Control Groups allow you to understand which marketing campaigns are most successful

As a marketer you will spend valuable time and resources on the campaigns you deploy, ensuring they are optimized for your users. Having spent days preparing the latest marketing campaigns, you want them to reach all of the intended recipients, so you have the greatest chance to generate more revenue. However, ‘spray and pray’ marketing isn’t the most effective way to interact with your users.

It is important to measure the effectivity of your campaigns and understand which interactions resonate most with your users. Without targeted marketing interactions you will not be able to measure how successful your campaigns are. For long term marketing success understanding the effectivity of your interactions is more valuable than short term gains in revenue. This article will explain the necessity for introducing control groups into your marketing campaigns, and how you can gain a deeper understanding of your user’s behavior.

What is a control group and why is it important?

Control groups are critical for determining the effectiveness of any marketing campaign. A control group is a section of the segment of users you are targeting with a campaign which you determine will not receive the marketing campaign. The users who are chosen to be in the control group are randomly selected to ensure the validity of the results. This is important to acquire an objective measure of the impact which your marketing campaign has on your users. When measuring the success of the marketing campaigns you will measure the difference in responses between the control group and the rest of the segment, as opposed to your full user base.

Personally exempting a percentage of your users from the marketing campaign you worked hard to create can be a hard pill to swallow, as this equates to a loss in potential revenue, but control groups are necessary for the long term success of your marketing strategy. Effective marketing strategies incorporate control groups for a reason. If your control group, the users who did not receive the marketing campaign, respond similarly to those who did, then you can assume that the campaign you deployed was ineffective.

Understanding how your users react to your marketing efforts is critical
Understanding how your users react to your marketing efforts is critical

Adjusting the control groups for your company

Although utilising control groups can be an effective method for gaining an understanding of your users, measures need to be taken to ensure that they are optimized for each campaign.

The percentage of users in each control group must be relative to the amount of users which you are targeting for each campaign. If you are targeting a marketing campaign to a segment of 10,000 users, then a control group of 5% would be sufficient. With this particular scenario, 500 users would be large enough to obtain reliable information about the success of your campaign.

If you are deploying a campaign to a smaller amount of users, say 1000, then the percentage of users in your control group would need to be larger so you can garner substantial results. Conversely, if you are deploying a campaign to a large amount of your users, then the % of users in your control group can be smaller. It’s all relative. 

In addition to this, you also need to take into account the expected response rate of the marketing campaign you are deploying. If you expect a high response rate then the control group can be smaller, and vice versa.

Understanding statistical significance in your marketing experiments is also vital in measuring how successful they are. For example, if you find that 5% of the users who received the marketing campaign purchased something, and 4.7% of the users who did not receive the campaign purchased something, it is unclear if these are significant results. In light of this, you will need a significance test. It adds authority to your results and allows you to understand the true value of your marketing interaction.

Such a significance test needs to be done with every control group, so you can compare the two outcomes of the marketing experiment. Depending on the parameters, significance tests offer a 95% or 99% certainty that the two sets of results are different. It is critical to note that significance tests can also fail if you cannot establish any real differences in the two outcomes. If the significance test fails, you cannot be sure that your marketing campaign has any positive effect.

Are Control Groups necessary for every campaign?

Control groups are necessary for gaining insights on your users reactions to your marketing campaigns, but they aren’t necessary for every campaign. If you were to incorporate a control group for every marketing campaign, this would amount to a sizeable percentage of potential revenue which is being missed for each interaction, lowering the overall ROI.

If you are incorporating control groups into your marketing strategy and you have a successful experiment, then you can remove the control group and deploy that marketing campaign to everyone in the segment. It is important to then reinstate the control group every so often, to ensure that the insights gained still remain true.

How do utilise control groups for your company?

If your company is running multiple marketing campaigns every month then the level of analysis required to ensure you are incorporating relevant users into your control groups can be a difficult task.

Utilizing software which can automate this process is a valuable tool for the success of your marketing efforts. segments your users into easily targetable groups for your marketing campaigns, ensuring that your interactions with your users are personalized. We then introduce the necessary control groups into your marketing campaigns for you, ensuring that you get the most understanding and insight from each campaign. We take care of the analysis side, so that you can focus on creating a successful campaign.

We also provide analysis from every campaign you deploy with a control group, allowing you to learn what the best way to interact with your users is. monitor your control groups, ensuring that they always have the right percentage of users for effective analysis. We will remove your control groups when necessary, and reinstate them at a relevant time to ensure the information regarding your campaigns remain true. In addition, we also provide helpful insights and tips to improve your marketing interactions. Eventually this will result in you having the perfect marketing campaign.

Want to know more about control groups and how they can increase the effectivity of your marketing efforts? Get in contact or schedule a demo with now!