In the ever-evolving digital realm, emerging platforms are garnering high shares of marketing budgets, but recent reports suggest the more traditional email channel remains a cost-effective way to engage internet users.

In the ever-evolving digital realm, emerging platforms are garnering high shares of marketing budgets, but recent reports suggest the more traditional email channel remains a cost-effective way to engage internet users. Now, new data from Mailer Mailer shows that quality links embedded in emails are important to increasing click rates.

Mailer Mailer’s recently released 2010 Email Marketing Metrics Report shows that click-through rates declined in the second half of 2009, and these declines closely correlate with lack of live links. In some instances, the report says this was due to email clients – including Outlook and Yahoo – disabling links to avoid phishing schemes. Other times, this was simply a case of marketers’ missed opportunities.

In general the highest click-through rates went to email newsletters that had more than 20 links. The second highest click rates went to short, promotional messages with between one and five links. The links not only boosted click rates, but also prompted recipients to act on email offers when they were placed prominently at the beginning and end of messages.

While this data may indicate adding many links is a sound email marketing strategy, it’s important to remember that only linking to quality web destinations will generate sustainable email marketing results. BtoB online recently reported that many businesses saw higher conversion rates when they created landing pages specific to the offerings in an email.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.