colleagues planning campaign testing

Campaign Testing Best Practices

If you’re running a marketing campaign, campaign testing all elements to ensure success is required. Unfortunately, many businesses make the mistake of only looking at the end result without taking into account all of the factors that contribute to their success or failure.

For that reason, longer, ongoing campaign testing is essential to identify which individual elements are working and which ones aren’t. Remember that every target is unique, so you won’t always know what will resonate with them. 

That’s why it’s important to get comfortable with not knowing and to keep testing until you find the right combination of strategies that gets good engagement. So, what should you be testing in your marketing campaigns? Here are a few best practices to keep in mind.

email campaign testing

What Campaign Testing Is and Isn’t

Campaign testing is the process of trying different tactics to see which ones are most effective in achieving your desired outcome. It’s not about finding the one perfect solution and then never changing anything again. Rather, it’s about constantly trying new things and adapting based on the findings.

It’s also important to note that campaign testing isn’t the same as A/B testing. A/B testing is when you test two different versions of something (like an email subject line) to see which one performs better.

Campaign testing, on the other hand, is about testing omnichannel marketing tactics as a whole. Plus, campaign lead source tracking needs to be set up before you can even begin to test anything.

Campaign Testing Planning

For campaign testing to be effective, you need to have a plan. It should include your objectives, what you’re trying to learn, and what success looks like. 

Goal Setting

The first step is to set some specific, measurable goals. What are you trying to achieve with this campaign? Set end goals, channel goals, and target goals.

Your end goal might be to increase brand awareness or generate more leads. Channel goals could be getting more website visitors from your email campaign or getting more social media engagement. And target goals could be things like reaching a new audience or increasing purchase intent.

Before Campaign

Before launching your campaign, you should determine how you’ll test it or measure its success. For instance, you could use Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) codes or Google Analytics.

You could also use a tool like BuzzSumo to track social media engagement and reach. And if you’re running an email campaign, most email marketing platforms have built-in reporting for metrics like open rates and click-through rates.

Your end goal might be to increase brand awareness or generate more leads. Channel goals could be getting more website visitors from your email campaign or getting more social media engagement. And target goals could be things like reaching a new audience or increasing purchase intent.

After Campaign

Once your campaign is launched, it’s important to track the results. This will help you determine what’s working and what isn’t so that you can make adjustments accordingly.

Make sure to track your goals and any other relevant metrics. And don’t forget to take into account things like seasonality or changes in the market that could affect your results. 

Mostly, keep an eye on website data (such as time on page, bounce rate, and conversion rate) and conversions (leads, sales, etc.).

What Matters Most When Campaign Testing

When it’s time to test your campaign, here’s what you should remember every step of the way.

Adhere to Your Goal

The first thing to keep in mind is your goal. What are you trying to achieve? Don’t lose sight of that as you’re testing different tactics. Every decision you make should be in service of achieving your goal.

Test Each Step in the Conversion

Depending on your campaign type, you might need to test different steps in the conversion process. Here’s what to test for every content type.

  • Ads: copy, creative, headline, landing page, target, keywords, budget
  • Emails: subject lines, time, day, frequency, creative, headlines, length
  • Social Media: copy, creative, headline, platform, time, day, hashtags
  • Blogs: creative, title, length, images, CTA
  • Video: thumbnail, creative, headline, description, links, CTA
  • Landing Page: style, creative, headline, content, CTA, form
  • Cart: layout, pages, fields

While it’s important to test each step, don’t try to test everything all at once. That will make it difficult to determine which change had what effect. Instead, focus on one thing at a time and then move on to the next. 

That way, you can isolate which part of the funnel needs work and make the necessary changes to improve your campaign and conversion rate optimization (CRO) as you go.

Campaign Testing Expectations

First of all, it’s important to remember that campaigns take time to ramp up. So, don’t expect immediate results. Second, not every test is going to result in a winner. And often, tests will be inconclusive. And lastly, some tactics will work better than others. The key is to keep testing until you find what works best for your business. 

broad and narrow targeting in campaign testing

Generally, though, here’s what to expect:

Broad Targeting + Large Budgets = Faster Results

When you’re targeting a large audience and have a big budget, you’ll see results faster. That’s because you’re reaching more people and have the resources to sustain a longer campaign.

Narrow Targeting + Smaller Budgets = Slower Results

Conversely, when you target a smaller audience with a smaller budget, results will come more slowly because you’re reaching fewer people. But that doesn’t mean they won’t come. You might just have to be more patient or adjust your expectations accordingly when it comes to CRO.

Rinse, Lather, Repeat

Finally, the most important thing to remember is that campaign testing is an ongoing process. Even when you find a winner, things can (and will) change. So, don’t get complacent. Keep testing to ensure that your campaigns are always performing at their best. 

The key to any successful campaign is to test and measure the results constantly. That way, you can fine-tune your approach and eventually find what works best for your business. So, don’t be afraid to experiment. Try new things and see what happens. The worst that can happen is that you’ll learn something along the way!