4 min.

The major advantage of click maps lies in offering an immediate picture of recipients’ engagement. We explain how they work and how they can be used to improve results.

Are you familiar with heat maps? These are a way to represent data graphically, with colours representing individual values. They are used in many fields, from journalism to sport and marketing.

Click maps are nothing more than a derivative of heat maps: they are tools that provide the reader with the so-called “click geography”; in other words, they offer a quantitative view of click distribution across a page or email

In this post, we will deep dive into click maps to understand how they help marketers get a comprehensive view of results and improve the engagement level of emails.

MailUp click maps

How do my recipients interact with emails? Where do they click? On images, calls to action or text? This is precisely what the MailUp platform tells you by providing an overview of the clicks for each individual campaign.

You can find the feature via the following: Statistics > Emails > All messages > Clicks > Link tracking. You will then find a copy of your email with the click distribution for each link inserted above. You can display the results in two ways:

  • Number of clicks
  • Percentage of clicks

As mentioned, representing clicks in this way has the major advantage of offering a general and immediate overview of recipients’ engagement.This is macro-information that can be used to understand if certain strategic aspects are working or need recalibrating. Let’s look at how click maps can help.

Make sure the content hierarchy reflects the results

Let’s take one of our latest newsletters as an example:

As you can see, the newsletter has a rather marked hierarchy which places certain content in a clearly prominent position and other content on secondary levels.

This choice is obviously in line with a specific strategy. First of all, we need to verify that the click distribution matches this hierarchy and that most of the interactions are therefore related to the main content, i.e. the content in the email header.

The click map tells us that the hero content got 13,2% of clicks, compared to 9,6% for the secondary content. In short: goal achieved.

Find out if the layout makes the most of all (and we mean all) the content

A best practice in the world of email marketing is not to overload your direct emails and newsletters with content so as not to water down your recipients’ attention with an endless stream of suggestions and ideas.

Many campaigns aim to have the recipient scroll through the entire email, interacting with all the content, even items placed at the very end of the message. Here too, click maps are a useful tool to help us understand the number and percentage of interactions recorded for the content at the bottom of the hierarchy.

If the map shows limited, excessively low or zero interaction, it might be a good idea to review the email layout, remodelling the design and establishing a more functional hierarchy. Alternatively, you could also decide to cut down the amount of content. Because content that recipients tend to ignore is useless. It’s like firing blanks.

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Find out which topics your audience is most interested in

As we’ve said, the major advantage of click maps lies in offering an immediate and intuitive snapshot of results. All it takes is a glance to understand how recipients’ clicks are distributed within your email.

Click maps can therefore be extremely useful in getting an overview of which types of content your audience engages with most. More interaction with a specific theme or a certain format could be a clear sign of a widespread preference, which you can accommodate in future emails to obtain even higher levels of engagement.

Experiment with A/B tests to improve click geography

Click map analysis brings us to one of the most valuable tools available to marketers: the A/B test, where we can compare two versions of the same email to understand which elements of it – including design, images and text – get the biggest response from recipients.

If you want to improve click rates, most tests will inevitably focus on the call to action, which could be described as the “gateway to conversion”. Here are the aspects of the call to action that can be tested:

  • Colour
    Contrasting or in sync with the dominant colours of the email? In contrast or in line with the brand identity
  • Size
    Proportionate to other design elements or strongly emphasised relative to the whole?
  • Special effects
    Is it better to use rounded or sharp corners? Three-dimensional effects or a flat design? Add shadows or avoid depth effects altogether
  • Number of CTAs
    Is it better to focus on a single call to action or diversify by including two?
  • Wording
    Is it better to be direct with the message or more subtle (the classic example: Buy now vs Add to basket)? Is it better to be concise or a little more descriptive?

Discover the best angle for your copy

And it’s not just calls to action. Click maps are a useful ally to shed light on the copy, i.e. on how the text and titles of the content affect recipients’ engagement.

There are many ways to present content: you can be concise and pithy or thorough to the point of being educational, or perhaps sarcastic, playful, or even ultra-technical.

Click maps will help you understand which register is most effective for your audience.

In conclusion

Click maps mirror your recipients’ engagement. Some of MailUp’s brand-new features, which will be launching over the coming weeks,will focus on engagement. As we say in these cases, stay tuned.

If you’re still not familiar with MailUp, why not try the platform for free for 30 days? You’ll have plenty of time to create, send and track your campaigns.

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