Click-Through Rate Formula

Chapter 01: Click-Through Rate Formula

What Is Click-Through Rate?

Sometimes, marketing feels like shooting in the dark. You send emails, create blog posts, or run ads, measuring things like impressions or views. You may know how many people saw your marketing campaign, but were they really interested in it?

Luckily, click-through rates help tell the bigger picture. Click-through rate, often referred to as CTR, is a ratio of people who click on a specific link to the number of total people who view the page, email, blog post, or advertisement. In other words, click-through rates tell you how many people engaged with your content.

It’s important to note that click-through rates measure the immediate response of marketing assets, but not the overall effect. CTR measures the number of people who clicked on a link to arrive at the destination, but does not include people who failed to click the link, but also arrived at the same destination later, as a result of seeing your marketing assets.

CTR Formula

While the actual percentage will vary depending on channel, medium, and content, the click-through rate formula always stays the same: the number of total clicks your content received divided by the total number of impressions.

Prior to doing this math, however, you need to keep two things in mind:

  1. Actual number of clicks: There are two different types of click totals you can receive. The first is the number of clicks by an individual person (known as unique clicks) and the second is the overall number of clicks. Before calculating your click-through rate, you need to determine which type of clicks you’ll be using: Unique clicks: When the same person clicks your link multiple times, it will only ever count as one total click. Overall clicks: When the same person clicks your link multiple times, it will count for as many clicks as that person made. For example, a person who clicked a link half a dozen times would count as six total clicks.
  2. Bounced emails: When calculating CTR for email, be sure to account for email bounces. With every email you send, a number of those emails will “bounce” or not be successfully delivered to every single inbox. In order to get an accurate click-through rate, make sure to subtract the number of emails that bounce from the total number of emails sent for an accurate impressions total before calculating.

Once you have determined your strategy for counting the number of clicks and have the total number of impressions, you can plug your numbers into the equation:

CTR = (Number of clicks / Impressions) X 100

The final number will be the percentage of clicks you are generating, also known as your click-through rate.

When calculating your CTR, keep the following in mind:

  • A “low” percentage is normal: Typical click-through rates live somewhere in the single digits, so don’t be alarmed if you think yours is too low.
  • Average rates vary across markets: Thanks to a specific audience and niche subject matter, nonprofit organizations and schools tend to see higher click-through rates than retail companies.
  • Consistency is key: Keep track of how you measure CTR and always choose the same click number structure. This will help you maintain accurate data and adjust your marketing strategies appropriately.

How to Improve Click-Through Rate

Click-through rates are not the be-all, end-all metric of success, however they do offer a powerful window into what your customers are interested in and the likelihood of moving them through the sales funnel.

While a high click-through rate doesn’t necessarily correlate to a high conversion rate, the more customers who consume your content, the better!

Here are three ways to improve your click-through rate:

  1. Have strong calls to action: Sometimes your audience just needs some guidance. Whether you want them to “swipe up,” “buy now,” or “register,” make sure your calls to action are clear and concise.
  2. Don’t forget about design: Think carefully about where you’re placing links in your marketing campaigns, what color they are, and if they have any sort of design around them. Sometimes just a slight design change can make a big difference in generating clicks.
  3. Test your content: A/B testing is an easy, scalable way to improve click-through rates. Test everything from font color and size to word count and use your findings to better craft future campaigns.

Interested in boosting CTR for mobile ads specifically? Read our seven tips for increasing clicks on mobile ads.

Final Thoughts

Unlike generic impressions, click-through rates show you exactly what your customers are interested in and engaged with. Make sure to listen to that. When you listen, learn, and respond to what your audience is already telling you, you can generate more clicks, more revenue, and a better customer experience.

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