Use control groups

Last update: 2023-09-22
  • Created for:
  • Beginner

Understand the concept of control groups and learn how to use a control group for your delivery.


Welcome to Adobe Campaign. In this module, we will be learning how to use control groups in a campaign. A control group is a subpopulation that is excluded from a main target. The process is similar to running an A-B test, however rather than sending them different versions of the campaign, they are excluded from the campaign. Profiles in the control group will be marked in the delivery as having been excluded because they were in the control group. This concept allows us to compare the behavior of profiles that received the delivery against the profiles in the control group who did not. Depending on the nature of the campaign, we may want to compare their buying behavior, registration, or visits to a website. This will allow us to identify and isolate campaign effects that were related to the campaign versus if there was a magazine ad running at the same time or if a link to your website was posted somewhere else. Adobe Campaign lets us form this control group from the main target by taking a sample. The advantage of letting Adobe Campaign extract a control group is that it will be random and comparable to the target. We also have the option to manually create our own control group. Let’s configure a new campaign. In the Campaigns tab, select Create a Campaign. We’ll give this campaign a name and select a program. Once our campaign is labeled and associated with a program, we’ll edit the campaign properties. Under the Edit tab, choose Advanced Campaign Properties. Move to Control Population, choose Enable and Activate Random Sampling. If we were using a predefined control group, we would load that list here. Next, we’ll set the size of our control group. Let’s save our changes and move over to targeting and workflows. Rather than creating a new workflow, let’s override the default one and change its name. Let’s add a query activity for profiles with birthdays today. Next, we’ll drag and drop our email delivery and change the delivery template. Let’s run our workflow, then navigate to the dashboard to see our results and approve and start the delivery. Once the delivery is finished, we can open it to view the summary view. In the Delivery section, we can see which profiles were ignored as part of the control group. Under the Audit tab, we can see the cause of exclusion, including our three profiles from the control group. The home page also shows a short summary, highlighting the number of profiles in our control group. Now, let’s have a quick look at how we can identify the control group in our segmentation. We can set up a query and look for the status of delivery log recipients equal to ignored as opposed to send or rejected and control group member equal to yes.

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