A Patch consists of modifying one or several elements on one page (for example, your homepage, basket page, etc.) or a string of pages that share the same layout (all your product pages, all your results pages, etc.). Patching your website means changing a piece of code to correct an error or to push out an important piece of content or information as soon as possible.
The objective of patching is not experimental or personalization, but only to make a very fast change to a page of your site to fix an error or update something urgent. Therefore, it does not generate any reports.
If you’re not sure whether you need to create a patch or run another type of campaign, especially a personalization campaign, our virtual assistant Ally can help you decide.
Heads up 💡
- A patch campaign is always pushed to all of your audience – you can’t choose a specific segment.
- A patch campaign is always pushed to 100% of your traffic.
- A patch campaign can’t be analyzed as it does not generate any report.
- A patch campaign can tell you how many unique visitors have been exposed to the patch (this data is pushed directly to the dashboard).
- You can also force your opt-out visitors to see your patch campaigns.
Part 1: main ways to create a new campaign
A Patch, just like other types of campaign, can be created directly from the campaign dashboard, audience manager dashboard, Chrome extension, or by duplicating or transforming an existing campaign.
Directly from the dashboard
On the Test dashboard, hover over the call to action Create. This will bring up the following list. Click on Patch to enter the Patch creation workflow.
Using the Chrome extension
AB Tasty has released a Chrome extension that allows you to create a campaign directly from the specific page of your website.
Duplications and transformations
If you want to duplicate a Patch to create a new one (with or without modifying some elements of the setup), select the Duplicate option on your dashboard.
- Click the three dots on the right of the campaign line you want to duplicate.
- Click on the first option – Duplicate.
- The duplication modal opens. You can modify the name of your new campaign, otherwise the name will be the same as the existing Patch but with (duplicate) added to the end.
- Select the account where you wish to store your new Patch.
For more information about duplications and specific transformation use cases, refer to our specific article on this topic.
Part 2: The Main Information Page
The Main Information Page is the first step in setting up your new Patch campaign.
General use case: Pasting in the URLs you wish to test
At the top of the page, the dropdown is preselected to Patch. At this stage, you can select another kind of test if needed.
The fields Name and Sample URL are mandatory and need to be filled in to access the Save button.
The Sample URL field should be filled in with the URL of the exact page you want to patch or a sample of the pages that share the same layout as the page you want to patch. It will be used in your campaign:
- To load the visual editor.
- As a pre-filled targeted URL in the targeting step, but it won’t be the final targeted page of your campaign. See our article on targeting for more information.
❗Caution: Don’t use URL parameters in the sample URL fields, otherwise you won't be able to save the step.
⭐Tip: Filling the Hypothesis field is a best practice to help collaboration between teams and so everyone can easily understand the objective of your Patch (for example, pushing a legal message on the homepage). This will avoid wasting time looking for the changes in the visual editor.
Good to know 💡
Once you click on Save, your Patch will be generated (with a unique ID) and will appear in your Tests dashboard. If you return to the Main Information Page, everything will be editable except the type of test (this dropdown won’t be available anymore). At this stage, if you need to change the type of test, you should restart the campaign creation process from scratch or transform your current Patch to another kind of campaign using the duplication action.
Specific use case: Logged pages
By default, when you load a page that requires an authentication (a client account, for example), or a conversion funnel page, the page displayed in the editor will be empty or will show an error because it often requires session information (for example, products to be displayed in the cart page).
To avoid this issue, you need to inject the source code of the page:
You can do this in two ways:
- Using the Load editor with embedded source code option (seen in the screenshot above).
- Or by using the Apply HTML option within the AB Tasty Chrome extension – for details, see our specific article on the Chrome extension.
To Load editor with embedded source code, paste the page’s source code directly into AB Tasty. To do this:
- Go to the URL you want to load in the editor
- Right click Inspect
- In the Elements tab of the console, go to the first line of code: the <html> tag
- Right click it and go to Copy > OuterHTML – this will copy the entire source code of the page with all the scripts and necessary information
- Paste this code into the dedicated window within the Main Information step
❗Caution: The URL field must contain your URL or you won’t be able to save and proceed to the next step.
- Click Save – the page will load in the editor and you can apply your changes as usual
Part 3: The content of your campaign
There are two ways to create trackers for your campaign in AB Tasty:
Using the Visual Editor:
This enables you to create the variations you want to test on your website. For example a blue call to action instead of the current red one, or a new welcome message on your homepage.
The visual editor enables you to manage your Patch by adding or removing new variations, creating visual modifications, or adding action tracking (click tracking) to record the performance of the elements you’re about to challenge.
With the Code Editor:
This feature is not available for Personalization campaigns. To learn more about the code editor, see our Code Editor Guide.
Part 4: Targeting
Targeting is one of the most important steps of the campaign set-up. This determines WHERE your campaign is visible on your website (on every page, on specific pages, on only one page, etc.), and in WHICH conditions the campaign is displayed (after a certain number of pages, when the weather outside drops below a certain temperature, etc.).
Heads up ⚡
By default, a patch is displayed to your whole audience, that’s why you can’t change the WHO section when targeting a patch.
Please refer to our complete guide about targeting to learn how to set up segments of visitors, saved pages and saved triggers to save time in future campaign set-ups.
Part 5: QA
The QA of a campaign is one of the most important steps to take during the campaign set-up. To learn everything about this step, please refer to our complete guide on QA & QA Assistant.
Part 6: Scheduler
If you’d like your Patch to start at a specific time on a specific day, or for it to pause at a specific time, see our guide on scheduling.