• Email CTRs (click-through rates) give valuable insight into email performance.
  • CTR averages vary by industry and email type.
  • The significant difference between welcome email CTR and nurture email CTR can be attributed to the buyer’s journey.
  • Using action triggers is a simple way to improve your email CTR.

What is email CTR?

Email CTR, or email click-through rate, is a key email marketing metric that tells you how many subscribers who received an email clicked a link, image or button in that email.

How is CTR calculated?

To calculate the CTR for an email, divide the number of emails clicked by the number of emails delivered. Then multiply by 100.

The result — written as a percentage — will be your email CTR.

For example, consider an email campaign sent to 1,000 subscribers. If that email is delivered to 990 subscribers and 10 of them click the email, the email CTR will be:

(10 / 990 ) x 100 = 1.01

How to calculate email CTR (Click Through Rate)

Why is it important to pay attention to your email CTRs?

Email CTR is one of the key email marketing metrics you should be paying attention to as a marketer or copywriter.

It’s usually a good indicator of your email’s level of engagement.

While most email benchmark reports provide email CTR statistics categorized by industry, our focus here will be on the CTR for 2 types of emails — welcome emails and nurture emails.

What is the average email CTR for welcome emails?

Welcome emails typically have higher CTRs than other email types, including nurture emails.

According to GetResponse, in 2021, welcome emails had an average open rate of 68.59% and an average CTR of 16.05%.

Those results were more than 3 times the averages for newsletters and other types of nurture emails.

Email CTR - Welcome emails


The results look much different for nurture emails.

What is the average email CTR for nurture emails?

Nurture emails aren’t just your email newsletters, though these are definitely part of the nurture experience for subscribers.

Autoresponders and triggered emails are also considered nurture emails.

According to the same GetResponse report, newsletter emails have some of the lowest click-through rates of all nurture emails — 2.51% — compared to other types of nurture emails.

Triggered emails have a CTR of 5.31%, while autoresponder emails have a CTR of 3.77%.

Even combined, the overall average for nurture emails — 3.86% — is still significantly lower than the CTR for welcome emails (16.05%).

Email CTR - nurture emails


What accounts for the difference between welcome email CTRs and nurture email CTRs?

We’ve seen that welcome emails have higher CTRs than other email types, including nurture emails.

This difference can be tied to the different stages of the customer journey.

Welcome emails are usually the subscriber’s first encounter with a brand.

They receive these emails because they’ve opted in, signed up for something, downloaded an offer and started a free trial.

At this point, the user is highly engaged and anticipating the brand’s email. This also means they’re more likely to open and click that email.

I really want it - the office gif


Nurture emails are a different story.

For starters, newsletters are sent consistently over an extended period of time — usually on the same day of the week with varied cadence.

Likewise, many autoresponders and nurture campaigns are sent based on some predefined schedule that pays little attention to the subscriber’s current needs.

I didn't ask for this - Walking Dead gif


This often results in reduced engagement as subscribers lose interest over time.

How to improve your email CTRs

Whether you’re writing welcome emails or nurture emails, a major key to improving your CTR is to work on your email open rates.

Think about it. People can’t take action on emails they don’t open.

Before you rush off to try the spray and pray approach, remember that too many emails is one of the most common reasons why users unsubscribe from an email list.

You need to find the balance between sending too many and not enough.

If you overwhelm your subscribers, you risk causing them to ignore your emails or unsubscribe from your list.

Too many of them gif


So what’s a marketer to do?

Focus on sending relevant emails

If it’s not relevant, don’t send it just for the sake of sending something.

Increase the relevance of your emails by focusing on behavior-based triggers.

Behavior-based triggered emails are based on user actions, making them highly relevant.

This explains why they have a higher click-through rate than newsletters and generic autoresponder emails.

Consider including the following triggers in your email sequences for improved open rates and click-through rates:

  • Action started
  • Action completed
  • Time since action started, without completion
  • Time since action completed, without conversion or next action
Email triggers to use to improve open rates


In the video below, Jo discusses the impact that sending relevant emails can have on your email open rates.

An additional resource

When you’re ready to improve your email open rates and click-through rates, consider the 10X Emails course from Copyhackers.

The course goes in depth, teaching you how to plan and write engaging action-triggered emails.

Plus, there are over-the-shoulder tutorials and boot camp recordings with writing workshops and templates.

Join now.