Clearing up the confusion - Click Through Rates

What is a Click Through Rate?

Click Through Rates (CTRs) are a vital statistic with which engagement and interest levels with newswire and bespoke email content can be measured. Often misunderstood in marketing circles, it simply measures the percentage of those who open an email who also click on links within the email’s content. Thus one could calculate an overall CTR for a particular email, so the proportion of those who opened the email who clicked on any link that lay within. Alternatively, one can calculate a CTR for a particular link within an email. This is particularly useful for newswires containing multiple insertions linking to variously branded content.

How do we calculate Click Through Rate?

After some deliberation amongst the campaigns team at SiftMedia, we have decided to change the data we use to calculate Click Through Rate. This will be streamlined across campaigns as old campaigns come to an end.

Click Through Rate is now being calculated using total opens and total clicks, where previously total opens and unique clicks were used. In addition to the obvious advantage that this method brings – a higher CTR – it is also more logical since it does not mix up ‘unique’ and ‘total’ metrics. The following example displays this clearly; CTR increases by 0.67% when the total clicks metric is used. 

Why total rather than unique?

A final point to make clear is the reason for using total opens and clicks, rather than unique opens and clicks. The total metric is the one which is most commonly employed within the industry. In addition, engagement with display advertising is measured using total impressions and clicks, thus using the total metric for newswire and bespoke email CTRs ensures reporting consistency across advertising campaigns. 

Unique clicks do however remain an important statistic. They are used to analyse engagement levels with newswire insertions that click through to content to which recipients can respond, for example by downloading a whitepaper or completing a survey. Thus the calculation of a response rate (clicks /number of responses) might be necessary. Since duplicated responses are not useful, using unique clicks ensures metric uniformity within the calculation of response rate.  


Katherine Brand Sift Media Tuesday 01 January 2013