Click Rate vs Click Through Rate – Difference & Associated Action Items

Email Click Rate vs Click Through Rate – Differences & Associated Action Items for 2024

Tracking the performance of your email campaigns is essential for optimizing your marketing efforts. It’s not just about sending emails; it’s also about understanding how they perform and using that knowledge to refine your strategy.

Today, we will look into two important email marketing metrics: click rate and click-through rate. While they may sound similar, they play distinctly different roles in conveying your email campaign performance.

In this article, we’ll compare click rate vs click through rate and find out their key differences & significance. This will help you understand when to track which one, and how you can work on improving your email strategy based on the results of these metrics.

So let’s begin.

What is Click Rate (CR) in email marketing?

Email Click Rate (CR) typically refers to the overall percentage of recipients who clicked on any link or call-to-action (CTA) within an email. It measures the general engagement level of the email campaign as a whole, showing how many recipients interacted with any of the links or CTAs present in the email.

A high click rate means your email content is relevant and compelling enough to encourage readers to learn more about what you’re offering.

How To Calculate Email Click Rate?

The calculation of email click rate is straightforward and simple. You will need the following data:

  • Number of recipients who clicked on a link in your email
  • The number of emails delivered

Then use this formula:

  • CR = (Total links clicked/Total Emails Delivered) x 100%

Factors Influencing Click Rate

The following are the factors that can significantly influence your click rate:

i. Impact of Subject Lines, Email Content, and Visuals

A good subject line means the emails will be opened. The email content and the visuals will help encourage the recipient to click on a link in the email body.

So, you should focus on subject lines that are engaging and relevant to your audience.

The email copy has to be persuasive and personalized. The visuals should be relevant to the email copy with proper branding applied.

ii. Role of Segmentation and Targeting in Improving CR

If your email list is segmented, then you will be able to set up targeted email campaigns that the recipients will find relevant, resulting in a higher click rate.

iii. Strategies to Enhance Email Click Rate

  1. Personalize Your Emails: Use the recipient’s name and tailor content to their interests.
  2. Optimize for Mobile: Many users read emails on mobile devices. Ensure your emails are mobile-friendly.
  3. Clear CTAs: Use clear, compelling calls-to-action like “Shop Now” or “Learn More.”
  4. A/B Testing: Regularly test different elements of your emails to find what works best.
  5. Timing: Send emails at times when your audience is most likely to engage.

What is Click Through Rate (CTR)?

Click-Through Rate is often used synonymously with Click Rate. However, it can also specifically refer to the percentage of recipients who clicked on a particular link or CTA within an email, analyzing the performance of that specific element in driving engagement.

How To Calculate Email Click Through Rate?

The calculation of a link click through rate is easy. You will need the following data:

  1. Number of recipients who clicked on a particular link.
  2. The number of emails delivered.

Then use the formula:

  • CTR = (Total recipients who clicked on the link/Total Emails Delivered) x 100%

Factors Influencing Click Through Rate

Several factors can influence your link click-through rate:

i. Call-to-action (CTA) Placement and Design

The placement and design of your call-to-action (CTA) are crucial. It should be prominently placed where readers can easily find it, typically at the end of your email content or after a compelling message. The design of the CTA button also matters; it should stand out with contrasting colors and a clear, action-oriented message.

If you are not using any button, then the link placement has to be made in a way that it is noticeable easily. You can either use different formating, such as bullet points to show the link, use emojis, or use a contrast text color & text style (underline, italic, etc.) to highlight the link you want people to click.

ii. Level of Content Personalization

Personalization can dramatically affect your CTR. Emails that cater to the individual interests or needs of your recipients are more likely to result in clicks. For instance, if you run an online bookstore, sending personalized book recommendations based on a customer’s previous purchases or browsing history can lead to higher engagement and click-throughs.

Strategies to Enhance Email Click Through Rate

  1. Optimize Your Email Design: Ensure your email design is clean, uncluttered, and visually appealing. Use whitespace effectively to draw attention to your CTA.
  2. Segment Your Audience: Send targeted emails based on user behavior, preferences, or demographics to make your content more relevant and engaging.
  3. Craft Compelling Copy: Your email copy should be engaging, informative, and aligned with your CTA. Use persuasive language to guide readers toward the desired action.
  4. Link or CTA Placement: Place the link or the CTA button in a way so that it is easily noticeable and clear that it has to be clicked. Lead your copy into this link.
AspectEmail Click Rate (CR)Email Link Click Through Rate (CTR)
Measurement FocusTotal unique link clicks within an emailTotal unique clicks on a particular link in an email.
Calculation MethodTotal unique link clicks divided by the number of delivered emails.Total unique clicks on a specific link divided by the number of delivered emails.
Evaluation PerspectiveMeasures subject line and content enagaement.Measures content engagement and link placement.
Assessment ImplicationsReflects the overall effectiveness of engagement.Reflects the email engagement on the email copy and the link.
Optimization SignificanceAids in improving email subject line, content, and design.Helps optimize email copy transition and the link/CTA placement & design.

When To Prioritize Click Rate vs Click Through Rate

Normally, people consider the CTR as the click rate, however, you have to count them as separate metrics depending on your goal.

For instance, if you are sending a newsletter with a list of the latest blogs, you just want to track if anyone engaged with this newsletter as a whole. So, any blog a recipient clicks on is good enough to track and you may consider your newsletter successful.

However, let’s think of a different scenario. Suppose you have just launched a discount campaign. On the email body, you embedded a thumbnail that can be clicked to watch a promo video. And then, later in the email, you added a CTA button with a link to the sales page for this discount. Now, people watching the promo video are less of a concern here. It is just an added element to make people more interested. You rather are more interested in finding out how many people click on that CTA button. So, for this email, the CTR should be the percentage of the number of people who clicked on it compared to the total emails delivered.

Now, most email tools do not come with a default feature with individual link click through rate. They normally call the traditional click rate as click through rate. So, to track the click through rate of a particular link, you may use UTMs to get that data via Google Analytics.

They both paint different pictures as to how well your campaign is performing.

Utilizing Both Metrics for Comprehensive Email Campaign Assessment

Using CR and CTR together gives you a full picture of your email campaign’s performance. CR sheds light on how well your emails are performing as a whole, while the CTR lets you understand and estimate a possible success rate in terms of conversion goals.

You may track both to optimize your email campaigns based on the campaign types or even on a single campaign. For example, your email newsletter may have several blog links, and also a quick discount offer near the end. In this case, you may track the email click rate to understand the engagement capability of your email. And then track the click through rate of that link to understand how well that inclusion is working for you and if you should continue including such promotional stuff in your newsletters.

Together, they will help you plan your email strategy effectively.

Best Practices to Improve Email Engagement Metrics

Enhancing your email engagement metrics is key to the success of your email marketing campaigns. Let’s explore some best practices that can help you achieve higher click rates (CR) and click-through rates (CTR).

i. Crafting Compelling Subject Lines and CTAs for Higher CR and CTR

The power of a well-crafted subject line cannot be overstated. It’s the first thing your recipients see and can make the difference between an opened email and one that’s ignored.

For instance, a subject line like “Your Exclusive Offer Awaits!” is more likely to be opened than “Weekly Update.” Once opened, the effectiveness of your call-to-action (CTA) comes into play. A CTA like “Claim Your Offer Now” placed prominently can drive higher engagement and clicks, boosting both your CR and CTR.

ii. Conducting A/B Testing Based on CR and CTR Data Insights

A/B testing is a powerful tool in your email marketing arsenal. By testing different elements of your emails, you can see what resonates best with your audience.

For example, you might test two different subject lines to see which one yields a higher open rate (CR). Similarly, experimenting with different CTA designs or placements can reveal which variations drive a higher click-through rate (CTR). This data-driven approach ensures your decisions are based on what truly works for your audience.

iii. Personalization Strategies to Enhance CTR and Overall Campaign Success

Personalization is a game-changer in email marketing. Tailoring your emails to the interests and behaviors of your recipients can significantly boost engagement.

For example, using a recipient’s first name in the subject line or customizing content based on their past interactions with your brand can make your emails more relevant and engaging. This level of personalization not only enhances the CTR but also contributes to the overall success of your campaign by making each recipient feel valued and understood.


In wrapping up, it’s clear that both click rate (CR) and click-through rate (CTR) are essential metrics to help you track your email marketing success. They each offer valuable insights into different aspects of your email campaign’s performance.

Understanding and improving these metrics can significantly impact the success of your marketing efforts. Equally important is having a reliable tool such as Mail Mint, ActiveCampaign, etc., at your disposal to track these metrics effectively. With the right tool, you can monitor your campaign’s performance, make data-driven decisions, and continuously refine your strategy for better engagement and results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What’s the Difference Between Email Click Rate and Click-Through Rate?

Click rate measures the percentage of all recipients who clicked on a link in your email, while click-through rate is the percentage of recipients who clicked on a specific link in your emails. Both offer insights into different aspects of your email’s performance.

2. Which metric should I prioritize among Click Rate vs Click Through Rate?

They both are important and you should track them according to which one aligns with your email campaign goals.

3. Does Personalization Affect Email Click Rate?

Yes, personalization can greatly affect click rates. Personalized emails, which may include the recipient’s name or content tailored to their interests, tend to have higher engagement and an increased email click through rate.

4. Is A/B Testing Beneficial for Email Marketing?

Absolutely, A/B testing is highly beneficial in email marketing. It allows you to compare different versions of your emails to see which elements, like subject lines or CTA buttons, perform better in terms of open rates and click-through rates.

5. Can a high email Click Rate guarantee a high Click Through Rate and vice versa?

Not necessarily. A high Click Rate indicates overall engagement with an email but doesn’t guarantee high Click Through Rate. A high CR might result from multiple link clicks by the same recipient, while CTR measures unique clicks on specific links.

Sakiba Prima

Sakiba Prima, the Content Editor at WPFunnels is passionate about making WordPress work wonders for your business. With a flair for simple yet effective sales & marketing tactics and handy tooltips, she turns complex ideas into easy reads.

Sakiba Prima

Leave a Comment

Keep reading