FulcrumTech Designs and Optimizes a Holiday Email Campaign Resulting in 87% More Total Sales Over Previous Holiday Campaign and 186% ROI

Client Overview

Headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, Wolters Kluwer Health is a leading provider of information for professionals and students in medicine, nursing, allied health, and pharmacy. It is part of Wolters Kluwer — a market-leading global information services company. Wolters Kluwer Health’s primary brands include traditional publishers of medical and drug reference tools and textbooks, such as Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Business Challenge

Wolters Kluwer Health sought to improve the results obtained from previous holiday email campaigns for publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, tapping FulcrumTech to help them design and optimize a holiday email campaign for 2012.


FulcrumTech designed an email campaign to challenge the results of Wolters Kluwer Health’s 2010 holiday campaign for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. This process involved developing an email test plan to measure the impact of timing for sending emails, email design, and other elements, such as subject line and call to action. The goal was to optimize email performance by varying and testing these elements, while keeping within the limitations of a holiday timeframe.

Using the 2010 holiday email campaign as a control, the following elements were tested:


  • Tuesday morning (Control — same timing as in 2010)
  • Wednesday afternoon
  • Saturday morning

Copy on the Call-to-Action Button

  • Start Saving Now (Control from 2010)
  • Shop Now
  • Order Today
  • Buy Now and Save

Subject Lines

  • A holiday gift from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (Control from 2010)
  • Holiday cheer delivered — 25% off!
  • You’ve been nice, right? Here’s your reward.
  • 2012 best sellers are ALL on sale

Creative Design of the Emails

  • Updated version of the 2010 design (Control)
  • A design that highlighted the 2012 best sellers in each of the company’s six top specialties
  • A mixed holiday design that featured a winter theme versus a Christmas theme
  • An upscale design that had muted colors and less holiday emphasis
Original 2010 Design
Original 2010 Design
Updated Version of 2010 Design
Updated Version of 2010 Design
Mixed Holiday
Mixed Holiday

FulcrumTech also designed a dedicated landing page for subscribers who clicked through the emails.

Dedicated Landing Page
Dedicated Landing Page

The email list was divided into segments that ensured statistical significance in the results. Three waves of the emails were sent throughout the holiday season.


FulcrumTech was able to use the testing information gathered in the early waves of the emails to progressively improve the results in the subsequent waves of emails sent. Consequently, significant improvement was achieved in the overall results of the 2012 holiday campaign designed by FulcrumTech.

Compared to the 2010 holiday campaign results:

  • The 2012 average unique open rate improved by 62% (from 9.3% to 15.1%).
  • The 2012 average total click-through rate improved by 11.5% (from 15.8% to 17.6%).
  • The 2012 total sales increased by 87%.
Overall, the 2012 campaign for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins achieved a 186% return on investment (ROI).

In addition, the results from the individual email elements tested during the campaign gave valuable insight about what works best for Wolters Kluwer Health’s Lippincott Williams & Wilkins brand and audience. Timing had a significant impact on the unique open rates for this audience. A lift in conversion rates was also observed for emails sent in certain timing-test cells (e.g., certain days of the week). These results indicate that more timing tests are warranted as Wolters Kluwer Health strives to continue to improve the results of future email campaigns.


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