Testing helps you ensure that programs work as expected before activation and provides you with a safe environment where you can experiment with your programs. You can test programs to make sure that:
- The size of your target audience is optimal,
- The segments, filters and Decision nodes target the right contacts,
- Messages arrive in the right order,
- Your campaigns look as planned.
The test status uses temporary settings, so after testing your program, the program's original configuration will be reset.
Testing your program's traffic
Suppose that you have a mid-market eCommerce company that is present in multiple markets in Europe. Based on your experience, you have expectations about the number of contacts that should enter the program and go through the different segment and filter nodes.
To test the volume, you need to select the Any Contacts Based on Program Settings option. In this case, all channel nodes will be skipped and the Participation check node or Participation settings will be ignored by default (you can also modify the default settings as required). You might also consider skipping all Wait nodes and ignoring the exit criteria in Automation Center programs. After a few minutes, you can see the number of contacts progressing along the program on the Program Summary page. When you are satisfied with the results, you can activate the program with the original settings.
This is how the test settings look:
Testing your content
Suppose that you have a retail company and you would like to make sure campaigns are properly displayed and there are no mistakes before launching them.
To check your campaigns, you need to select the Only Test Contacts, Sent Manually option and consider disabling all Wait nodes, the Participation check node or participation settings and the exit criteria (you can also modify these settings as required). This way, you can review all the email, SMS and push messages used in your program. When you are ready, you need to activate the program.
This is how the test settings look:
Testing an Automation program
For more information on how to test a program, see Testing an Automation program.
All you need to know about personal data when testing Automation programs
Please note that it is your responsibility how you handle your contacts’ personal data that is displayed when testing Automation programs and Emarsys cannot be held liable for misusing any personal data.
Although only the test contact you selected on the Send Test Event or Send Test Contact dialog will receive marketing communications sent from the triggered programs, there are cases when personal data of your contacts might be displayed during testing Automation programs.
Please take the following into consideration about personal data when testing programs:
- After selecting a Test Event, Interactions will display a random sample event that was stored previously. Sample events are actual events coming from your account that match the selected event source and event. The sample event shown in the Event data section might contain personal data (e.g. email address) of your contact (stored in the Emarsys contact database). Regardless of the displayed personal data, the program you are testing will only be triggered with the selected test contact to make sure that the contact you selected is indeed a test contact created by your company.
- When you review the test contact and event configurations on the Confirm Sending Test Event or Confirm Sending Test Contacts dialog, please keep in mind that clicking Send Test Event or Send Test Contact might result in sending messages that potentially contain personal data. By proceeding, you confirm that you are aware of this risk and you made sure you selected a test contact to start the program.
Is it possible that personal data of my contacts is displayed or used during testing Automation programs?
Yes, it might happen in the following cases:
- If you use external event-based personalization in your campaign, then details from the sample event will be displayed that might contain personal data of another contact.
- If there are Decision nodes using the Trigger attributes template in your program, then those will work based on the sample event which might contain personal data of another contact.
In other cases, a contact’s personal data in the event data will be ignored. Emarsys will always send messages to the selected test contact regardless of the personal data displayed in the sample event.
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Known issues and limitations
- If you would like to change the content of an email campaign in Automation Center programs starting with transactional entry points (i.e. Data change, New contact, Form or On auto-import), then first you need to freeze the program you are testing.
- If you would like to change the content of an email campaign in Interactions and transactional Automation Center programs, then you need to freeze the program you are testing and deactivate the mail stream before making adjustments to the campaign. When you are ready, you need to reactivate the mail stream and set the program status to In Testing.
- Please note that currently you cannot differentiate test results from the results produced after activating the program within the same timeframe on the Program Summary page.
As a workaround, you can distinguish the test results from active results by specifying the time period precisely.
- You cannot differentiate campaigns sent from programs in testing from campaigns sent from active programs (they look the same). Please note that campaign reporting also includes opens and clicks coming from campaigns sent from Automation programs in testing.
Automation Center-specific limitations
Please take the following into consideration when testing Automation Center programs:
- The Send Test Contacts function is not available in programs starting with multiple entry nodes. The Only Test Contacts, Sent Manually option is not available in such programs but you can test them by using the other option.
- The Send Test Contacts function is not available in programs starting with the External event entry node. The Only Test Contacts, Sent Manually option is not available in such programs but you can test them by using the other option. In this case, we recommend using an Interactions program instead.
- You can add single contacts only to transactional Automation Center programs (i.e. programs starting with the Form, New contact or Data change entry points).
- You can test programs starting with the Entry from program entry point only by adding contacts to your program manually.
- Currently, you cannot test Web Channel campaigns in Automation Center programs.