Quality Assurance

Marketing Automation- Effective Testing Approach

Introduction

 

Marketing Automation allows users to streamline the creation, management, and analysis of campaigns and leads in one place. This primarily includes automating and tracking previously manual processes for email, website interactions, events and other as they move through the customer lifecycle. It helps marketers do more, in less time, with better results.

After developing a great website Marketing team spends hours driving visitors to it and nurturing them into leads then the sales team spends its time in collecting, qualifying, organizing and chasing those leads. Sales also focus on what they do best, Selling the Product and Marketing wants to get on with what they do best, Creating innovative campaigns.

By Automating all repetitive processes, Teams can focus on bringing new customers and making more sales. It helps in aligning marketing and sales efforts and increase ROI and revenue.

        What is Marketing Automation (MA)

MA refers to platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.

Marketing Automation Tools

A number of different Marketing Automation tools are available in the market. Following are the top picks

  1. Marketo
  2. Adobe campaign
  3. Pardot
  4. Eloqua

 

Testing Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation is all about complex workflows, which needs to be thoroughly tested. Irrespective of the Marketing Automation Tool used, following are the prerequisites which should be fulfilled by the Tester before planning the testing.

Prerequisites for Marketing Automation

  1. The tester should have access to the tool used for Marketing Automation
  2. The tester must go through the online training videos for a tool (e.g. Marketo, Abobe Campaign, etc.) used for Marketing Automation
  3. The tester should have a good understanding of use cases and a thorough understanding of the functionalities.

 

What needs to be Tested

  1. Rendering of Emails on different devices
  2. Landing Pages
  3. Ensure Tracking code is implemented Correctly and on all devices
  4. Forms Submission data
  5. Program wise Testing to check whether the forms are following Standards, Naming conventions, Channels, Progressions
  6. Campaign Launching (Marketo) or Workflows (Adobe Campaign)
  7. Whether Segments are generating the correct list of persons
  8. Lead scoring rules applied properly
  9. Lead Life cycle rules working properly

 

How to perform Testing:

  1. Email Testing:

Email coding is very different from HTML for the web in more than one or two ways. Unlike web development, there are no universal standards among email clients. These specifications make the developer’s job even harder. When coding, developers must abide by the rules of different email clients in order to make the template look and work the way it’s supposed to.

Litmus Tool can be used to perform Email Testing.

How Litmus Email Testing works

Litmus is a brand for a web service that lets you test your template on 70+ email clients and devices in a matter of seconds. In short, automated email testing. Such a service allows you to quickly identify broken links, images, or other bugs.

This is how Litmus Testing works:

  1. You send a test email.
  2. The software makes email clients open it.
  3. Litmus makes screenshots of how your email looks on email clients and devices.
  4. You get these screenshots in a matter of seconds.

 

Here are 25 elements which QA should consider for testing:

 

Subject Line From Name Day of the Week Time of Day Frequency
Mostly-Images s. mostly-Text Short Copy vs. Long copy Links vs buttons Number of links Unsubscribe at the top
First Name personalization – in the Subject line First Name personalization – in the Email body Animated Gifs Font colors Font Styles
Opt-Down Social Sharing icons Social Connecting icons Delivery time Zone Call to action – number
Call to action – placement Post-click landing page Social Proof Tone – human vs. cooperate Copy length

 

  1. Email Delivery Package:

 

Emails should land to the inbox of the customer rather than Spam or Junk folders. The Internet Service provider (ISP) created an algorithm to analyze the email. Every time Email been send by anyone been analyzed and determined by algorithm whether it’s a Spam or not.

QA team needs to make sure that the delivery of emails should be landed on the Inbox rather than on Spam or junk folders.

  1. Landing Page Testing:

 

Landing Page is the webpage with a single focused call to action like a Signup form or a button. Landing pages are often linked to social media, e-mail campaigns or search engine marketing campaigns to enhance the effectiveness of the advertisements.

On Landing pages, the quality professional can test

  1. Headline copy
  2. Videos
  3. Images
  4. CTA’s
  5. Page color
  6. Button color
  7. Button text
  8. Responsiveness

 

  1. Tracking code:

Tracking code means tracking the activities of the lead. For example:

  • Which forms lead has filled
  • Which pages have lead visited
  • How much time lead spent on each page?
  • How many emails opened and how many times opened?

 

Using Tracking code tester can verify all the activities mentioned above by following methods

  1. By checking the source URL
  2. Checking the record been created in MA tool.

 

  1. Form Submission:

Forms on landing pages are filled and submitted by Leads. The tester should check Marketing Automation Tools like Marketo or Adobe Campaign whether lead’s data have been created or not. Test forms in a private/incognito browser window which will help the tester using a clean test environment. Further, it does not use any existing cookies, so there’s no chance of overwriting an already-tracked contact with “test” information

  1. Program wise Testing:

Program requirements are shared by the customer. Program requirements can be

  • Event
  • Engagement
  • Email
  • Default program
  • Drip Down

 

The tester needs to validate this setup in Marketing Automation tool as well as the end result.

  1. Workflows:

A content marketing workflow is a sequence of processes that govern the tactical elements of the campaigns.

The tester needs to ensure that all the created workflows are working as per requirement and delivering expected results.

  1. Campaign Launching

A marketing campaign is a focused, tactical initiative to achieve a specific marketing goal. It requires a step-by-step process that focuses on execution and the resources need to successfully achieve a particular result. The tester needs to ensure that the logic used in the Campaign is working properly or not by verifying the following scenarios.

  • For starters, in basic drip campaigns (is a communication strategy that sends or “drips”, a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time.), The tester makes sure the scheduled dates are accurate.
  • If it’s a perpetual drip, double-check the spacing between emails is as desired.
  • For more complex campaigns, QA should make sure the emails and other events (e.g. alerts, list management) executed as per planned.
  • Consider using flowcharts o plan your campaigns and then run them through accelerated test scenarios until you are satisfied that the execute as desired.

 

  1. Segmentation:

Market segmentation is the process of dividing a market of potential customers into groups, or segments, based on different characteristics. Not all platforms have deep segmentation tools, but the ones that do can have very complex variables defined. Make sure you test the list of contacts that are output matches defined in the tool. Examine sample records to make sure the contact meets the specific criteria of that unique segment. In other words, The tester needs to check filter login in segmentation and confirm results are coming as per filters.

  1. Lead scoring rules and Lead Life:

Lead scoring is a methodology used by sales and marketing departments to rank leads, or prospective customers by assigning values to them based on their behavior relating to products or services.

Lead scoring can be a tricky business. Aside from creating a lead scoring plan and mapping that to the specific marketing automation software’s scoring technology, the tester needs to validate all the elements that create scoring changes. Form submissions, contact field values, specific web page visits and more, a test that the proper score value is passed to the contact’s record. The tester also needs to ensure that the scoring campaign is working as per logic defined by the customer (requirement document).

Conclusion

Marketing automation is all about generating quality leads not just selling. Marketing Automation is the process which brings both sales and marketing together to generate the business for the organization. Like any software, things can go wrong even with Marketing automation. A buggy email can hurt not merely the business but also the reputation of the organization. These risks and challenges can be mitigated by adopting efficient test techniques and best practices.

 

 

 

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