ActiveCampaign recently announced a feature, called automation split testing (also known as A/B testing), which allows you to split test branches within an automation. In this post I will walk you through how to put those features in place and give you a few ideas on how to get started with automation split testing today.
A lot of the time so much of this ‘automated followup' stuff seems like guess work.
How may emails should I send?
What copy works best?
What offer will convert better?
Now with a combination of automation split testing and goals you don't have to guess any more.
Automation split testing allows you to create your own A/B split tests right within your existing (or new) ActiveCampaign automations.
You can use a number of criteria to define how (and how long) you would like your flow of subscribers to be split.
Split them indefinitely, half go down A and half go down B.
Test a certain number of subscribers.
Keep the split going until a certain date.
Let's have a look at some common scenarios where you might use split testing.
Automation Split Testing An Upsell Sequence
Let's say you have an upsell automation that is triggered by the addition of a tag like “LEAD: Product XZY”. The upsell automation then fires and sends a few emails to try to get our prospect to buy our product.
Well will keep track of the effectiveness of this process using a Goal
Now instead of making an educated guess about what works best, we can use automation split testing across a few scenarios and see which is actually the most effective at converting to a sale, as tracked by the PURCHASE: XYZ tag.
You could split test things like; the duration of the sequence, the copy, the wait intervals, the offer, etc. Use your imagination.
Its this example we are just going to run a straight, even split down two paths and track which one is more effective in generating the sale.
So we would add a split test using an ‘even split'.
Below each path we are going to put our sales emails and vary our split criteria, in this case the number of emails and the wait intervals.
Below each path I am going to put a Goal. Goal A tracks sales down the A branch and B down the B branch. Then I an going to let my contacts through.
After some sales have come through I can track which of those goals is converting better, A or B.
I can do that a couple ways. Firstly right on the Automation page. Just hover over the Goal bar and you will get a breakdown of which of those goals is converting better.
Secondly, I can go to the Reporting > Goals and get the same information.
Armed with hard facts, not guesswork, I can go back and tweak to get even better results. I might want to use my best branch as the control and try to beat it with a new version of the second branch.
Automation Split Testing By The Numbers
You can also do your automation split testing across a certain finite test group and then default to the winning path. Simply choose a sample size you are going to use to run the split.
You can then specify the success criteria by specifying a Goal right within the split criteria
You will then end up with a split that looks like this
Once the sample size has been split the rest of your contacts will go down the winning path automatically.
Offer Bypass Surgery
Another way to run a split is by date.
Let's say you have an automation that runs with an upsell offer in the first email, followed by some content based relationship building emails after that.
Now imagine you want to test a second offer until the end of December, but you don't want to haul your ass off the beach to change the offer back to the normal price come the 31st of December.
Well you can use the new split testing feature to create a temporary bypass of the offer email. In this case you would just set the date you want the split test to end.
Then set it up so that one branch contains your normal price offer and content emails.
For the second branch, set up an email to go out with your special offer, then rejoin the rest of the content based emails after bypassing the email with the normal price offer.
Your branch A special email will go out until the 31st of December, after that everything will go down branch B.
I do love some carefully crafted, well automated, holiday laziness.
So as you can see split testing can be pretty handy to dial in your offers and conversion and also with a little creativity can help up work on your tan.
Here are three things you can split test right now.
- Split test the length of your sequence. Which converts better a shorter version or a longer version?
- Split test your email copy. Make some radical changes to your email copy and see which converts better. Once you have tested the big ideas, tweak the small things to see if you can get and even better engagement rate.
- Split test your offer. When using an upsell sequence, split test the structure and price of your offer to see which one works best.
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