Unlocking Click-ability:

Pardot A/B Testing

Ever noticed that little checkbox when setting up an email draft? The one that says “Enable A/B Testing”. This is actually a Pardot feature(available in Pardot Plus, Advanced, and Premium Editions) that allows you to test two different versions of your email to a smaller group of your send lists to find out what your prospects are clicking on. Like any other Pardot feature that you haven’t used before it can seem intimidating to select that checkbox, but it actually is a smooth feature that just capitalizes on the information you already know.

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What To Expect:

You can either choose to create your email from the get-go as an A/B test or later in the process by editing the email basic info. Which you want to do depends entirely on your intentions for what is going to be different in each A/B test. For instance, if you wanted just the standard change of having a different subject line for Email A to Email B, it would be simpler to not set up the email as an A/B test until you had added your code and done all the necessary steps. Then once your email design had been finalized in Pardot, go back and edit it to be an A/B test in the basic info tab.

This is all done because when creating an A/B, the way it works is to make two versions of all the content. Two subject lines, two sets of HTML, two text emails, etc. This can add extra time in the import phase if you’re not planning accordingly like is mentioned above.


Once you have turned on the A/B checkbox there are several other features in scheduling that should be addressed that are slightly different from your normal email sends. When navigating to the sending tab it can be seen that there are an A and a B set of sender information and subject lines that you will change according to what you want to be tested. Below is the actual A/B test information.

The Settings:

How long do you want the test to run before a winner is selected?
This is a setting of how long the test will actually run before one of the emails(either A or B) is selected and that email is sent to the entire audience.

What criteria do you want to use to determine the winner?
This feature offers two choices of either “Clicks” or “Opens” to determine which of the emails will be the winner. “Clicks”, runs off of the idea that the winner is determined through the amount of times prospects click within the email. “Opens”, runs off of the idea that the winner is derived from how many prospects open the email.

Tip: If you are changing the subject line and pre-header text for the test, then the winner should be determined by opens. But if you’re changing something within each email design, then the winner should be determined by clicks.

What percent of your audience do you want to use for testing?
The percent of the audience setting is used in order to determine what percent of the list(s) you are sending to will receive the A/B tests. It can be as low as 10% or as high as 50% depending on how much of your audience you want to add to the A/B test.

A/B testing emails can help unlock what prospects are engaging with and why. This is especially helpful in moving forward as you continue to plan for more email designs, subject lines, and content. Utilizing the information that can be learned from A/B testing can become the difference between knowing and not knowing your target audience.

Questions about A/B testing? Fill out the form above and a Pardot expert will be in touch to help!