How to Run A/B Tests in Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) & Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot)

September 07, 2023

A/B testing in Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) can successfully improve email marketing. Let’s see how to set up A/B testing and win at email marketing. A/B testing in Marketing Cloud is a great way in experimenting on emails while optimizing KPIs (Key performance indicators). A/B testing is also known as split testing tracks and monitors variation between the 2 versions of the emails (A and B) and checks which version wins the desired goals.
As email marketing is crucial to any strategy, the A/B test results can help you guide through email marketing strategy. It's crucial to continuously run and analyze tests to deliver more targeted and relevant messages to the subscribers. Once the tests are done and the results are analyzed you can notice commendable changes in opens, clicks, and conversions.

Did you know that?
60% of the companies believe that A/B testing is quite valuable for CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization).
71% of the companies run a maximum of 2 or more A/B tests per month.
400% increase of conversion rate is highly possible for those companies that implement better UX design from A/B testing.

How to use A/B testing in Marketing Cloud - Email marketing? 
While configuring marketing cloud with A/B testing the system will randomly select the list of subscribers that will receive the test differentiating the remaining subscribers on a different list. This helps us to use the same list for future A/B testing with another group of subscriber lists.

How to set-up Marketing Cloud Email A/B testing in Email Studio? 
Define your goals as to what are you expecting out of the tests? Higher Click-through rates and open rates are a few amongst the common goals of most of the clients. Identify your subscribers, list them separately, or group them, or give sendable data extension or data filter for the email. Finally configure it to the Email Studio.

Steps to set-up A/B testing 
1.Go to Email Studio 
2.Click on A/B testing.  
3.Create A/B test.
4.Name your test and add a description.
5.Choose your test type. What you are testing: Subject line, email version, content, from names, etc.
6.Select your recipient list. Determine test distribution of who will receive the test.
7.Set the winning criteria: highest unique open rate or highest unique click through rate (CTR).
8.Specify the duration of the test.
9.Schedule a start time for the test. 
10.Select the name and address. 

Best Practices for SFMC AB Testing 
These strategies can help you make the most of your SFMC AB Testing campaign: 
•Always have a valid hypothesis 
•Change only one element at a time. 
•Ensure that the numbers you’re testing with are big enough to enable reliable (further) analysis. A test with fewer than 500 subscribers may not be statistically significant. 
•If there are more than 50,000 subscribers, send to 5% per condition and 10% if the number is less than 50,000. 
•Let your test run for long enough to get verifiable results. Wait at least 24 hours before declaring the ‘winner’! 
•Don’t update the data source; keep the data static to prevent any problems with the test. 

How does A/B test in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) work? 
A/B testing in engagement studio works best by testing audience’s responses, you will be able to customize your content according to the email performance as well as the user preferences so as to personalize their experience.
Applying A/B testing to the emails helps to configure a wide variety of variations based on imagery, subject line, call-to-actions, image placement, image content, email sent time. 
Within the automation platform, you need to determine which variable you want to test – headline, banner image, subject line, etc. then select your metrics whether open rate or number of clicks. Finally decide on what percentage of audience you want to test this email on, once the above factors are decided, you can run the test. 
Marketing Cloud Account Engagement’s email capabilities have received a significant boost:   
•Beginning in September/ October 2021, all Pardot editions have more drag-and-drop capabilities. 
•Marketers can push emails built-in Lightning Email Builder for use in Engagement Studio programs.
•You can add custom components for the Email Content Builder. 

How to run A/B testing in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot)?
Steps involved in running successful tests. 
•Identify your audience.
•Create a new email. 
•Develop two variants. 
•Finalize the test.
•Analyze existing test
•Recommendations for your A/B tests 

Whether you want to focus on clicks, conversions, or another metric, consistently running A/B tests will help you identify your own strengths and weaknesses and gradually improve your marketing results. Click here to understand how our team of experts can help you generate better results on your future campaigns.  

userPublished by Sobha Rani
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