A Control Group is a randomised percentage of your segment that does not receive any communication or player engagements at all.
By using control groups, you can monitor the conversion rate for the duration of the campaign to compare the results of those players who received the actions vs those players who did not.
The control group provides a baseline conversion. You can compare the conversion of your activity, action groups or lifecycle versions against this baseline. Therefore you can draw conclusions on whether the player behaviour was a result of the player engagement sent or not.
Using control groups is the only true way to ensure that your player engagement is working.

💹 Don't Mistake Causality with Correlation

It's easy to mistake causality with correlation, but you don't have to fall for it.
The success of a campaign can only be celebrated if you're sure the results would not have been achieved without the player engagement. Are you sure that your email send-out is the reason for the conversion rate?
You can only answer that question if you compare it against a control group.

📊 Create a benchmark

An A/B test compares two variations of a feature, message or user experience. If you are implementing A/B testing in your activities or running more than one version of your lifecycles, then WELL DONE, you are already ahead of the pack!
However, if you are seeking a winning solution from your A/B test, then you need to measure it against a benchmark - a control group. The control group can highlight what works just as much as it can tell you what didn't work.
This can positively affect how you design and run future campaigns, redistribute promotional spending and most importantly, track progress.
Activity with a control group
Activity with a control group
🧠 : Here you can see the Conversion Dashboard for an activity with Action Group A, Action Group B & a Control Group.
The Action Group Breakdown lets us know how the action group performed compared to the control group. For a deeper look at how to interpret the metrics, check out Control Groups from our Knowledge Base.

💰 Save Money

Control groups can save you a lot of money.
By this, we mean, save you money that you are spending on potentially unnecessary costs; SMS costs, bonus costs, etc.
You shouldn't presume that a player's actions occur only because you sent player engagement. Their reasons for their engagement might have nothing to do with you. Maybe they were going to spend regardless.
A control group can give you some empirical answers here that could stop you from spending promotional cash on a campaign that doesn't give you value.

🧠 Things to Consider

If you're still reading, then hopefully you're ready to start using control groups. Here are some considerations to make before getting started;
  1. Focus on what's important. Start with a campaign that has bonus costs - this will help you to highlight if you are giving players unnecessary bonuses and therefore spending unnecessary money.
  2. Select a reputable campaign, maybe something re-occurring, that can give you more data.
  3. Your control group should be around 10% of your total audience, and you'll notice that is our default setting when switching on the Control Group.
  4. A control group should be random, and with FT CRM it is!
  5. Take time to analyse the results.
Armed with the knowledge that can be observed from using control groups, you should now be ready to make informed decisions about how to determine the success of your future player engagement, and to understand what does and does not add value.
Read more about setting up Control Groups here.