About Multivariate Campaigns

Multivariate Campaigns allow you to test multiple variables to see how small changes to your campaign can have a big impact on your engagement. Choose what you want to test, like the subject line or content, and compare results to see what works and what doesn't.

Unlike A/B Testing Campaigns, Multivariate Campaigns can compare more than one variable type to give information on how multiple variables interact with each other.

This feature is included with Mailchimp Pro, or our Premium plan.


When we talk about Multivariate Campaigns, we use some terminology that's a little different from how we talk about other tools and tasks in Mailchimp.

Each version of your campaign that is created from your chosen variables. If you want to test two From names and two Subject lines, we would create four different combinations of your campaign. Combinations sent in the test phase are called test combinations.

The period of time after the combinations are sent out and we compare the results. Data collected during the test phase can be used to determine the campaign's winning combination automatically or manually.
The element of your campaign you want to test. With a Multivariate Campaign, you can test four variables: Subject line, From name, Content, and Send time. Each version of the variable is called a variation.

Winner or Winning Combination
The combination that performs the best. This may be automatically determined by click rate, open rate, or total revenue, or manually chosen based on the reporting data you find the most valuable.

How Multivariate Campaigns Work

Set Up the Multivariate Campaign

You'll choose up to three of four variable types— Subject line, From name, Content, or Send time—and create up to eight variations. We'll generate all possible combinations and send them to different sets of subscribers, so no subscriber receives more than one combination of your campaign. The combination that subscribers receive are chosen at random and tracked solely for the purpose of choosing a winner, so you won't be able to see which combination a subscriber received.

Choose Winner Criteria

Send the combinations to all your recipients at once if you have a small audience or if you're testing Send time. With other variables or a large audience, send your test combinations to a percentage of your recipients, and send the winning combination to your remaining recipients.

To choose the winner, use one of these options.

  • Automatic: Open Rate, Click Rate, or Total Revenue
    Use these options to send the winning campaign to your remaining recipients after a set amount of time. The winner can be determined by the highest open or click rate, or total revenue if your online store is connected to your account.
  • Manual: Report Statistics
    Use this option to choose the winner yourself based on reporting data or other factors that you find to be the most valuable.

Variables You Can Test

Subject line
Try different phrasing, sales offers, or emoji to see what gets the most attention.

From name
See if your subscribers are more responsive to emails coming from a person's name or from the name of your company or organization. You'll provide the From name and From email address you want to use for each combination.

Create different versions of your content to see what gets a better response. Use this variable to test small content changes or completely different templates.

When you test content, you may want to better understand the efficacy of calls to action, links, or buttons. Use our Link Comparison tool in the campaign report to see how your links performed in each combination.

Send time
Learn when your subscribers are most likely to open your campaigns. Since this option tests specific days and times, you must send your combinations to all your recipients at once because the winning combination can't send at a time that has already passed. Instead, use this data to inform when to send or schedule future campaigns.

Multivariate Campaign Ideas

Here are some ways that Multivariate Campaigns can be used to test engagement among your subscribers.

  • Does including your company name in your subject line and from name increase engagement?
  • Are subscribers more likely to click a linked image or linked text?
  • Should you use your personal name as the from name in combination with a subject line that has an emoji, or use your company name with an all-text subject line?
  • Will a different template increase click rate, even if text content is the same in all the campaign versions you test?
  • Do your subscribers prefer a campaign that contains a GIF or one with static images?
  • Are people more likely to click a link that is just colored text, or one that is styled as a button?

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