How to use control groups to measure campaign results

You can purposely exclude a random sample of prospects or customers from a marketing campaign to ensure that they do not receive the offer. After the campaign runs, you can compare the activity of the control group against those who received the offer, to determine the effectiveness of your campaign.

Controls are applied at the cell level. Cells that contain IDs which you purposely exclude for analysis purposes are called control cells. When you assign offers to cells, either in a contact process in a flowchart or in a target cell spreadsheet (TCS), you can optionally specify one control cell for each target cell.

In Unica Campaign, controls are always hold-out controls. In other words, they are not contacted with an offer, even though they qualify for the offer. Contacts who belong to control cells are not assigned any offers and are not included in contact process output lists. Holdouts ("no-contacts") do not receive communications, but are measured against the target group for comparison.

Unica Campaign provides the following methods for working with control groups:
  • To create control groups, use the Sample process. The Sample process provides several options for excluding IDs (Random, Every Other X, Sequential Portions).
  • To exclude control groups from offers, configure a Mail list or Call list process in a flowchart. When you configure the process to assign offers to cells, you can optionally exclude control groups from contact.
  • If you work with a target cell spreadsheet (TCS), you can use the Control Cell and Control Cell Code columns to identify control cells. Cells that are designated as controls cannot be assigned offers.
  • The contact history tables are populated when you run the flowchart in production mode. The contact history identifies the members of control cells and the offers that were withheld (not sent to controls). This information allows for analysis and comparison of the target versus control cell for lift and ROI calculations.
  • Use the Response process in a flowchart to track control group responses simultaneously with offer responses.
  • The Unica Campaign Performance and Offer Performance reports indicate the lift, or difference, in response from an active target cell that received an offer.

When you plan an offer, consider whether you want to use holdout control groups for cells that are assigned the offer. Control groups are a powerful analysis tool for measuring Campaign effectiveness.