To Be, or Not to Be a Nav

To set the record straight: a navigation bar in an email isn’t really navigating customers through the email like a website. It’s simply a group of calls to action, which happen to be placed in the most valuable real estate of emails, the top. These calls to action that include Men/Women/Kids, Sale/Clearance, etc., are also getting a lot of clicks. Make sure you’re using the right ones.

Let’s see which links are getting the most clicks, and which perform the worst. Once we review the numbers, we can come up with some best practices for customizing content based on where customers are clicking.

And the Winner is...

We pulled click data from a bunch of emails, but wanted to make sure that all the brands were similar and had similar nav links. For this test, our client profile was fashion retailers.

The most common links found in these emails are Men/Women/Kids, Sale/Clearance, Accessories,Blog, and New Arrivals. Here’s the breakdown:


Here’s what we found.

The trendiest nav links are:

  • New Arrivals
  • Sale or Clearance
  • Gender (depending on target audience)

Links with the least engagement:

  • Accessories
  • Blog
  • the opposite Gender (depending on target audience)

It’s Like a Pull-quote for Nav Links

Now that we have this data, the most important question to ask is: why do we rely on nav links to be the sole call to action for some of our most clicked links? If a link is important enough to be taking up space at the top of an email, it can potentially be designed into something more; especially if it’s performing well. Think of it like a pull-quote for nav links.

Here is an example where popular nav links, Sale/Clearance, Most Popular, and New Arrivals, are pulled and placed into nicely designed banners.


If you have a nav bar in your emails, continue to check your analytics to get engagement data. You may find that some links are not worth having. But if others are performing particularly well, try placing those links as a call to action within the body of your email.

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