Control Cell

When creating Split Cells or an A / B Test, you have the option to designate one of the test cells as a "Control." A Control is a group that will be marked as participating in the Campaign, but they don’t actually receive any of the Campaign communications. Control groups are used to test whether the message you are sending has any impact, as it allows you to compare how recipients of a message respond as compared to those who don’t receive the message at all (those in the “Control”). A Control in Marketing basically means people who aren't marketed to – you don’t send them messages or interact with them.

As an example, let's say you send a Campaign that uses a Control. Your Campaign results indicate that people in the Control group had a 10% purchase rate, the recipients of Message A had a 40% purchase rate, and the recipients of Message B had a 30% purchase rate. These results would suggest that your message was effective, as the purchase rate was significantly higher for the consumers who received your message over those who didn't.

Conversely, let's say that the Control group had a 10% purchase rate, Message A got only 9% and Message B was 11%. These results would suggest that the Campaign message had little to no impact, because the individuals in the Control group (who weren't marketed to) had almost the same purchase rate as those who did receive the marketing messages.

A number of other variables go into this sort of analysis, but Control groups act as a general point of comparison.