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“Help! My Click Rate is Low. Am I landing in Spam?"

Nov 28, 2023

In case you’ve missed it, I’ve been offering FREE Strategy calls to help e-commerce stores become more profitable with the help of email and sms marketing. 


Recently, I had an interesting strategy call and I thought I would share it here in case anyone else is struggling with a similar issue. 


The brand is a parenting brand who targets new moms. 


She had recently had a call with another email marketer who advised their low click rate could spell trouble… 


Specifically, that they may be having a deliverability issue and landing in spam. 


This is scary stuff. 


I’ve worked with brands in the past who have come to me with deliverability issues and I won’t sugar coat it… it is a tough predicament to come out of. 


I’ve seen brands go completely downhill because of the revenue lost due to these issues. 


So, if you can relate, and you’re having issues that could point to deliverability, I encourage you to look into it ASAP. 


But before we raise a red flag, let’s discuss what constitutes a low click rate, when it spells deliverability issues, and how we can repair it (hopefully) before it becomes a serious issue. 


What is a Low Click Rate?


Click rate is simply the % of people who clicked on a link in your email. It’s calculated using the total number of people who were sent the email (vs. click thru rate which is the % of people who clicked out of the number of people who opened the email). 


Click rate is an important metric to monitor because it is one indicator of how effective your emails are. 


If a large % of people are clicking on your links, that can represent interest in the content and products you’re featuring. 


If a lot % of people are clicking, that can alert you to potential problems. 


The specific % that would be considered either high or low depends on a few different factors, but here’s how I would recommend determining if your click rate is good or if it needs some help. 


The first test is to compare your click rate to your past performance. 


First, compare your 30-day click rate to the previous 30 days. 


Then, compare your 30-day click rate to last year’s click rate during the same time frame. 


If you’re seeing a constant decline, this could indicate a problem. 


The second test is to compare your click rate to other similar brands. 


Klaviyo offers an easy way to do this inside the Benchmarks tab. 


They’ll even tell you if your 30-day campaign click rate is Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor (as compared to similar brands who also use Klaviyo) right on your Campaign Dashboard. Keeping an eye on this is a quick and easy way to monitor performance, even if you’re not into looking too closely at the numbers. If you’re fair or below, I recommend evaluating further or consulting an expert. 

This particular brand that I spoke with had a lower than average click rate (less than Good), so they do need to improve. 


When is low Click Rate an Issue?


Unfortunately, there is no clear number that indicates when click rate has turned from simply low engagement to a deliverability issue (meaning, you’re landing in spam). 


But let’s take a quick look at the significance of click rate and what that can tell you about your performance. 


First, click rate is one engagement factor that lets email servers (like Gmail and Yahoo) know if your domain sends content that people like, or if it sends content that people aren’t interested in. 


If your domain constantly sends emails that bounce, have a high unsubscribe or spam complaint, and a low click rate…


You’re going to eventually end up in spam with an uphill battle ahead of you if you want to get out. 


But click rate alone isn’t the only factor. And sometimes, click rate can be low because of other reasons. 


So, rather than looking at click rate in isolation, I like to look at click rate along side other metrics. 


For example, is click rate low in both campaigns AND flows? This is worse than just campaigns alone. 


Is it low and also spam rate is high? This could mean a brand has incorrectly collected leads. 


Is it low but open rate is really high? This could mean you haven’t correctly set up an engaged segment and you’re sending to an audience full of Apple bots. 


Ideally, you want open rate, click rate, and placed order rate to all be rated Good. 


How Can I Repair a Low Click Rate?


If you’ve determined that you’re reaching the inbox but click rate is low, here are a few things to try. 


  1. Change up the type of content you’re sending. If you’re always sending promo emails, try sending a really popular piece of content. You should see an instant increase in clicks if you’re reaching the inbox and segmenting properly. 
  2. Segment differently. I recommend sending 80% of the time to engaged subscribers. I define engaged as people who have opened, clicked, placed an order, or visited the site in the last 120 days. 
  3. Filter for Apple Privacy. This is often a common mistake for DIY email marketers. Apple has a setting where a subscriber’s phone will automatically open every email for them. This sends feedback back to your ESP that your email has been opened. However, we don’t know for sure if the email has been opened later by the actual person, or if it was only opened by the bot. If you don’t filter these subscribers out of your engaged list, you’ll see your open rate balloon while your click rate drops. Filtering these subscribers out of your engaged list should result in an immediate increase in click rate on the next send and a steady increase over the next 30 days. Your open rate will drop. That’s ok… it was artificially high to begin with. 

By keeping your click rate at a healthy rate, you can make decisions about your marketing because you’ll have a better indication whether you’re reaching the right people, whether they’re interested in your offers, which products they’re interested in, etc. 


You’ll also be able to see deliverability issues long before they become a serious issue because you’ll have a good baseline for your click rate. 


If you find that you need help with this, or any other metric…


Or, if you just want to have an understanding of your metrics as a whole…


I encourage you to book a free strategy session. Myself or a member of my team will meet with you to answer your questions and give you 3 clear action steps to take to start seeing better results and higher profits using email and sms. 

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Q&A: When Should I Consider Someone Unengaged and What Do I Do?

Jan 31, 2024