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How to Optimize Messages for Clicks in a Post-iOS World

Tom Simpkins
Tom Simpkins
Content Marketing Manager
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Apple has announced significant privacy changes to their operating system, which will be included in the upcoming iOS 15 release. It’s safe to assume that iPhone users around the world will welcome the improvements. 

However, to marketers, the updates mean only one thing—the open rate metric is dead. Now it’s time to focus on how to improve email click-through rate.

Out of all mobile operating systems, iOS holds a market share of approximately 53% in the United States and 27% worldwide. By the time iOS 15 rolls in, marketers will no longer be able to track when recipients open emails on the iPhone’s Mail app. 

Although this change is limited to iOS (for now), tracking opens on Android and other operating systems will leave you with incomplete and unreliable data. 

Naturally, unreliable equals useless.

This is a monumental change for marketers and practically all businesses that rely heavily on email conversions. However, don’t lose hope. If your strategy has always been anchored on authentic engagement, you just need a few tweaks to keep you going.

If not, now’s the time to revamp your email marketing strategy. Focus on how to increase click-through rate, and work on engaging with your subscribers.

Omnisend’s email builder makes it easy to optimize for clicks rather than just opens. Plus, built-in reports tell you everything you need to know about the performance of your campaigns. Click here to start get started with Omnisend for free.

How to Calculate Email Click-Through Rate

Despite the changes in iOS, click-through rates will remain relevant. In email marketing, click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of recipients that not only opened your email but actually clicked on a link within it. 

Here’s how you work it out:

It’s good to know how to calculate email click-through rate. However, all email marketing platforms should already track this out of the box. 

Pay attention to it. Apart from conversions, it is now your most critical metric for campaign performance.

How to Improve Email Click-Through Rate

Successful marketing requires engagement. Currently, indicators of engagement include open rate, click-through rate (CTR), and click-to-open rate (CTO). 

Since iOS click-through rate is expected to be unaffected by the privacy changes, CTR will be your remaining reliable metric. 

Moving forward, your focus needs to be on how to improve CTR. Generally, this involves looking into how to be more engaging with your marketing. This includes crafting relevant messages and segmenting your subscribers for personalization.

Of course, you should also aim to design your emails with more compelling elements to click on. 

In particular, here are some of the most effective things you can do to boost CTR.

6 Examples of How to Improve CTR

Add Interactive Elements

Interactive elements are pieces of content that encourage recipients to actively engage with your email. Scratch-off emails are an excellent example.

The prospect of a reward is enough to encourage subscribers to participate by clicking and dragging over the scratch card.

The following email from Go Bahamas+ is an excellent example of how to increase click-through rate using an interactive scratch card. Prizes don’t have to be costly, nor does every email need to have a winning card. 

However, the possibility of winning something with a simple click-and-scratch action makes it an effective email marketing design element.

Ask Questions

Questions are inherently engaging, especially open-ended ones that recipients just can’t help but consider. If you give them an effortless way to answer, they probably will. 

Of course, it helps to be clear about what subscribers could gain by clicking through and sending a response.

This email by online learning platform Skillshare is a good example of using questions to engage your subscribers. It includes creative visuals and an easy way to answer questions. 

To subscribers, it’s just like answering a fun, inconsequential online quiz—but it’s actually a good way to get recipients to click through and try some classes.

Include Product Recommendations

Product recommendations can comprise up to 31% of total revenue. To reach that level of effectiveness, recommendations need to be highly relevant. 

The level of personalization in product recommendations is critical to encouraging clicks and, ultimately, driving sales.

Airbnb is a company that has mastered how to improve CTR using recommendations. In this example, the company uses booking details to determine the best messaging for the recipient. 

The email includes a perfectly curated itinerary to promote relevant Airbnb Experiences nearby. Recipients are surely compelled to click on at least one recommendation as they look to make the most of their trip.

Insert Social Proof

As much as 91% of shoppers check recommendations and reviews. They do so before deciding whether to buy a product or avail of a service.

Knowing this, you should use your emails to engage your subscribers using social proof

This might include user-generated content from your social media accounts or product reviews from your ecommerce store. The key is to provide genuine social content regarding products and services that are relevant to every recipient.

This email by smart mattress company Eight Sleep uses social proof in one of the most effective ways. Testimonials from customers encourage their subscriber base of athletes to click through and enjoy similar experiences.

Ask for Product Reviews

Reviews are valuable marketing assets. While publishing reviews help gain customer trust, asking for them helps foster loyalty. 

They reinforce the fact that you care about your customers’ thoughts—and that each one can contribute to improving your offerings. A timely email asking for a review will prompt your customer to ponder on their experience. 

Hopefully, this will leave them to click through and participate in creating a better product, service, and brand.

This email from Target hits the mark.

It’s a useful example of how to improve CTR through product review requests. It includes an instantly recognizable photo of a recent purchase, compelling copy that emphasizes helping other customers, and buttons with clear calls to action.

Improve your Design Templates

Effective email templates aren’t just about visual appeal and branding.

They should involve clever use of design to draw recipients’ attention to specific elements. Once they’re looking in the right place, you’ve got to spur them into action. 

In this case, you want them to click or somehow interact with your email. 

In this message from PlayStation, the most prominent elements are the three blue boxes, two of which require a click to reveal information.

This, naturally, encourages clicks. The design and layout combined to provide just enough content to entice recipients to click through.

Wrap Up

Focusing on how to improve CTR is the best way you can keep your email campaigns stable. As opens become irrelevant with the iOS 15 release, you should focus on optimization.

Optimize your messages—use compelling content, engaging designs, and interactive elements that encourage clicks.

Ultimately, the success of any email marketing campaign relies on engagement. Of course, segmentation and targeting for personalization remain to be the best way to engage subscribers. 

However, every single message also has to be purposefully crafted to improve email click-through rate. Clicks, after all, are precursors to conversions.

Enable your business to adapt and thrive in a post-iOS 15 world. Click here to start with Omnisend for free.

Tom Simpkins
Tom Simpkins

A proud member of the Omnisend team, Tom is a Content Marketing Manager with years of content, SEO, and marketing experience. When not at work, Tom is mixing up cocktails, cooking up a storm, or simply being a massive nerd with comics, books, and games.