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Giacomo Balli
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A/B Testing ideas for website conversions

There's a joke in the marketing world that A/B testing actually stands for "Always Be Testing." It's a great reminder that you can't get stellar results unless you can compare one strategy to another (or one experiment to another).
If you're new to marketing or not familiar with A/B Testing, here's a quick explanation.

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing is the process of comparing two versions of a web page, email, or other marketing asset with just one varying element. For instance, if you're A/B testing a headline, you would create two versions of the same page with only the headline changed.
After you prepare your variations, you present each version to half of your visitors. The test will tell you which version proved most popular amongst your audience based on specific metrics, such as conversion rate.
A/B testing is filled with surprises. You can create a hypothesis based on years of experience and hundreds of successful tests, but outcomes are impossible to predict — especially when people (website visitors) are involved.
There is no one-size-fits-all recipe. What works for one business won't work for another — and vice versa.
Don't expect to get the same results by implementing the experiments that have resulted in massive conversion boosts in this book. We recommend you ALWAYS run your own tests just to be sure.
Here's the truth about A/B testing and why so many people don't bother with it. A/B Testing is painfully time consuming and very hands-on to run and manage.

Animated Headline vs Static Headline

The Experiment

This experiment is very simple. You're testing a static headline vs. an animated headline. An animated headline could be as simple as the letters being typed out one by one.

The Psychology

The headline is by far one of the most important elements on your page.
It sets the stage for the visitor by answering the question "what is this and why should I be interested in it?". It also sets the stage for the visitor to make a decision to continue reading or leave.
The idea behind this experiment is you want to give attention to your headline. Moving objects typically do a great job of bringing attention to something. So if you have a pretty good headline, you can bring more attention to it by animating it.

The Result

The results of this experiment are a little confusing. In some experiments, the animated version won a few times and in other experiments the static headline won. With one of the experiments, the animated headline decreased conversion rates from 0.76% to 0.54% — a decrease of 29%.
Like we mentioned, in some cases the conversion rate increased as well.
So the moral of the story is to make sure to test each version yourself.

Add "It's Free" Beside Signup Buttons

The Experiment

If you have any buttons on your page where you can add the magical two words "it's free" text next to it, this will be a great experiment for you to run.

The Psychology

Who doesn't like free stuff? Whether it's free t-shirts you get when you signup for credit cards in colleges, or a staff offering you a free doughnut as you're standing in a busy Krispy Kreme line. It's a fact in life — people like free things!

The Result

Without changing anything else on your page, and just adding the magical words "it's free" beside your button increased conversions from 14.5% to 18.6% — an increase of 28%!

Add "Sign-up Takes Less Than 60 Seconds" to Subheadline

The Experiment

Add a subheadline on your sales page that says "Sign-up takes less than 60 seconds."

The Psychology

Many people don't take action because it either takes a lot of time and effort or just the unknown — how much time or effort something will take.
In this scenario, it is easier to comprehend that signing up will take less than 60 seconds. To add on to this point, if you think about doing something in under 60 seconds, you automatically assume that such a quick task will require very little effort.

The Result

Adding this one subheadline on the sales page improved conversions by 30%.

Change Shape Of CTA Button

The Experiment

Change the shape of your call-to-action button. Test out different variations such as rectangle, slightly rounded edges, completely rounded edges, etc.

The Psychology

Buttons come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, and there really is no onesize-fits-all solution that works every time.
People like to say things like "You should never use red because it's a stop color." or "Green buttons are best!" While such generalizations are convenient, they rarely mirror reality. What actually works will vary wildly depending on the context and the layout of the landing page.

The Result

In an experiment conducted which changed the color and size of button from blue/rectangle to green/rounded resulted in a 35% increase in conversions.

Navigation Bar vs No Navigation Bar

The Experiment

The idea behind this experiment is to test which page converts better — page with navigation or without the navigation bar.

The Psychology

The reason why a simplified landing page without any distractions has been so successful is because they cut out the noise. When a visitor lands on your landing page, their options are to either remain and consume the content or leave because it does not interest them.
A simplified landing page prevents users from mindlessly browsing around and clicking links on your page. The more the user clicks around, the higher the chances they will become confused and unable to make a decision.

The Result

A simplified landing page without a navigation bar produced a 21% increase in conversions. Conversions increased from 24.4% to 29.6%.

Specific Numbers in Headline

The Experiment

Run an experiment which changes the number in the headline from "Discover How This Very Blog Grew to 10,000+ Subscribers in Just Months" to "Discover How This Very Blog Grew to 10,471 Subscribers in Just 12 Months".

The Psychology

A specific number in the headline sounds more believable because it is not a generic/artificial number. It shows you have gone back to check your data and confirm that number. It also gives the impression that you did not pull those specific numbers out of thin air but are reporting the reality of it.

The Result

Using a specific number in your headline increased conversions by 34%.

Add The Following Badges: Free Shipping, 100% Secure, Money Back Guarantee, etc.

The Experiment

Add some kind of reassurance badges on your page to make the visitors feel more satisfied & secured.

The Psychology

The idea behind this experiment is to provide users with a peace of mind.
Knowing that they will not be charged shipping or their order is 100% secure or you have a money back guarantee will make them feel less inclined to abandon their purchase.

The Result

An experiment conducted with the Verisign trust seal to relay a sense of trust to their visitors resulted in a 42% increase in conversions.

Red Headline

The Experiment

Simple experiment — change the color of your headline to red.

The Psychology

If you ask a designer to change the color of your headline to red when it does not match your website design, they'll think you are crazy.
However, red is an attention grabbing color. That's precisely why you see stop signs and traffic lights use red to indicate stop.

The Result

Marketers know that red almost always wins even though it may not match the site design. In this case, changing the headline color from blue to red increased conversions from 3% to 12.5% — an increase of 313%!
That is remarkable and something we suggest you definitely should run as an experiment on your page as well. Even if it makes your page ugly!

Add Countdown Clock to Create Urgency

The Experiment

Add a countdown clock to your sales page to create urgency.

The Psychology

Last minute decisions are made for several reasons. One of those reasons is when there is an urgency of something and that you'll miss out on it if you don't jump on board right away. So people go crazy for "limited-time" offers like Starbucks' holiday cups which are around for a very short period of time.

The Result

Adding a countdown timer to the offer page increased conversions by 20%.

Increase the Size & Dimensions of Sales Video

The Experiment

Increase the dimensions and size of sales video.

The Psychology

Increasing the size of the video takes up more real estate space on a users screen making it more visible and "in your face". This could lead to a higher likelihood of a visitor watching the video and not get distracted with other elements on the sales page.

The Result

A video size that was 720 x 400 converted 31% better than a video that was 640 x 360.

Add/Remove Full Video Controls

The Experiment

Add or remove certain video control options on your sales video.

The Psychology

Adding or removing full video controls from your sales video can have different impacts for different reasons. For example, if you remove the option to skip around in the video, then the visitor will be "forced" to watch through the whole video and not skip any details of the sales presentation.

The Result

A test which observed leaving only the pause button and removing the rest of the full video controls increased conversions by 52%.

Test Different Headlines

The Experiment

Test different headlines on your sales page.

The Psychology

If there's one thing you need to test and optimize on your page, it's your headline. It will have the single biggest impact on your conversion rate because it's the first thing people see and decide whether they want to stay on the page or leave.
When you start running your traffic to your sales page, most of the time you will not know the mind of your visitor. What we mean is that you will not know how they think, how they will react when they land on your page, what their pain points are or the problem you're solving is even worth solving for them.
However, we all know that everyone thinks differently. Some people will act because Headline A was more relatable than Headline B. And other times, the opposite might be the case.

The Result

Depending on your niche, target market and product, your results will vary a lot. In an experiment observed where a sales page tested three different headlines, the 3rd headline increased conversion rates from 24% to 54% — an increase of 125%.

Test Different Subheadlines

The Experiment

Test different subheadlines on your sales page.

The Psychology

The second thing people will usually look at after your headline is your subheadline, hence this is the second most important thing to get right.

The Result

The results of this test will vary depending on your target market, niche and product. However, in an experiment where the subheadline was changed to "Sign-up takes less than 60 seconds." performed 30% better than "Pay as you go. 30-day free trial on all accounts."

Test Different Videos

The Experiment

Test different videos on your sales page.

The Psychology

Similar to the experiment of testing different headlines & subheadlines, testing different videos is also an important experiment that you should perform on your sales page. You can test different videos like an animated video vs. hand-drawn video. Some others could be a man speaking vs. a woman speaking.

The Result

The results of this will vary depending on your niche. An experiment which was tested in the weight loss niche, video with the male's voice converted higher than the female voice. But this could easily be a different case for your product or service. We recommend testing different types of videos against one another to find the most optimal creative for your audience.

Add A Widget Like "Proof" To Show Social Proof As Sales Come In

The Experiment

Add social proof to boost your conversions and credibility by showing a little popup in the corner of your page. This little popup could show the name and place of the person who took up your offer.

The Psychology

You remember when Apple first released their iPhones and how people stood in lines for days just to purchase one? Now you obviously weren't standing in that line, but the amount of people you heard standing in the line made you a lot more interested in the product than you might have been otherwise. This is because many of us want what others have. If you see someone living in a nice home, you also wish you were as well.
When we see other people buying something, it acts as "social proof" — if all these people are buying this, then it must be good.

The Result

According to experiments that have been conducted, adding a social proof like popup on your page can increase your conversions by 5-15%.

Test Different Button Colors

The Experiment

Test different color buttons for your call-to-action buttons.

The Psychology

When you design your sales page, there is a good chance that you will most likely go with colors that will match the designs. However, knowing that certain colors convert higher than others, it is important to run this experiment to see how your audience will react.

The Result

In an experiment testing a green button vs. red button, the red button outperformed the green button. The red button increased conversions by 34%.

Change CTA to Benefit Based

The Experiment

Change the CTA action on your buttons from "task based" to "benefit based". Example: Sign Up vs. Increase Your Revenue.

The Psychology

A task based headline like "sign up" is plain and boring and does not provide any sort of inherent value. Instead, "sign up" makes you think of going through a long effort induced process of filling out lengthy forms.
So a button which mentions the benefit will likely convert higher since most people are making a purchase to gain something or reduce their pain.

The Result

Although we don't have concrete results from this, but if one button tells you that it will "Save You Money", while the other one asks you to "Sign Up". We'd place our bets that the first one might have a higher chance of being acted on, as a sign up on it's own has no inherent value.
We recommend testing this on your own page and see what type of results you get!

Add Exit Pop-Up

The Experiment

Add an exit pop-up for users to opt-in or provide a different lower-priced offer.

The Psychology

This one is simple and straightforward. An exit popup is your last chance to try and convert your visitor before they bounce from your page. In order for this exit popup to be effective, giving your visitor a special offer or try to point out something very unique about your product that will make them stop and take action.

The Result

An experiment conducted on a sales page targeting an older demographic, an exit popup with the option to call in to place an order resulted in a 65% lift in conversions.
However, depending on the offer and messaging, an average of 5-10% can be expected.

In-line Visible Opt-In vs. Pop-up

The Experiment

If your landing page has the opt-in form fields on a pop-up, replace it by adding the fields directly on to the landing page.

The Psychology

The idea behind this is to reduce extra steps for visitors which reduces friction. Also, if the visitor sees the opt-in form as soon as they land on the page, they will have a sense of how long the sign up actually is. A good idea would be to have a shorter form.

The Result

The results are inconclusive on this experiment. We recommend running the experiment and observing the results because it can vary based on product/service and target market.

Add Comparison Table Against Competitors

The Experiment

Add a comparison table on your sales page which compares your product against your competitors.

The Psychology

This is great because it showcases that your product or service is better than your competitors. Adding something visual such as a comparison table makes it a great way to show how you are different and/or better than your competitor.

The Result

The results are inconclusive on this experiment. We recommend running the experiment and observing the results because it can vary based on product/service and target market.

Professional Photo vs. Casual Photo

The Experiment

Experiment with different photo's of yourself — a professional one with a suit & tie vs. something more casual and laid back.

The Psychology

If you are promoting a financial product you might think a professional photo of yourself wearing a suit and tie might work better. And it just might. However, there is a chance that a casual, laid-back photo of yourself might result in higher conversions.

The Result

An experiment was conducted which tested a professional photo vs.
casual photo promoting a webinar about revenue and increasing cash flow. You'd think that a professional photo would be the winner. But, looks can be deceiving. When replaced by a casual and more laid-back photo, response rate to the webinar increased by over 75%!

Animated Social Count Under CTA Button

The Experiment

Add a social count which updates every second as people take a certain action on your landing page. For example: The "41,284" from this counter updates every second "41,284 have signed up to our mailing list".

The Psychology

Let's take this scenario: Seller A is selling almost identical kitchen gadget as Seller B. However, Seller A has 841 reviews, but Seller B only has 127 reviews. Most people will automatically assume that the product with more reviews is more popular and most likely purchase from Seller A.
The idea behind this scenario is that most people trust when they see others making the same choice. So when a visitor sees that many people have signed up to their mailing list, they will want to as well.

The Result

The results are inconclusive on this experiment. We recommend running the experiment and observing the results because it can vary based on product/service and target market.

Reaffirm Your Information Will Never Be Sold Or Given Away Or Won't Get Spammed Under Opt-In Form

The Experiment

Add a statement such as "We have a very strict anti-spam policy.
You can be certain that your info will never be sold or given away." underneath your opt-in form.

The Psychology

People want to feel secure that they are putting information in safe and responsible hands. By adding this little statement underneath your opt-in form, you will be able to overcome one of their hesitations.

The Result

The results are inconclusive on this experiment.
We recommend running the experiment and observing the results because it can vary based on product/service and target market.

Add Wavy Underline Under Headline

The Experiment

Add a animated wavy underline under your headline.

The Psychology

This is one of those things that you don't see very often and gives an impression of something "different" which is eye-catchy and demands attention.

The Result

The results are inconclusive on this experiment. We recommend running the experiment and observing the results because it can vary based on product/service and target market.

Pop-up Opt-In vs. In-line

The Experiment

If your landing page has the opt-in form fields, replace it with a pop-up that appears once you click the call-to-action button and place the opt-in fields on the pop-up.

The Psychology

The idea behind this is to get micro-commitments from your visitor. If the visitor clicks your call-to-action button, it shows a sign of commitment that they are interested or want to learn more. When the pop-up appears, they may be more likely to provide contact information.

The Result

The results are inconclusive on this experiment. We recommend running the experiment and observing the results because it can vary based on product/service and target market.

Add More Call-to-Action Buttons On Page

The Experiment

If you have a somewhat long sales page, add multiple CTA buttons, perhaps in every section if it makes sense.

The Psychology

If you have a fairly long sales page, adding more call-to-action buttons may be useful in improving your conversion rates. This is because the user will not have to scroll all the way up or down or wherever your CTA button is.
Instead, as they are scrolling through your page, your CTA button is serving as a constant reminder for them to take action. And whenever the user is ready to convert, don't make them wait because you may lose them instead.

The Result

The results of this experiment are not surprising at all. A call-to-action button which lived all the way at the bottom of the landing page only was modified slightly to include the same call-to-action button to be right above the fold, just below the intro paragraph. This experiment yielded more than a 400% increase in conversions!

Floating Video As Visitors Scroll Page

The Experiment

Add the ability to make your video float as a visitor scrolls your page.

The Psychology

Give your visitors the option to watch your video as they scroll through your page. The scrolling video makes it accessible for visitors to easily watch your video while also reading the rest of the information on your page.

The Result

The results are inconclusive on this experiment. We recommend running the experiment and observing the results because it can vary based on product/service and target market.

Add "Recommended / Most Users Get" Beside Product If Multiple Options 40

The Experiment

If you are selling multiple products or a product with different options, add "Most Recommended" or "Best Value" or "Most Users Choose" beside the product.

The Psychology

When your visitors are getting ready to make a purchase, recommend which product or product option they should buy if you have a different pricing tiers. Otherwise, someone who is about to go with the cheapest option will stop and consider the higher priced option.

The Result

The results are inconclusive on this experiment. We recommend running the experiment and observing the results because it can vary based on product/service and target market.

Auto Play Video vs No Auto Play

The Experiment

Experiment between auto-playing your sales video vs. clicking for the user to press play.

The Psychology

On the one hand having your video autoplay is convenient for the visitor because it reduces an extra step/action user has to take on your page.
On the other hand, some might find autoplay annoying or unexpected.

The Result

The results on this test are inconclusive. There have been cases where autoplay increased conversions, and others where it decreased conversions. This is an experiment that we recommend running to observe your results because it could be positive or negative.

Offer Free Shipping

The Experiment

Offer free shipping if selling a physical product.

The Psychology

Stats from freeshipping.org say 43% of shoppers abandon their shopping carts because of unexpectedly high shipping charges and 72% said they would use another site which offered free shipping. 61% said they will likely cancel their entire purchase if free shipping wasn't offered. And lastly, 90% of respondents said free shipping offers would entice them to spend more online.
Most people are still put-off by seeing extra shipping fees or any other type of fees that were not made clear beforehand.

The Result

An experiment that offered free shipping to customers experienced conversions increase from 1.42% to 2.20% — a 55% increase. This experiment was so effective that it also boosted sales of upsell offers as well.

My vs. Your Button Text

The Experiment

Test "my vs. your" pronouns on your buttons.

The Psychology

This is an experiment that doesn't have much psychology behind it. It's an experiment idea that we saw produced results and wanted to share with you so you can test out as well. If you have call-to-action buttons on your site that say "Start free trial", add a pronoun in there and say "Start your free trial" or "Start my free trial".

The Result

An experiment which tested the pronoun "your" vs. "my", changing the call-to-action button to say "my" resulted in a 90% increase in clickthrough rate.
However, in another experiment where "Create My Account" was tested against "Create Your Account", "Create My Account" saw a 25% decrease in conversions.

courtesy of AutoOptimize


#AB testing, #conversion, #ux
Published: Sun, 22 Mar 2020 17:30:55 +0000