The effectiveness of your marketing campaigns should never be left to chance. Once you click the “Send Now” button you can do little more than kick your feet up, say a little prayer, and wait to see the open and click rate statistics… but what if those results aren’t what you expected?
You can’t force your audience to open your email and there’s no guarantee that once they’ve opened it, they’ll actually read it and respond to your call to action. You can take back some control over how your audience responds to your messages by using the split test campaign type to develop a refined sending style that will promote long-term engagement and positively impact your bottom line.

What is a split test campaign?

The split test campaign type provides the opportunity to test variables of your campaigns to identify what elements are creating the most impact and effectively capturing your audiences’ attention so you can send the best version to the greater part of your list.
Although the effort of creating multiple versions of your campaigns may sound like a lot of work, the advantages of making this a standard of your marketing process far outweigh the extra effort.
Split testing ultimately gives you the power to improve your open and engagement rates because it gives you the opportunity to learn what your audience responds to and progressively adapt your content over time. Your contact list is dynamic and your marketing content should be too.

Why it’s important to split test campaigns

  • Improve open rates
  • Develop an impactful voice and brand identity
  • Identify what content your contacts are most responsive to
  • Positively impact your bottom line

Variables to split test

  • Subject line
  • From information
  • Content of campaign
    • Formatting/layout/color schemes
    • Placement of call to action
    • Use of conditional content
    • Graphics
    • Copy

The split test campaign type is housed within the Campaigns section of the platform. There are two different types of split test campaigns to choose from. The first allows you to test the subject line and/or from information. This type of test can help you to improve your open rates by finding out which subject and sender information results in more opens.
The second type of split test allows you to create up to five different versions of the campaign so you can test the content of your message. You can choose what percentage of your list each version is sent to and choose to have the winning version distributed to the remaining portion of your list. This can help you to determine the design and formatting styles that are most effective and can also help you to identify what types of offers motivate your customers to make purchases.

Tips for implementing tests

  • Test one variable at a time — for example, if you’re testing your call to action button, start with location, then move on to color, copy, padding, font, etc. ActiveCampaign allows you to create 5 different versions of your campaign, so even if you only tested one variable per version, you could test 5 variables.
  • Make small changes in your test versions — you need to be able to identify exactly what element is producing the better outcome
  • Consider timing when sending your test campaigns— pinpoint the optimal wait time between messages by experimenting what time of day and day of the week gets the best results

Split testing is not one-off project. You should continue to test your campaigns over time to ensure that your marketing campaigns remain current and best represent your brand. Continue to to experiment with your content and design to ensure that you are optimizing your engagement rates. If you’re ready to start testing, click here for step-by-step guidance on how to create a split test campaign.