A/B Split Tests, Improved Template Editing, and Bounce Storage

We've got a couple of exciting features to announce this week. A/B split tests give you new ways to test and improve your email content, an improved editor makes it more enjoyable to craft templates, and access to raw bounce messages helps troubleshoot tricky delivery problems.

A/B Split Tests

A/B split tests give you a powerful new capability to easily track and optimize the engagement your users have with your email content. This has been a standard feature for years in bulk email products, and now we're offering it for your transactional email, too. Here's how you use it:

First, decide which emails you want to test by specifying a tag. If you don't want to test all the emails with that tag, you can also set a random sample percentage to test against.

Finally, specify templates to use for the test. The email traffic being tested will be split evenly across the templates. If you only want to test changing one value, like a subject line, you can leave all the other template fields blank. In that case, we'll keep the value provided in the actual email.

And that's it! Once your split test has started and is generating results, you can view the test reports to see an engagement breakdown for each test group. Once you're ready to pick a winner, you can modify the original call or template, and stop the test.

Full-Screen Template Editing and Editor Themes

The code behind HTML emails gets complicated really quickly and having to scroll through a small textarea when editing can be pretty frustrating. To help alleviate that frustration, we've added the option to make the template editor the full size of your browser window. Just click on the maximize button (or F11 when the editor is in focus) and you'll go full screen. Once you're finished up, click on the minimize button (or esc) and you'll go back to the normal template view.

We've also added the option to change themes in the template editor, so you can decide what works best for you. The control lives right above the editor and we'll save your preference for you. Don't like light themes? We have several dark ones for you to choose from. Use solarized? We have the light and dark solarized themes. Love the Mandrill colors? We created the aptly named 'Mandrill' theme just for you.

Raw Bounce Message Storage

Mandrill makes it easy to handle bounces. Automatic categorization of bounces identifies whether the bounce was a temporary or more permanent issue, and a general bounce description tells you the type of error (like Mailbox Full). We also store a brief description of the bounce for viewing. In most cases, this is all the information you need. If you're troubleshooting a particularly unusual bounce, it can help to have more detailed information. To help in cases like this, Mandrill now stores the full diagnostic message for 7 days.