When you’re analyzing your email metrics, as all good marketers ought to do, there’s a chance that you might discover your CTOR isn’t what it used to be. If that happens, don’t be sad, and don’t panic. OK, maybe a little.
If your CTOR is low, this could be a sign telling you that your content is not as exciting or engaging as you thought. However, it could also mean you just need to change your benchmark based on how many of your subscribers are opening your emails on their mobile devices.
2014 was declared “the year of mobile” by many, and it is now common knowledge that 65-70% of emails are opened on mobile devices. But it’s important to keep in mind that while Click Rates might not be affected by the device an email is opened on, Click-to-Open Rates are.
This is due to the complex nature of Open Rates on mobile devices. Your subscribers either click or don’t; hence, the number of total clicks will stay the same regardless of device. But with the different default settings of email clients on mobile devices, the number of people actually opening your email will be affected. This all goes back to the way your opens are being calculated.
Every time somebody opens an email, a small tracking pixel is loaded as an image. This image will then let the sender know it has been loaded, and therefore, the email has been opened. Pretty straightforward, right? The problem is that some mobile email clients don’t load images by default, in order to prevent high data consumption. This, in turn, affects your Open Rate.
If you’re evaluating your content based on its CTOR as your primary metric, keep in mind that the Open Rate factors into your numbers. After all, your Open Rate might not be representative of how many people actually open and read your email, so neither is the percentage of people that opened and clicked.
The key takeaway here: It’s no major cause for concern if your CTOR is bouncing up and down. So before you start to lose sleep, take a look at the change in your mobile users first. Then compare your dynamic content blocks to each other and assess the relative performance. That should reveal whether your CTOR benchmark is simply going through an expected reset from the shift in device technologies, or if you have specific content blocks or block types that need to be optimized.