Customer’s Corner: Optimize Your Messaging with A/B Testing

Jun 24, 2021
Danielle Briner

Enterprise marketers using Multivariate (A/B) Testing? Groundbreaking. Just kidding! We all do this, but we never talk about it. Take a moment to explore how enterprise organizations use MessageGears multivariate testing (MVT) capabilities to send best-of-breed content to their customers. 

Today, we’re going to jump into an example where we’re using MVT to re-engage customers that have either left an item in their cart or recently purchased an item but left a few items behind. We all know the feeling! The old “I’ll go back for that item” never fails to result in at least three more emails in your inbox. This is where multivariate testing comes into the picture. 

At a high level, in MessageGears Message, multivariate testing is a method of comparing different email subject lines or email templates, evaluating the results, and then launching a campaign using the winning version. 

While using MessageGears Message, multivariate testing lives in the “Testing” section of the Campaign Overview. However, it functions differently from additional testing options. How? Tell me more! 

Let’s Talk About Tests, Baby

In a testing session, multivariate testing functions in place of a Campaign Launch where live contacts are sent to recipients from the chosen audience. This audience can be selected from MessageGears Segment or brought into MessageGears from another platform with a simple integration. 

We can see here in our campaign overview, we have saved tests, scheduled tests, active tests, and completed tests. At MessageGears, we don’t believe in limits — depending on what you need, you can create as many custom tests as you want. 

We’re going to create a multivariate test that launches immediately, not on a schedule, and we’re going to have the test evaluated on open rate, rather than click rate for our audience. 

Campaign Set Up + MVT Test Parameters

But first, we have to make sure our campaign is set up with a few easy clicks, then select the Multivariate (A/B) option from the Campaign Overview screen. This then opens the multivariate testing screen. 

We duplicated this campaign from a previously successful marketing push, and there are previous MVT testing parameters saved here, so we’re going to either reuse these testing parameters or set new parameters. Let’s say we make a slight adjustment to the subject lines. The first subject line leans more into the items left in the cart, and the second subject line is broader to capture an audience that has left something behind but could have also just made a purchase. We’ll see which one wins shortly! 

But, if you want to create a new MVT test, just use the Start New Test button on the screen for your new subject line or template test. 

When using multivariate testing, the entire audience doesn’t need to be contacted. Instead, we’re going to use the Distribute slider (seen below) to select a percentage of our audience to contact. When contacting your audience and recording results, the contacts can be split evenly across variants, or different values can be selected for each variant. So easy! 

The count of records displayed on this screen is based on the last count of records returned by the audience. If the true number of records in the audience has changed since the last count, that isn’t reflected in this screen; use the Refresh button to access the latest and greatest version of your live audience. 

Depending on your timeline, multivariate testing can be triggered immediately or scheduled for a specific time each hour, day, or week. This may correspond to your live audience refresh, which in MessageGears you can do at any time with true access to your real-time data. We’re going to select “Immediately” so we can launch our marketing campaign as soon as the results are back. 

Launching The Winner

Once our test is in progress, the Auto Launch Winner checkbox monitors the results of the multivariate test. Of course, the winner is the subject line or template that ultimately has the most opens at the time of test completion. In our case, the subject lines are being evaluated. 

If the Auto Launch Winner checkbox is enabled, the campaign is automatically launched following the test and uses the winning subject line or template to launch your campaign. 

These winning conditions are set to match your internal grading scale on how you need your MVT to be evaluated; for example, choosing Click Rate or Open Rate to compare items over a period of time. We choose Open Rate in order to see which subject line resonated with our audience who has recently engaged with our brand by either a purchase or a website visit. 

After MVT completion, the winning template is not automatically selected for future use. The winning item is only used for the following Multivariate Auto Launch. However, it is simple to select the template for future use in the Campaign Overview in MessageGears Message, and change it as often as you need! 


Interested in leveraging the various testing functionality in MessageGears? Read more here

Want to learn more about how MessageGears’ suite of products works better together? Reach out to us at sales@messagegears.com

About the Author

Danielle Briner

As the Product Marketing Manager at MessageGears, Danielle Profita Briner oversees the creation and execution of our Go-To-Market Strategy for the entire MessageGears product suite. She applies her background in content strategy and software to organize, establish, and produce meaningful content for our current and future clients.