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Misconceptions about Click-Thru Rate

For a long time, the holy grail of email statistics has been click-thru rate. The idea being that anyone that goes to the website is more likely to do something. However, for most B2Bs, focusing exclusively on click-thru rate leaves a much more valid statistic on the table: multiple opens.

So there are some reasons that a B2B may want an email recipient to go to their site:

1. To buy something directly—only applies for ecommerce sites.

2. To make a stronger case for contacting the B2B than can be made in an email.

In the first case, nearly all B2Bs with sites that have ecommerce capabilities and that are selling high-end products (more expensive than the average consumer product); require buyers to set up an account before they can buy. So if someone clicks thru to the site expecting to buy something immediately, they will be disappointed.

In the second case, why not make the strongest case you can make in the email itself? Why count on people taking that extra step of going to your site? So, some will say, the email should be short and to the point. I agree. However, if the beginning of the email is to the point, there is no reason that you can’t add a complete business case in the email itself. So you say, people don’t want to keep scrolling. I say, people will keep scrolling if they are interested. No one is forcing anyone to scroll.

OK, so now that you are a little less sold on click thru rate, what’s so important about multiple opens? In a nutshell, it’s an excellent indicator of interest. You can (correctly) infer a lot by looking at how many times one recipient opened an email.

1. They know someone that might be really interested and forwarded the email.

2. They read the email once, saw that it was important, and flagged it to reopen one or more times later.

If your CRM not only shows multiple opens, but also the times those emails were opened—that’s another great indicator of interest. For example, an email that was opened 3 times over the course of a week is a much better indicator of interest than an email that was opened 3 times in the space of 5 minutes.

So click-thru rate isn’t the best indicator of interest, it’s just the low-hanging fruit.

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