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Mbox 101: Understanding the Mmmbox


The first step in understanding Adobe® Target™ is to understand the mbox.  Or as I like to call it –  “the mmmbox.”

(You’ll hate me for this when you can’t get this ridiculous song out of your head, but I couldn’t resist.)

An mbox is a “marketing box,” which is an area on a web page used by Adobe Target to show different content to visitors in a campaign. Marketers can replace blocks of content in the mbox with dynamic content that they’ve created in Adobe Target.  The content displayed inside an mbox during a campaign is called an offer.

For example, marketers can show different offers (images or assets) to new visitors vs. returning visitors.  The visitor has already been to the site and they left for some reason.  If they return, the marketer can pull out all the stops to encourage that user to convert.  Dial up the urgency, offer free shipping, etc. – the options are endless and the opportunity is huge.

The best part is that the marketer tests these conversion-increasing theories while running the Control. Think offering free shipping will close the deal?  Test it!  And not only see how it impacts your conversion rate, see how it impacts your bottom line to make sure that the deal is paying for itself – and then some.

But don’t underestimate the cool factor.  It doesn’t stop at new vs. returning visitors.  There are awesome options to explore!  Test out the hero area with the cool guy vs. the nerd, tie in to the weather using geo targeting (jackets in the northeast, shorts on the west coast), use past purchase info.

A/B testing provides the opportunity to test the content among users during the same time period so that you minimize the impact of external factors (seasonal trends, internal marketing promotions, etc.) that could influence the data. By using Adobe Target and serving up different offers to different users in the mboxes, marketers are able to perform these A/B tests.

Mboxes can also be used to log real-time visitor behavior, not necessarily display different content.  Some mboxes don’t display anything, such as a conversion mbox.  It is designed to track conversion metrics, like adding a product to a cart or checking out. This allows marketers to monitor the engagement of users, pinpoint where the fall-off occurs in their funnel, and track the actual conversion data.

So how does this magical box work?  Mboxes are in the HTML code for each web page, and they are managed through the Adobe Target dashboard.  Marketers create HTML offers in Adobe Target to populate in the mbox during their campaigns.

If/when the Challenger wins, the marketer can take that HTML to their dev team to implement on their new control.  Until that happens, you can push all the traffic to the winning experience through Adobe Target so you’re not wasting traffic to less effective experiences. It provides a great environment to learn, implement and continue the cycle.  And with such great learnings to pass up the ladder, you’re sure to be singing a tune of your own.

Brooks Bell helps top brands profit from A/B testing, through end-to-end testing, personalization, and optimization services. We work with clients to effectively leverage data, creating a better understanding of customer segments and leading to more relevant digital customer experiences while maximizing ROI for optimization programs. Find out more about our services.