3 A/B Tests For Medical Clinic E-mail Marketing Campaigns

Since the first of the year, open and click-through rates for one of our clients has decreased. Not significantly, but enough that we wanted to take action before things move in the wrong direction any further. After studying e-mail analytics for this client compared to that of our other healthcare related clients, we identified the top three differences between our best performing emails and our least performing ones.

pocket watch; A/B tests for medical clinic email marketing campaigns; test date and time on email campaigns

Time and Date

This one test doesn’t take a lot of work to test. Emails for this client tend to go out on the same date each month, but what day of the week that falls plus the time of day the email is scheduled varies.

We’ve found emails sent on Fridays perform much worse than any other day of the week. Mondays run a close second. I suspected this to be true for a while, but having the analytic evidence to back it up makes me even more confident. Wednesdays and Thursdays, for this client, tend to be our best days, but the best times vary.

To test this, you can divide your list and send in batches on separate days of the week or at different times on the same day. Review your current analytics to see what patterns already emerge.

matches; a/b tests for medical clinic email marketing campaigns; testing email subject line

Subject Line

No brainer, right? But how do you determine what the right subject and sub-header are? We’ve tested adding emojis to the subheader, asking a question, and teasing big events. The subject line of our best performing email revolved around the addition of a new provider.

We don’t have new providers to add every month, so how can we replicate that success? It’s less about the provider and more about sharing about real people involved in the clinic. So instead of a subject line about diabetes, we promo our diabetic educator and let her talk about diabetes.

What’s the subject line of your best performing email? Why? Can you replicate the idea from that subject line to fit in with other themes?

chains; A/B tests for medical clinic email marketing campaigns; links in email campaigns


In a conference call last week with other healthcare marketing pros, we discussed the role multiple links in your email plays in deliverability. Some marketers suggest e-mail programs like Gmail and Yahoo will kick emails with loads of links to the spam folder.

How many links do you have in your email (outside of the linked logos for social media)? If you’re including multiple links to your blog and a link for patients to request an appointment, you may be overdoing it.

Test what happens when you reduce your number of links. Is there a sweet spot where opens and clicks increased versus when click-throughs begin to decrease?

We’re always interested in what’s working for others in the healthcare industry. What have you found to be the most important aspect of your email marketing success?

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