Newsletter click-through rates statistics – what is a good click-through rate and how to improve it?

email click through rates



What are the average email newsletter click-through rates in your industry? We are reporting on the results of the 2019 UK Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Email Marketing Benchmark Report from 35 billion (!) emails sent in the years 2015-2019 by 9 large UK email service providers – to see what are the good newsletter click-through rates for different types of businesses and industries – and then – how you can actually improve them – with good email examples. 

Average newsletter click-through rates

You’ve sent your newsletters about a latest update or blog post you published (with a link to your relevant site) and now you’re looking at your stats and feeling mortified at the low (like, very low) click-through rates? 

Don’t worry – you’re not alone.

According to Direct Marketing Association’s Report, the average click-through rate for emails across all industries in 2018 was just 2.4%. 

What are the newsletter click-through rates for different industries?

The low click-through rates persist across different industries: as reported by Smart Insights, ‘Communications’ boasted the best email click-through rates at 6.38%, while the worst click-through rates occurred for ‘Agencies’ at 1.87%:

email click through rates by sector

So – as you can see – the differences in click-through rates are not massive between different industries.

In sum, even if you do a good job with your newsletter open rates – e.g. by nailing your subject lines – it seems pretty challenging to get your subscribers to click on the links you include in your newsletters. 

Why? One reason is that the newsletter you wrote is not exciting enough for your subscribers to want to read more there and then… which bring us to our next questions:

How to improve your newsletter click-through rates?


Now, let’s get to the core: your click-through rates don’t need to stay below 5%. In fact, there are some well-known practices that can improve your click-through rates by up to 300%. Let’s see what you can do!

👉 First of all…be more interesting 😉

bored sloth

Source: GIPHY

First and foremost – no magic trick will make people click on your newsletters if what you’re writing is simply boring them to death. So whatever you write about – write in a way that makes people want to read. 

Easier said than done? Here are a few tips: 

👉 First of all: tell a story. Your audience will not click on anything in your email, no matter how fancy the button, if they don’t feel like continuing reading something that has grabbed their attention in the first place. I love the example of how Mark and Angel – a coaching couple – use storytelling in their newsletters to exactly that:

Note that in order to succeed in this strategy, you need to use a tactic known from TV-series:

Cut the story short at the most interesting part. 

Insert the link to your blog into a ‘read more’ anchor text or button. 


👉use personal voice and personal experience

If you don’t happen to have any – borrow it from someone else:

Look at this example – it’s basically quoting a client’s email:

👉 make sure your newsletters are really relevant to your subscribers

Now this might sound obvious but…

If your audience is diverse, you may need to segment your list and send different emails to different members of your audience.

👉 give value first – unless you’re a B2C ecommerce store with a ‘discount’ email list – people are not going to click on your newsletters if the only thing you include in them is sales offers.

👉 Use Call-To-Action buttons

Usually, in order to get someone to do what you want – you need to ask them to do it 😉 And yet: when it comes to newsletters, a lot of people fail to include a clear CTA (call to action).

To make your CTAs more clickable, use a button with the CTA instead of simply a text link – having a CTA button can contribute to a 28% boost in click-through rates! (source: Campaign Monitor in Backlinko)

For optimal click-through rates, you should actually use not one, but three CTA buttons: using the same call-to-action in three different ways (with different anchor texts) is going to produce best click-through rates (Source: Technology of Marketing Conference/ Postfity)

Example: Carrie Green’s newsletter uses 3 buttons with a clear CTA:

  • ‘Listen to this week’s podcast’
  • ‘listen to this week’s podcast episode’
  • ‘join the challenge waitlist’

As you can see: 2 out of 3 CTAs are the same.



👉 Avoid using images in your emails

Newsletters without images boast not only higher open rates but also click-through rates.

This may sound counterintuitive, but most email clients don’t display external images:


images not displayed

Moreover, newsletters consisting mostly of images tend to land in spam more.

This is confirmed by Hubspot: the number of images in your newsletters correlates inversely with click-through rates. 

👉 Use GIFs


Source: GIPHY

Using video can improve click-through rates by up to 300% (source: Backlinko)

However, this file format is not supported by most email marketing tools (due to mostly large file-size).

Instead – you can use GIFs –from e.g.  GIPHY.


Feeling inspired? 😉 Sign up for our FREE email marketing account and start creating your newsletters!


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