Split Testing

Split testing is a way to test different versions of a campaign so that you can send the most effective version to the majority of your list. Split testing also helps you learn what works best with your contacts so that you can improve your email marketing over time.

A split test involves creating different versions of a campaign and sending each version to a portion of your list. The version that performs best can be sent to the remainder of your list.

With ActiveCampaign you can test sender information (the name and email address the campaign is from), subject lines, and content (the body of the email). You can create five versions and specify how many contacts should receive each version. You are able to manually choose the winner or have the winner automatically chosen based on which campaign performed best (which version had the most opens or clickthroughs).

To split test a campaign:

Navigate to the Campaign Overview screen by clicking “Campaigns” in the top menu.

Click “New Campaign” in the top-right corner of the screen.

Give your campaign a name and click the “Split Testing” campaign type to select it. Click “Next.”

Select the list you will send to.

There are two types of split tests. One allows you to test the sender information and subject line and the other allows you to test different content in the body of your email. Select the appropriate option by clicking it. Click “Next.”

Choose a template. Give your email a subject line when prompted. This subject line is for the first version of your campaign. You’ll have the opportunity to change it later.

At the bottom of the Designer, you’ll see a box displaying versions:


To add another version, click the addition symbol. The version you are currently editing will be highlighted in green:


To switch between versions, click a version that is white.

To modify the subject line or sender information of a version, click the gear icon that appears in the top right-hand corner of the Designer:


A modal window will appear allowing you to modify the subject line of your campaign and sender information:



After you have finished all versions of your split test campaign, click “Next” in the top right corner of the Designer.

On the Campaign Summary screen, you’ll have the opportunity to check your subject lines, send test emails, and preview your campaigns.

Toward the bottom of the screen you’ll see a section titled “Split Test Options.” The “Test Winner” section allows you to choose whether the winner is chosen manually (by you) or automatically (by the app). “Do not determine the winner” will pause the campaign after the test emails are sent. You would log in and select the winner to continue sending to the rest of your contacts. Selecting “Determine (and send using) the winner” will display additional options to choose whether the open rate or click through rate should be used to determine the winner and how long the app should wait before making this determination. Most opens and clickthroughs will occur within two days of a campaign being sent so this is probably a good length of time for most campaigns but you can modify this value as needed.

The “Email Ratios” section allows you to specify what percentage of contacts should receive each version of your campaign. In most cases, you’ll want these to be equal numbers. The last value (how many contacts will receive the winning version) is automatically set based on how many contacts in your list are left after the test versions are sent.

When you’ve configured the split test, click “Send Now” to schedule your campaign for sending.

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