Marketers first began to grasp how this kind of testing could assist them in comprehending the effect of their advertisements in the 1960s. For example, would a radio or television ad generate more business? For direct marketing, are letters or postcards preferable?

A/B testing got digital when the internet began to permeate the business sector in the 1990s. After acquiring technical tools, digital marketing teams started to test their tactics in real-time and on a much grander scale. However, even with all the technological advancements, A/B testing has remained the same at its core. But what is A/B testing, you may ask? Check out the following section to learn more. 

What is A/B testing?

Split tests, called A/B testing, compare two versions of something to see which one is more successful. Do your users prefer version A or version B, to put it simply? A/B testing refers to a technique of randomized testing in which a variable (web page, page element, etc.) is shown to various groups of website users simultaneously to see which version has the most impact and influences business KPIs.

The idea is comparable to the scientific approach. Consider the science projects you carried out in elementary school. You’ll get different outcomes if you plant two seeds in two cups of earth, one in the closet and the other near the window. A/B testing is this kind of experimental setup.

Creating an A/B testing campaign with Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the most trusted brands out there when it comes to marketing and growing one’s business. It is an all-in-one platform that allows businesses to manage and automate their processes. In addition, they come with a range of features, one of which includes creating A/B testing campaigns. This section will list the steps of creating an A/B testing campaign using Mailchimp. 

Before delving further, it is essential to take note of some definitions surrounding A/B testing. Then, if you are unfamiliar with specific terms or need more clarity, you can look at this article

Initial steps

  • First click on the ‘Create’ icon
  • Then select ‘Email.’
  • Select ‘A/B Test’. You can choose an advanced option if you have access to a premium plan with Mailchimp.
  • Once you complete the above steps, enter your campaign name and click on ‘Begin’.

Recipients step

Select the audience or sector you wish to send your campaign to on the builder’s Recipients stage. On this screen, you can configure a new segment or select a component that has already been stored.

Variables step

  • In this step, select the variable you wish to test 
  • You can remove or add more variations by clicking on the plus or minus icon. You can test up to three variations at a time with Mailchimp. 
  • You can also decide the percentage of recipients who can view your combinations. You can achieve this by dragging the slider and selecting a percentage. 
  • Enter details like the duration of testing and determining the winning combination.

Setup step

The Setup stage will display different Email subjects, From email address, name, and subject line fields depending on your test’s variable.

Here are the steps to choose your setup 

  1. Fill the blanks with your email subject, from the name and email address. In this step, there are also settings for send time variation.
  2. Select the checkboxes next to the tracking options or settings you prefer to use. Since they are needed to choose the test winner, Track opens, and Track clicks cannot be disabled.

Content step

You add material for your campaign in the Content stage. If you want to test material, your experience in this step will differ.

Testing the details

Use these procedures to add content when your variable is the subject line, From the name, or send time.

  1. Select your layout on the Content Builder’s Template stage.
  2. Create and test your content on the Builder’s Design phase.
  3. Click Confirm Before Sending once everything is as desired.

Testing content 

A preview of each variant is displayed in the Content phase if your variable is content.

These are the steps to follow to add content to each variation.

  1. Click ‘Add Content’
  2. Select your layout on the Content Builder’s Template stage.
  3. Create and test your material on the Content Builder’s Design phase. Click ‘Next’ once everything is in the desired order.
  4. Enter text to describe the content variation on the Content Builder’s Description phase. This description won’t be visible to your subscribers but will aid your memory of the variations.
  5. To return to your content variations, click Continue to content.
  6. For any change in content, repeat steps 1 through 5. Use a different template or pick a version you’ve already created from the Previous Variations tab on the Template step.
  7. When you are satisfied with what you see, click ‘Next’. 

Confirmation step 

Review the combinations that make up your A/B testing campaign in the Confirm step and email them when ready.

Follow these steps to confirm and send your A/B testing campaign.

  1. Look over the delivery checklist. For changes, click Edit or Resolve.
  2. When you’re done, you can send your campaign immediately or set a later date for it to be sent.

And that’s it! That is all you need to do to set up an A/B testing campaign with Mailchimp. Read this article for further details on the different kinds of A/B testing campaigns.