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Rutger Bremer12/10/15 12:00 AM2 min read

How mail settings improve the click through rate (CTR)

This is the 3rd blog of the Insight Session Series: Create the perfect communication flow for your event. In our previous blog we focussed on the layout of the mail campaign. This edition elaborates on how your mail settings can improve your open rate and click through rate (CTR).

The devil is in the details

The email settings consist of your database, salutations, reply-to address and subject lines. These settings may look pretty standard, but you will be surprised by the effect of the right subject line on your open rate. And preparing your database upfront can save you a lot of time. These details make all the difference in your total mail campaign. Here is how you set them right:

Step 1. Clean up your database

You can save time if your database is all up to date and well structured:

  • Use a different tab for every target group (in Excel)
  • Be consistent in the salutation (name, infix, last name)
  • Check for typo’s, spaces or empty fields in the Excel sheet


Tip: When you collect databases from multiple team members, ask the team to fill in your Excel template instead of sending their own. It will save you many hours revising the database.

Step 2. Be consistent in sender name and signature

Use one name for the email sender as well as the name of the signature in the mail footer. This can be either your own name, the name of the event host, or the name of the company. Whichever one you decide to use; use it consistently. This makes it easier for your recipient to recognize your emails, open them and read them.

Step 3. Choose the right reply-to email address

People tend to reply to the email directly if they have any special requests. Make sure these emails are sent to the right person: someone who has time and knowledge to answer questions about the event, and don’t use a general mail address. Keep in mind that also bounced emails and out of office replies will be sent to this address.

Step 4. Select your subject line with care

The subject line is the first text your recipient will read:

  • You want them to open the mail, so make it worth reading!
  • Mention your call-to-action in the subject line (for example: “save-the-date”).
  • Use short and clear subject lines.
  • Avoid words like sales, discount, special action, as well as characters like ‘!?#*%()’ in order to avoid spam robots.


Increase the click-through-rate of your event email invitations 

Step 5. Fit the salutation to your target group

Only you know how your invitees like to be addressed (Dear, Hi, … first name, last name) Make sure your salutation fits their preference and be consistent in the salutation in all the email invitations you send.


There are many aspects that influence the open rate and CTR of your email. When you play with these settings, you will notice a difference in your open rate and CTR. Try to find out what works best for your target audience and use it for all your next mail campaigns.

Now you know how to set the mail right, the next (and final) blog will help you how to read your mail results and improve your open rate and CTR. Don’t miss it!


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