CTOR (Click-to-Open Ratio) Simplified

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Many businesses new to email marketing usually know about only two metrics to determine the success of a campaign, i.e., open rate and click-through rate. However, a third metric offers a more insightful look into the performance of an email marketing campaign.

It is called Click-to-Open Ratio or Rate (CTOR). Many who have heard of CTOR don’t understand how it works. If you are in any way confused about this crucial email marketing performance indicator, continue reading. This post will endeavor to simplify CTOR for you and dispel any misconceptions that may exist about it.

What Is Click-to-Open Ratio/Rate?

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A simplified definition of CTOR. CTOR is the ratio of the number of Call To Action clicks and the number of opened emails. Suppose an email campaign has an open rate of 60% and a click-through rate of 20%. If we consider that 100 emails went out in total, then Click Through Rate (CTR) will be 20, and the number of opened emails will be 60.

By dividing CTR (20) by the number of opened emails (60), you can calculate the CTOR.

CTOR = 20/60

CTOR = 0.33

You can calculate the CTOR percentage by multiplying the obtained number by 100.

CTOR percentage = 33.33%

How Is the Click-to-Open Ratio Linked to Open Rate and CTR?

By the above definition, you can tell what CTOR is. This metric tells you how many recipients who have opened the email proceed to click on the link given in the email. In other words, CTOR is a metric that combines open rate and CTR metrics to paint an even better picture of email marketing performance.

What Is Considered a Good CTOR?

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Every business should strive for as maximum a CTOR as possible. However, it is imperative to know what is generally considered a good CTOR in benchmarking email marketing performance. According to experts, CTOR percentage lingering between 20% and 30% is deemed suitable for a marketing campaign. In other words, if 20-30 people from 100 recipients who have opened a marketing email click on the given link, the email marketing campaign would be considered a success.

The Significance of Finding CTOR

Before we wrap up this CTOR explainer, let’s look at why finding out this value is essential to evaluating the performance of a marketing campaign.

When you find the CTOR, you essentially determine the gap between the opened emails and clicked-through emails. If you register low CTOR, it suggests that your subject line has persuaded recipients to open the email. However, it shows that most recipients did not click on the link given in the email’s body due to its content, format, or call-to-action. You can’t get this insight just by looking at the open rate or click-through rate.

For running email campaigns that can get an excellent click-to-open rate, you will need well-curated email lists and customized campaigns. And for that, you might consider the expertise of Marketing Results INT.


 Clifford Woods is the President and Financial Manager of Marketing Results International.