Thanks to a lot of the posts I've read before publishing this (specifically Building a Random A/B Split Email Testing Program and E10: How to Run A/B Email Testing on the Campaign Canvas), I've learned a lot about how to get randomized A/B email testing right in Eloqua.
NOTE: Due to the slow-ish throughput on the Cloud Connectors (I usually get between 1,000 and 2,000 contacts through per hour), this may not be the best route for time-sensitive email sends to large lists.
For anyone not using Program Builder and/or looking for a visual walkthrough of a randomized A/B email test on the Campaign Canvas, here's how I do mine.
Step 1: Create a contact field called "Randomized" or something similar. This should be a numeric field. This field will be referenced as "Randomized" throughout this walkthrough.
Step 3: Map out campaign steps—Segment > Cloud Connector > Compare Contact Fields > 2 Emails
Step 4: Configure Math Function Cloud Connector (a multi-step step)
Step 4A: Select Math: Generic Function from Cloud Connector step dropdown and click the pencil to configure
Step 4B: Try to remember your cloudconnector login info
Step 4C: Click Go
Step 4D: On the Configuration tab, use something like "Random number" (or whatever you want to call it) in the Description field. Type RND() in the Math Function field below it. Click Save Settings. You'll know it's saved by the green bar that says Saved directly under the header Math Function Setup.
Step 4E: On the Mappings tab, use a numeric field (I use Contact ID) for Variable A. For the Returned Value field, select Randomized from the list. Click Save Settings. You'll know it's saved by the green bar that says Saved directly above the header Math Function - Contact Identity Source.
Step 4F: On the Test tab, click the Sample Data tab. I usually just click Test Contacts here so it will run the test on my contact record.
If you get any errors here, retrace your steps and make sure your Randomized field is a numeric field.
Step 4G: On the Credentials tab, click Enable Step, in the Run Settings section.
Click Save Settings. After this, you can close the cloudconnectors window.
Step 5: Select your segment. I'm using our Staff segment here.
Step 6: Select Randomized in the Compare Contact Fields dropdown (i.e. Evaluate Contacts whose...). In the next dropdown, choose "at most" and type ".5" in the text field. This will take anyone whose "Randomized" value is between 0 and .5 and send them to the Yes/right email path while anyone >.5 will be in the No/left path.
Step 7: Select your emails to send to each test group. If you don't have emails built yet, then go build them and resume the process here, ya big lug.
Step 8: Click Save.
Step 9: Click Activate. And cross your fingers (at least, that's what I do).
Hopefully, that was somewhat helpful to someone out there looking for a truly randomized A/B test.