Automation Split Testing with ActiveCampaign

TAM 071: T20 – Automation Split Testing

Episode 71 is a Tactical 20 episode all about the automation split testing feature recently released by ActiveCampaign

For a full walkthrough on how to use automaton split testing check out this post

Four Things To Run Split Tests On:

  • Your email copy
  • The length of your sequence
  • The wait intervals between emails
  • Your offer


If you want to give ActiveCampaign a try, you can set up a free trial account here.


Links Mentioned In The Show

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Barry Moore: Hi, it's Barry Moore back with another tactical 20 podcast.

Announcer: Welcome to the active marketer podcast, where we talk about how to design, automate and scale your business to the next level, using sales and marketing automation. You can find out all the tips, tactics and techniques you need to get more customers and sell more stuff over at Now, here's your host Barry Moore.

Barry: Hi, I'm your host Barry Moore and this is gonna be another tactical 20 podcast. The tactical 20 podcasts are all about giving you an actionable tip, technique or tactic that you can take away and implement in your business in less than 20 minutes.

Welcome to episode 71 of the active marketer podcast. In this tactical 20 we're gonna be talking all about the new feature that was just released recently. Automation split testing with an active campaign. We're gonna talk about what it is, why you want to use it and I'm gonna give you three ways you can go out and use it tomorrow. What is automation split testing and why would we want to use it? Well, automation split testing allows you to create AB testing or split the branches inside your automation, so that some of your contacts running through that automation go down branch A, some of the contacts go down branch B. This allows you to test different scenarios in your follow up marketing.

For example, if you had an upsell sequence. How you put that upsell sequence together is largely just an educated guess on what's gonna convert the best. You might swap out those automations every now and then to see whether automation A will beat automation B, but now you can run the split test right within the same automation. You could change your copy between the A and B branches. You could change the length of the automation. How many emails that person gets. You could change the duration. You could change a whole bunch of different things. We're gonna talk about the different kinds of split tests you can run with this new feature. There's a number of ways you can split the contacts going through your automation. You can do an even split, which means, basically just what it sounds like. If you got a 1,000 people running through your automation. When they hit that split test step, 500 they're gonna go down path A and 500 are gonna go down path B.

Those people will continue to be split indefinitely. It will just go until you tell it to stop essentially. When using conjunction with goals, this however will tell you which one of those branches is converting to our goal the best. Which one has the higher conversion rate. For example, you could put branch A and that could be, have one offer in it or one price point or whatever, one side of copy. Whatever it is you're testing. At the bottom of path A you just have a goal that says, right, path A goal. They buy product xyz, so, and then down path B you split test the other copy or the other offer or whatever it is you're testing, and you have another goal down at the bottom of path B. Which is the same goal essentially. The path B goal, did they buy product xyz.

Then you can run that split test for a while and you can go check your goals and you can see which path is converting better. Path A or path B. Split testing used in conjunction with goals is a pretty powerful thing. Like I said, that even split indefinitely will just run until you tell it to stop. There are also some conditional split tests that you can run, meaning they'll run for a certain amount of time and then they'll stop or they'll default to the winning side, A or B. There's a couple different ones you can run. You can run a number of contacts. You can say, right, the first, say 500 people through this automation I want to split. Once we've run 500 people through there, automatically figure out which path is better and you have to define a goal that'd tell it which path is better.

But which path is better at the end of my 500 contacts, then send everybody else down that path. If path A is better for example, at the end it's converted better than everyone else following the 500, 501 and onwards will go down path A until you tell it differently. You can run a conditional test on a number of contacts. What you have to do is basically, if you're gonna do that, you can build a goal into your split test. You have to tell it what the goal is going to be. Again, for example if we're trying to get someone to buy product xyz, then we're gonna say, right, split the first 500 people down path A and B and then look at how many of those people have the purchased xyz tag and that will tell you whether the people going down A or the people going down B converted better. If B converted better, then we're gonna send everybody, the rest of those contacts down B, after the 500 split test is over.

You can run it for 100, you can run it for 300, 500, whatever that number is. You think you're gonna get a reasonable conclusion to your split test, and then everyone else following that number will go down the winning path. Whatever you find as the winning path. The last type of split test is a date based split test. For example, you might want to run a split test for a month, for example. What you would say is, I want this split to run until the last day in December. Until that point you run half the people down A and half the people down B. I might not necessarily know how many people are gonna go through that automation in that particular time frame, but you're just saying like, for the whole month of December, split them between A and B.

Then what will happen is at the end of that time, it will default to putting everybody down the B path. The A path will go dormant after that last day that you've specified. You'll have to build in a goal yourself, like we talked about it in that first scenario, where there's a goal to bottom of path A and a goal to bottom of path B. If you want to determine which of those paths work better for your desired action, whether that's a link click or whether that's a sign up or a form submission or whatever it's gonna be. Or a purchase. You'll have to build those goals into your automation. Those are three scenarios. An even split. A numbered split, where a number of contacts go through the split and then it defaults to the winning side. Then the last one is a date based split where it will just continue to split until the date that you specify.

How can we use this? Well, we can use this a number of different ways and here's some things that you can run away and split test straight away. I would say the best place to use this right off the bat would be in an upsell sequence, if you have one of those. If you're trying to upsell somebody to a particular product or service. Let's start testing a couple of different things. One, you can test your copy, obviously. You might get a couple of different copywriters to write your emails or you might have a go at writing a couple different versions of an email chain for that upsell sequence. Say it's four emails. You might test one set of copy on path A, one set of copy on path B and see which one converts better.

You could test the length of the sequence. You might say you know, does a three email sequence convert better or does a five email sequence convert better. You could test the number of emails in the sequence. You could test the weight intervals. What converts better, a sequence that runs every single day or a sequence that runs every couple of days or once a week or whatever. You could test the weight intervals as well. The other thing to look at testing is the offer itself. Try two different offers. Structurally offer differently, try two different price points, try some bonuses, try whatever. But structure the offer different between path A and path B and see which offer converts better.

I would suggest you start out testing big ideas. Test screams, not whispers, right. Don't start out testing the link colour or the button colour. Start out testing radically different offers. Once you find an offer that converts better, then you can start tweaking, how do we better even get more juice out of that offer by tweaking the copy or tweaking the button colours or whatever. But start testing big ideas. First, once you've got a big idea that works well, then start buckling down and start tweaking that offer. Once you know that it works.

All right, so that's automation split testing. There's a whole article, a whole walkthrough of exactly how this works over at the blog at However, if you just go to the show notes for this episode, just by going to, seven one. There'll be a link there to the complete walkthrough with screen captures and a whole lot. That will show you exactly how you can get split testing set up tomorrow. See you next time everybody.

All right, that's our tactical 20 podcast for this week. If you have any questions or any topics you'd like to see covered on future tactical 20 podcast. You can always send me an email at barry B-A-R-R-Y and let us know what you'd like to see. Also, if you head over to the show notes for this episode and just leave a comment or leave a comment in any of the episode show notes. Tell us what you'd like to see and we'll make sure we cover it on an upcoming episode. Get out there and design, automate and scale your business to the next level using sales and marketing automation. See you next week everybody.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to the active marketer podcast. You can find the show notes and all the latest marketing automation news over at

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