Working with a third party company which takes care of ampscript for email and subject lines. They are using variables to generate different subjects based on a columns in a data extension.

The column names they are using is "Subject" and values are either A or B and "Segment".

Example usage = Segment = outdoor and Subject = A = display "Subject line A will go here" Segment = outdoor and Subject = B = display "Subject line B will go here" This goes on for like 4 more scenarios and the email content is also dynamic as well.

So they are using a variable like %%=v(@subjectLine)=%% to pull everything in. Everything works perfect.

Now, in terms of execution and doing an actual dynamic subject line test, I know there really isn't much out of the box with Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The subject line test we want to mimic would be:

20% Subject A /20% Subject B and send the winning version based on opens. I know Journey builder is unable to achieve this this. The regular AB test tool is ideal but I don't think the winner can be picked up dynamically here.

So I'm looking for work arounds/ideas to make things easier from a setup stand point if any. This client doesn't have sendlog setup on their account. I think I saw one post relating to that somewhere.

We could always drop ppl into a master DE, tag them accordingly either subject A or B. Create a decision split for Subject A and another one for Subject be and send single emails that way. Keeps everything together in one place. After the send (testing period) look into the metrics and figure out which path had the better open rate and send the winner manually. But yeah, more hands on here to accomplish what we want.

  • Curious - is this something you want to scale in perpetuity, or just do it for a one-off? Jan 19, 2021 at 1:38
  • To be honest, its going to become a frequent thing moving forward, at least for this one client. Our team is responsible for the execution/setup of the campaigns that go out the door.
    – Michael
    Jan 19, 2021 at 1:41

1 Answer 1


This sounds a little more complex than it probably needs to be, but it's the idea that immediately popped to mind. Caveat: I haven't truly thought this through.


  • assign the SL values into the DE for selection
  • create an automation that deploys the emails as Step 1
  • add a WAIT activity for X amount of time
  • create a query that populates DEs with Open counts
  • for the follow-up/winner create an AMPscript where the Open count for message 1 is compared to the Open count for message 2; if message 1 > message 2 then SL = message1 otherwise message2

This would be rather tedious to do all the time and likely takes some time to configure.

The easy alternative is to simply split it all out and use A/B testing.

  • Yeah, a lot of setup. I think putting everything in automation studio might be the way to go. I was thinking about it today. And yeah, splitting all out and use the AB testing function. Not fully automated but parts are. Appreciate you getting back to me on this. I might pick your brain a little more in a day or two. Again, thank you.
    – Michael
    Jan 19, 2021 at 1:59
  • Would the query that populates the DE with open counts depend on the JobID or can we grab the EmailID instead. I would assume we would need to lookup the opens dataview here as well.
    – Michael
    Jan 19, 2021 at 2:13
  • Both JobID and EmailID would work, but the EmailID would also include old emails using that email and test sends. Tests may not really matter, but it depends on the overall audience size. The best option would be JOB ID as it relates to the specific mailing we're evaluating. Jan 19, 2021 at 19:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .