When we moved to Sailthru from our previous solution, our delivery rates improved by leaps and bounds and Sailthru continues to monitor our deliverability scores and keep us out of spam folders, etc.

However, there are several tools/options within Sailthru that we don’t utilize on a regular basis but should. I’m not going to overwhelm you with everything, let’s just start with something really simple – A/B Testing of email subject lines.

GOAL: Improve open rate by optimizing the subject lines sent out to your lists with every send.

STEPS: Outlined below.

1. If you are sending dynamically, you’ll need to pause the recurring campaign (Goldsupport can help) in order to utilize the A/B testing features. Right now, we can’t have both running at the same time.

2. Go in and order your feed content as outlined in Jonathan’s recent post, The New Data Feed Editor Is Here! (He was really excited about this feature, you can tell and you will be too.) Save the feed once you have everything set and move to Step 3.

3. Create Campaign: From the nav, go to Communications > Campaigns > Create New

4. By default, the system puts you into a “Regular Campaign,” but you are going to select the third option, “AB Test” and then select “AB Winner.” Click “Create Campaign.”


ab testing

5. On the next page, select the list you want to send to. Click “Save & Continue”

6. At the top of this page, select your template. Don’t miss checking the box to “Build From Template.” (For some reason, it’s really easy to miss, at least for me.)

7. Now set up your To, From and Subject Lines. The To and From should carry over from your template, if they don’t fill those in. For Subject Lines, you want to click “Add Test” so you can enter in the two subjects you are going to test. Technically, you can test the To, the From, the Template, the Feed. You can also adjust the percentages you’re going to test. (For now, we’re going to stick to Subject Lines and testing defaults so your heads don’t explode.) Finally, select the feed that you set up and click Save & Continue (no need to adjust Ad Plan, we use LiveIntent for ads.)


8. This next page is a preview of the newsletter and a chance to adjust the HTML – you shouldn’t have to do this due to the nifty new Feed Editor. Avoid adjusting HTML at all costs. Save and move on to the next step.

9. The schedule page allows you to test sending times and Personalized Send Times. Again, we’re keeping it simple for right now, so just set up this page to send at a specific time and then set your PST as you always have, the recommended default has always been 4 hours – if something else has worked better for you – do you what you do. Then hit Save & Continue


10. Next step is to review your confirmation page – it should look like this.


If you see a mistake, you can just use the nav at the left to go back to any step and correct. If you decide you want to trash the entire endeavor, just go to Communications > Campaigns > Drafts and delete the scheduled drafts. You’ll have to be sure to delete the A and B versions first before you’ll be able to delete the Final.

To see the winner/results of your test, go to Analytics (from the nav) > Campaigns > Campain Summary

Good luck and please share your experiences so we can all learn best practices. – AFM

For more information, please watch the video below taking you through a step-by-step process on A/B Testing.

Video for A/B Testing Tutorial:

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