A click-through rate (or CTR) is a metric that determines the number of clicks on email links from the number of delivered messages. For YouTube videos, it shows the percentage of clicks from the number of impressions (times when a video has been surfaced by YouTube algorithm.) In Google Ads, CTR is the number of clicks on the ads from the number of times they’ve been viewed.

In this video, the SendPulse marketer offers eight tips to improve email CTR.

Why is tracking a click-through rate important?

It’s a crucial digital marketing metric that helps companies monitor performance of their email marketing campaigns, YouTube videos, and PPC advertising. You can’t analyze how users engage with different types of content emotionally. However, people express their interest when they click through your content. This allows you to nurture them to the next lead funnel stage. Without tracking this metric, it will be completely unclear what impact your marketing campaigns make on your audience.

CTR indicates how effective your marketing approaches and methods are, as well as how accurate you target your audience. This metric also identifies whether you speak your clients’ language and whether you thought out your promotion campaign well. A click-through rate also allows you to compare your current campaigns with previous campaigns and realize if you move in the right direction. A low click-through rate is a wake-up call that tells you’ve made a mistake somewhere.

Let’s find out how to track this metric on different internet marketing channels.

How to Measure a Click-Through Rate

  • CTR formula for email campaigns
  • CTR formula for YouTube videos
  • CTR formula for PPC ads

CTR is calculated similarly for each channel where marketers use this KPI. Let’s see how to check your click-through rate on different platforms.

CTR formula for email campaigns

Here’s how to measure a click-through rate of your email campaign.

Email CTR = Number of clicks/Number of delivered emails x 100

A click-through rate, alongside the open rate, unsubscribe rate, bounce rate, etc., are automatically tracked after sending your email campaigns with SendPulse. This detailed statistical report looks like an infographic, so it’s easy to analyze.

Email CTR with SendPulse

You can also go beyond email CTR with a click map. It allows you to track precisely the links users click in the email. Here’s how this feature looks.

Click map at SendPulse

CTR formula for YouTube videos

Here’s how to calculate the YouTube video click-through rate.

YouTube video CTR = Number of clicks on the ad/Number of impressions

You can analyze CTR, watch time, average view duration, and the number of unique users in the “Analytics” tab in your YouTube Studio. A report shows a 4.9% click-through rate for videos over the last 28 days.

YouTube CTR

CTR formula for PPC ads

You can analyze this and more metrics in Google AdSense — a platform for tracking your advertisements’ efficiency.

PPC ads CTR = Number of clicks on the ad/Number of impressions

Here’s the “Home” tab in AdSense, where you can analyze your estimated earnings, including earnings by country, and performance metrics, including the number of page views, clicks, and CTR.

Google Adsense CTR

What is the average click-through rate?

This metric drastically differs between channels, industries, and brands. Let’s get acquainted with this data across the three channels:

  • Average CTR in email marketing. According to HubSpot, the highest average CTR is from 8.5% to 9.3% in retail, health, and manufacturing industries. The lowest average is from 6.8% to 7.1% in real estate and financial fields.
  • Average CTR for YouTube videos. According to YouTube, half of all videos on the platform have CTR from 2% to 10%.
  • Average CTR in PPC ads. According to WordStream, the highest average CTR for display ads is 3.4% for online dating industries. The lowest CTR is 1.3% for industrial services and legal industries

Let’s now find out how to improve your CTR for each channel.

5 Best Practices to Improve Email CTR

  1. Improve your open rate first
  2. Format your emails correctly
  3. Personalize your messages
  4. Use a straightforward CTA
  5. Run A/B testing

The key to success in email marketing is to build long-lasting relationships with your audience, share relevant content, and maintain your email list healthy. Let’s see five specific tips that are solely aimed at improving your click-through rate.

  1. Improve your open rate first. The open rate shows how many people opened your message. If this metric is low, so will be your CTR. Create catchy and relevant subject lines, enrich them with preheader text, and clean your email list from inactive email addresses to improve your open rate.
  2. Format your emails correctly. Make sure your email looks professional and has a responsive design, so that it displays well on all devices including smartphones. Users will be less likely to engage with wrongly formatted email, in fact, they may even unsubscribe or mark your email as spam.
  3. Personalize your messages. Segment your audience into groups that have common interests. This will help you create relevant and personalized emails and come up with irresistible offers and discounts at the right time. With personalization, you can bring more value to your audience, increasing CTR.
  4. Use a straightforward CTA. It’s best to use only one call to action to better focus subscriber attention. A good CTA should tell users what their next step is. If you promote language courses, your call to action should say “Learn more” or “Buy now” in case you’ve already described all the details in the email. If you send an abandoned cart email, it’s best if your CTA says “Proceed to checkout” or “Return to cart.”
  5. Run A/B testing. This feature allows you to compare different variations of subject lines, CTAs, text, images to find out what works best. A/B testing is free for SendPulse users.

Let’s see how to get more clicks on your videos.

3 Best Practices to Improve CTR for YouTube Videos

  1. Work on your title and thumbnail
  2. Adjust your content for your target audience
  3. Analyze your audience’s retention

Like in email marketing, the quality of your content is crucial for generating more clicks and views. Here’s what you should try to improve things.

  1. Work on your title and thumbnail. If your video gets many impressions on YouTube while only a few people click to watch it, it means your title and thumbnail are not catchy, or the video itself doesn’t meet user expectations.
  2. Adjust your content for your target audience. Define your target audience, what language they speak, as well as their needs and pain points. Stepping into your viewers’ shoes is a great way to create awesome content that users will likely engage with and click at.
  3. Analyze your audience’s retention. Look for patterns in your audience retention graphs. This will help you understand why users close your video without watching to the end and what holds their attention. Use these insights to craft better content and increase your CTR.

6 Best Practices to Improve your PPC ads CTR

  1. Use a countdown timer to create FOMO
  2. Use ad extensions
  3. Put the primary keyword in the ad’s URL
  4. Use a straightforward CTA in your banner ads
  5. Test different ad types
  6. Use remarketing

Digital ads have the lowest CTR among other channels, but immerse global reach of these advertisements makes it worth a while. Let’s review six tips to improve it.

  1. Use a countdown timer to create FOMO. It’s a good idea to add time-sensitivity to your ad. If you tailor your ads to the right audience, this technique will help you win more clicks.
  2. Use ad extensions. These extensions allow you to upgrade your search ads on Google. Using them, you can enrich your ad snippet in SERP with specific location, contact, ordering, and app information. You can attract more users to your site by showing them specific details, for instance, product prices.
  3. Put the primary keyword in the ad’s URL. Users who see your ad in Google SERP will notice that your company specializes in a certain field such as yoga classes. This will add more reasoning to click through your ad.
  4. Use a straightforward CTA in your banner ads. Clarify what happens when the user clicks on the ad. People have a short attention span, so you need to catch their focus with a clear CTA right away. Any unclarity will reduce the number of clicks on your ads.
  5. Test different ad types. Try different types of ads, including search, display, and location ads. You never know which types work better for your industry unless you try.
  6. Use remarketing. This form of online advertisement allows you to show your ads to users who have previously interacted with your ad multiple times. Although some people find this irritating, it may help you drive more warm leads to your website.

Congratulations, you’ve learned what CTR is in digital marketing! We hope this guide will help you improve your CTR.


  1. This article on Constant Contact blog defines email CTR, considers the average CTR, and describes the factors influencing this metric.
  2. The article provides practical tips to increase email CTR.
  3. The article provides tips to improve email marketing metrics along with CTR.
  4. In this article on HubSpot, you'll find 11 sure-fire ways to increase email CTR.
  5. The article provides 14 actionable tips to improve email CTR.
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