How to use gamification to improve your click-through rate (CTR)

If you work in marketing, you’ve probably heard the term click-through rate before. Your CTR tells you how many people see your ads – and how many of them click on them. The click-through rate is therefore a key indicator of how effectively you are marketing your brand. Gamification can help you significantly improve your CTR. We’ll show you why in this blog.

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How to use gamification to improve your click-through rate (CTR)

What is CTR and why is it important?

The theory behind CTR is simple: your ads and emails have a certain number of views (impressions) and a certain number of clicks. The click-through rate indicates the percentage of people who see your ads and click through to your landing page.

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What is CTR and why is it important?

It should be obvious that this is a crucial metric for the success of your marketing strategy. The more people click on your links, the higher the probability that your product will sell. 

Basically, you need a certain number of impressions for your click-through rate to be meaningful. From around 100 impressions, you can tell how well your campaigns, ads or keywords are performing by looking at the CTR.

How do you recognize a good CTR?

The quality of click-through rate will vary depending on the context. For example, a good value for Search Ads is significantly different from a good value for Display Ads. In addition, the industry also plays a significant role.

According to HubSpot, the average CTR across industries is 1.91% for Search Ads and 0.35% for Display Ads.

Wordstream cites a benchmark of 2% for Pay-Per-Click Ads (PPC) and 2 to 5% for “competitive” industries, respectively, and over 5% for “non-competitive” industries, as potential customers here logically have fewer choices, which increases the likelihood of reaching them with an ad. The figures refer to Google’s search network.

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How do you recognize a good CTR?

Those who advertise on Facebook have to settle for significantly lower average rates of 0.05 to 0.1%. This is because users there rarely have the intention of buying something or finding out about products.

A good value for banner ads is 2%, although the average here is much lower at 0.25%. For email newsletters, the click-through rate should be between 10 and 20%, since personalization and behavioral data can be used to target customers very precisely.

Industry-specific differences

Depending on the industry, average click-through rates can look very different. For example, according to a Wordstream study from 2021, the average CTR in the Arts & Entertainment sector is 10.67%. In areas like Legal (3.84%) or Education (5.46%), you tend to have to settle for much lower click-through rates. The average CTR for all listed industries is 6.18%. This is obviously the value for all digital advertising efforts, including email marketing.

Why the click-through rate is significantly higher in some industries than in others can be easily explained: It is easier to reach consumers emotionally with topics from the entertainment or tourism sector and thus attract their attention than, for example, with a financial service that requires explanation. Against this background, banks and insurance companies, for example, face particular challenges when it comes to arousing interest and achieving good click rates within seconds. Below you will see that gamification has proven to be a successful concept for higher CTRs.

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Industry-specific differences

In any case, click-through rate is an important KPI for the Quality Score of your ads. However, to really understand how well your ads, content, or offers are performing, you need to look at them in the context of other important metrics, such as conversion rate. After all, in the end, it’s not just about people clicking on your ads, but also about them subsequently buying your product or contacting you.+

Thurgau Tourism: CTR and open rate significantly increased thanks to gamification

According to Inxmail, the average click rate in the tourism industry is 12.4%, slightly higher than in the Wordstream study (8.54%). In the case of Thurgau Tourism, it moved up to 13.9% before the company decided to offer its target groups an interactive user experience via an advent calendar. This worked so well that the CTR climbed by almost three percent to 16.2%. The opening rate for newsletter mails also increased massively thanks to the gamification approach: it rose from 50.0% to 57.3%.

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Thurgau Tourism: CTR and open rate significantly increased thanks to gamification

Reaching young target groups with “dry” topics

Bank EKI faced the challenge of familiarizing younger target groups with the benefits of a new savings plan. This initially proved to be laborious – until the bank started to address its target groups via an interactive gamification approach. Using a “hit or myth” game concept, users could swipe their way through information on the savings plan. Additional motivation came from the possibility to win a starting credit of CHF 500 while playing.

The result was more than convincing: the bank achieved a very good response with the gamification concept in the regional catchment area and was thus able to record a significant increase in high-quality leads. The branches were also frequented more frequently as a result.

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Reaching young target groups with “dry” topics

At Bank Cler, the aim was to provide customers with information and services on the subject of “money in relationships” in an entertaining way. To arouse the curiosity of the target groups, the bank implemented a quiz (without a prize game). The campaign ran on various media channels and achieved more than 17. million impressions. In direct comparison with previous campaigns without a gamification concept, the CTR increased by 1.03%, while 68% of users completed the quiz. A complete success for Bank Cler, which was able to position itself among potential customers as a specialist on the topic of “money in relationships” in the course of the campaign.

More attention through gamification

We are on the way to the so-called cookieless future. This means that, due to legal regulations, it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain the data needed for a personalized customer experience via third-party providers. It is therefore becoming increasingly important for companies to generate high-quality first-party data so that they can continue to respond optimally to the needs of their customers. This can only be achieved if you manage to capture the attention of your target groups and maximize your click-through rate – because before every lead and every conversion, there is a click on your ad. Gamification helps to increase CTRs across industries and thus ensures business growth.

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