This one is a classic and offers the fundamentals on what metrics to look at first for your email marketing program.
Most marketers look at the click-through as a summary of the analysis in the life of a single campaign. They then measure it across campaigns by looking at how the each campaign performed comparing the click-throughs over time. While this might give you great results to see how well you are doing; it does very little to improve the overall effectiveness of your campaign.
In an analysis of some of the best email programs in the industry - here are some things you should do with your click-throughs:
1) Purchase Click - Thank the consumer for having purchased your product; set them up to receive survey about their purchase. Ask them about your product(s), your service and their feedback. Leverage this information into follow up campaigns - for better results, run this as a separate stream of communications. It is more targeted and will do better.
2) Click without Purchase - You now know what the user has clicked on, so leverage their click-through into your preference strategy for personalization. Highlight the item they clicked on as part of a follow-up campaign or include it as one of three offers in a subsequent campaign. In fact, it wouldn't be bad to get user feedback on the item they clicked on in a non-buyer survey down the road.
3) Bunch of Clicks - Track all the items they click on and personalize. Put out an email featuring a number of life stages to consumers - now track and see what life stage they are clicking on. Perhaps a click on College Education might give the financial institution data to try and personalize an offer on College Loans or Automobiles (the kid needs a car). If you are selling cities or products - give them a number of options, watch what they click on and then try to zero in.
4) Unsubscribe Click - Respect this click and do what I do, ask the unsubscriber why they have unsubscribed. This is extremely good information to help you improve your email program. More importantly, I am able to talk three out of ten unsubscribers into understanding my email program; re-subscribing and some have even become vocal promoters.
5) No Click - This is concerning, you have to try to keep your recipient engaged. Look for opportunities to solicit feedback or opinion from your recipient, else they will just fall off your list. If you have a call center or a direct mail program that can be leveraged - reach out to find out what is keeping the recipient away.
Click through information is a vital gauge on your online marketing program. It can give you focus for your campaigns.