Use campaigns to create and send one-time messages to your subscribers. Campaigns are useful for letting your subscribers know about something specific, like an upcoming sale or when an item is back in stock. A/B test campaigns let you test multiple variants of the same message to see which converts the most subscribers into customers. Once you build a campaign, you can send it right away or schedule them for a specific date and time.

If you want to send a sequence of messages based on subscriber behavior, check out journeys.

You can send two kinds of campaigns:

  • One-time message: a campaign that sends a single, static message to your subscribers. Use one-time messages to keep your subscribers engaged, and drive revenue by sharing your latest news or to promote products and upcoming sales. For more on one-time messages, see Create and send a campaign.
  • A/B test: a campaign that sends up to thirty variations of the same message to one or more subscriber segments to see which one resonates, converts, or drives the most revenue.

On this page

You should know

  • If you’re using Shopify, you can make your messages to subscribers more human by personalizing them with dynamic content, including subscriber names, products they purchased or viewed, or their order status. For more, check out Add personalization to your messages.
  • If Shopify doesn't have an entry for a personalization you include in a message, it's left blank. For example, if you include "Hey {firstName}, your order is confirmed!" in a message but the subscriber's first name field is blank in Shopify, the subscriber sees "Hey , your order is confirmed!"

Decide what to test: send time or message content

You can use campaigns to run two types of A/B tests:

Currently, you can test either the timing of your campaign or the content of each message, but not both at the same time.

Test message content


Tip! We encourage you to run auto-winner A/B tests for a minimum of 2 to 4 hours, as conversion results aren't realized immediately.

: Each campaign message variant you send may be billed differently. For example, if one variant consists of 150 text characters and no images, and another variant consists of 150 text characters and an image, you'll be billed for one MMS and one SMS message. For more, see SMS message length best practices.  

You have two options when testing for message content:

  • Even split A/B test: Evenly divide recipients among message variants.
  • Automatic winner A/B test: Run an initial test on a portion of recipients to see which variant performs the best, and then send the winning variant to the remaining recipients.

By default, 20% of the subscribers in the segments chosen for the test receive variants of your test message. Then, the variant that has either the highest click-through rate or the lowest unsubscribe rate is designated the winner. The remainder of your segment will receive only the winning variant.

You can:

  • Change the percentage of segment subscribers to receive the test by dragging the slider to the left or right.
    Generally and for most campaigns, you should keep the slider at 20%.
  • Send the test to all segment subscribers by dragging the slider all the way to the right.
    You should set the slider to send the test to 100% of subscribers if you want to run a larger test, and use the results to later send a separate one-time message campaign.

Test message send times

You can also run a test campaign to see which times of day, or which days, have the best conversion rates for your campaigns. Note that currently, you cannot test variants of the same campaign while testing send times.

You can:

  • Select whether to base the send time of your campaign by your company’s timezone, or by each subscriber’s time zone.
  • Set a time and date for each send time you want to test.

Set up and name your A/B test message

  1. Go to Campaigns and click the + Create campaign button.
  2. Select A/B test and click Continue.
    Set up your A/B test opens.
  3. For A/B test name, enter a name for your A/B test. Use a specific, memorable name for your campaign to make it easier to find later.

    Note: Your subscribers will not see the name of your campaign.

    For Who will you send this A/B test to?, select the segment you want to send the A/B test to. By default, all subscribers are selected. For more, check out What is segmentation?

    Tip: When running A/B tests, you’ll get better results with more subscribers. We recommend at least 500 subscribers per message variant.
  4. (Optional) Edit the Smart Sending setting for this campaign. Use Smart Sending is selected by default, which prevents subscribers who've recently received a one-time message from receiving another too quickly.
  5. (Optional) Add one or more tags for your campaign. Use tags to help keep your campaigns organized, and to make it easier to find them in the future. In an upcoming release, you'll be able to sort and filter the campaigns list by tags.
  6. Click Save & continue.

Set test details

  1. For How many content variations would you like to test?, select a number of variants to test. You can test up to thirty variants in one A/B test.
  2. For Optimization settings, use the slider to set what percentage of subscribers you want to send the test to. For guidance on what percentage to select, check out Automatic winner vs. even split A/B test above.
  3. Select the winning criteria:
    • Click-through rate: The variant with the highest click-through rate is chosen as the winner.
    • Unsubscribe rate: The variant with the lowest unsubscribe rate is chosen as the winner.
    • Conversion rate: The variant with the highest conversion rate is chosen as the winner.
    • Total revenue: The variant with the highest total revenue wins.
  4. Click Save & continue.

Design your campaign

Now for the fun part: composing your message! As you write your message in the Message box, the preview updates in real-time.


To design your first message variant:

  1. Enter your message in Message.
    As you compose, note the two numbers in the corner:
    • The first number (39 in the image) is your total character count.
    • The second (1 MMS + 1 SMS in the image) is the number of messages you'll be billed for.

      You can also include the name of the subscriber in the message by clicking the Personalization macro icon ( { } ), and selecting firstName, lastName, or fullName. Note that you'll only be able to use personalization macros if you're using Shopify or collecting subscriber details via the Attentive API.
  2. (Optional) Click the Emoji icon and select the emoji you want to include. You can include more than one, but remember that using emojis reduces the number of characters you can include per message.
  3. Click the Personalization button { } to include personalization macros in your campaign message. You can include the following personalization macros in your campaign message:
    • First name
    • Last name
    • Full name
  4. Click the Offers icon to include an offer in your campaign.
    You can:
    1. Use an existing offer: Click the Use an existing offer link, and then click Select on the offer you want to include. Make sure to click the {coupon} variable to include it in your message.
    2. Click Create a new offer to create and use a new offer.
  5. Click + to add a short link or media to your message. Options include:
    • Short link: a shortened URL to a website which can include Google Analytics tracking.
    • Photo/gif: a photo or gif that appears at the top of your message. You can use PNG, JPG, or GIF files up to 500 KB.
    • Video preview link: a MP4 video file up to 8 MB you upload that subscribers can watch on their device.
    • Virtual Contact Card: share your contact name and image with subscribers. For more, see Contact Cards.

      You can include multiple short links, but only one photo/gif, view preview link, or virtual contact card.
  6. (Optional) Click Send test message in the preview, enter your mobile device number, and click Send test.
  7. Click Compose message variant B.
  8. Repeat the above steps for each variant. When you’re finished with each, click Save & continue.

Review and send your campaign

Finally, review your campaign. You can click Edit recipients or Edit design to fine-tune your campaign, or click Send test message to send a preview to yourself.


When you're ready to send your campaign, click Choose send time and you can choose one of the following options:

Send your campaign now

  1. Click the Send now tile.
  2. Click the Send now button. Your campaign is placed in a send queue. You have ten minutes to pause and edit the campaign before it’s sent to your subscribers.

Schedule to send

  1. Click the Schedule tile.
  2. Use the dropdown menus to select a date and time to send your test.

    Note: You can’t use the subscriber’s local time with A/B automatic winner tests.
  3. Click Schedule. Your campaign is placed in a send queue. You can pause and edit the campaign before it’s sent to your subscribers.

    After you send or schedule your message, you can find it in the Scheduled tab of Campaigns: