CTOR click to open rate

Click To Open Rate (CTOR) Complete Guide

Email marketing includes cold emailing and email list marketing. Cold emailing is sending emails to prospects and trying to turn them into leads and clients. Email list marketing is the practice of convincing your users to sign up for an email list and sending them relevant content to turn them into clients.

When it comes to email marketing, there are many important performance metrics to pay close attention to such as:

  • Open rate
  • Click rate
  • Reply rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • And a lot more

What is Click To Open Rate or CTOR?

One important metric that is usually forgotten is the Click To Open Rate (a.k.a CTOR). CTOR is calculated based on the number of people that opened your emails and clicked on the links or Call-To-Actions in there.

For example, if your email was opened 50 times and the links in there were clicked 25 times, then your CTOR will be calculated as follows:

(25/50)x100 = 50%

If you got 50% CTOR, your email campaigns are doing exceptionally well, most of the time, you will not get this high rate. Instead, the standard CTOR across industries is below 10%.

Another variant of CTOR is Unique CTOR which is calculated based on unique opens and clicks. Since one person can open and click links in the email many times, getting regular CTOR may not be best for your business.

In fact, there are quite many businesses that rely on Unique CTOR to evaluate their email campaigns’ performance.

What does Click To Open Rate or CTOR tell you?

A high CTOR percentage mainly tells you how relevant your email was to the recipients that opened it. A high CTOR doesn’t mean that your email campaign performed well.

For example, if you got only 10 opens and 5 clicks for a cold emailing campaign (50% CTOR) that targeted a list of 1000 recipients, your campaign actually did really badly. That’s only a 1% open rate and 0.5% click rate, if your email campaign has open and click rates like that, there must be something seriously wrong.

Therefore, CTOR isn’t the most important performance metric for you to pay all of your attention to.

The most important performance metrics for email marketing

Before investing the time and effort in understanding your campaign’s CTOR, make sure you already analyzed the below performance metrics:

  • Open rate
  • Click rate
  • Reply rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Conversion rate

The above five performance stats can tell a lot about your email campaigns. For example, if you got an open rate below 10%, there might be a lot of issues that need to be addressed first, the issues can be one or some of the followings:



A guide to better Click To Open Rate (CTOR)

Only look for ways to improve your CTOR when other more important metrics are already acceptable. For example, you should aim to get an open rate better than 35%.

When this is done, try the tips below to improve your CTOR:

Keep it concise

Keeping your subject line and content concise is one of the first steps to improve your CTOR.

Nobody wants to read a wall of texts. Your subject line should be as compelling as possible. To achieve this, try different subject lines to see which one works better.

Your subject line also should not contain spam-triggering words such as free, 100% satisfied, best price, discount, best price, save money, etc.

Your content should be concise as well. If your content is too long, consider using a tool to summarize texts. Creating an enticing summary is crucial for optimizing click rates. It should be brief, captivating, and offer a sneak peek into the content, sparking interest. Keep in mind, your objective is to pique the reader’s curiosity to click and explore more, so ensure every word is impactful.

One of the other tips to make your content great is adding bullet points to your content to improve its readability. Your email should also have a button for optimal click rate. Without a doubt, buttons are way more compelling for readers to click than regular URLs.

Make it relevant

Irrelevant emails will drive your recipients away immediately. When it comes to email copywriting, you should not prioritize anything over the relevancy of your emails.

Only send relevant content to your recipients for optimal engagement. Sending irrelevant content can put your domain at risk because irrelevant emails lead to a high spam report rate.

One of the tips to make your email relevant is to segment your recipients so that you can create different content that fits best to your segmented groups.

Segmentation can be done manually with your lists or automatically at the beginning stages of your prospect generation.

Personalize your email

People always want personalized content, they may feel disrespected if they constantly receive emails that sound general and automatic.

Therefore, you should personalize your emails as much as possible. Many email marketing software nowadays allow you to include several data points such as first and last name, company name, domain, etc in your email automatically. This helps make your recipients feel like the email was sent to them personally, not via an automatic tool and software.

Your first email to your recipients can be a template but you must treat their replies case by case to make your follow-ups as personalized as possible.

It’s also a good thing to always include a few links to valuable resources in case your recipients want to learn more about you.

Review your campaigns

It’s always important to review your campaigns to see if there’s any room for improvement. It’s always room for improvement but you should not make unnecessary or wrong changes. That’s why investing time and effort in analyzing your campaign’s performance stats and optimizing them for better results is crucial.

If you use email marketing software, this task can be easier since software nowadays provides users with a dashboard with detailed performance metrics, some might even provide recommendations for improvements.

It’s also a good idea to have other experts take a look, analyze your campaign’s performance and provide feedback or ideas on improving your campaigns.

Should I worry if my CTOR is low?

If your CTOR or Click To Open Rate is low, it’s showing that your emails are probably not very relevant or interesting to your clients. CTOR lower than 5% may indicate the following:

  • Irrelevant email content
  • Email content is not interesting
  • Your prospect list isn’t good because there are many contacts that are not interested in what you have to offer.

However, if your CTOR is low but your conversion rate is good, it’s not concerning because your ultimate goal should be making sales, not getting a good CTOR.


CTOR or Click To Open Rate is an email metric that indicates how relevant your emails are to your recipients. It’s not the most important factor since it doesn’t reflect accurately how well you’re making sales.

There are other more important email performance metrics that you should pay more attention to such as:

  • Open rate
  • Click rate
  • Reply rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Conversion rate

It’s not easy to improve your email marketing performance, it’s an ever-ending task that requires frequent optimization. One of the most important factors that decide the outcome of your email marketing effort is the quality of your prospect lists.

Your prospect contact information and other data about them must be accurate and up-to-date so that your campaigns can achieve the best conversion rate.