metrics offer different information to optimize your email campaign.

For example, open rates might illuminate the success of your subject line alone, but it’s not the full story because it is unclear how many were delivered to the inbox rather than the spam folder. So open rates are a little more subjective and hazy.

The CTOR, on the other hand, provides more reliable feedback on the content of your email, because you’ve already confirmed your subject line enticed them to open and your content prompted them to click.

You can miss a lot of information when only tracking click-through rates. To get accurate metrics for your email marketing campaigns, also measure the click-to-open rate.