Posted in A/B Split Testing on December 12th, 2012
For a long time now, A/B testing experts and consultants the world over have been advising their clients to go for the quick wins on a landing page. And when we talk of quick wins, nothing is quicker than changing headline copy. Unfortunately, in larger organizations, it’s also the one that causes a lot of heart burn because marketing and branding executives are uncomfortable positioning their offerings in the completely new ways suggested by the optimization expert. Today’s case study shows why it makes sense to be continually testing and getting the quick wins.
Laura Roeder Social Media provides social media marketing training for small businesses based out of Los Angeles. Their online shops include Zero to Facebook, Your Backstage Pass to Twitter and Creating Fame. For years, they had been using the headline “Could You Use a Free Plan For Promoting With Social Media?” on their homepage, directing visitors to sign up for their newsletter “The Dash”.
For the headline test, Laura wanted to test something that was more conversation and sounded less like marketing copy. She wasn’t sure if it would work because the new headline just refers to a newsletter, but not what it was about. That meant visitors wouldn’t be able to tell what they were signing up for. However, she let her intuitions be and turned to Visual Website Optimizer to A/B test her idea.
Even though the variation headline was a winner from the word go, she let the test run for 12 days. After that period, reports showed that the variation headline increased signups for the newsletter by 24.31% with 97% chance to beat original.
This is what Laura had to say about the test.
“The main takeaway in my opinion is to do something a little different that gets attention. We all know that visitors have a VERY short attention span, but we get so focused on mimicking what competitors do that our sites end up reading like boring brochures. Also, there’s no better source of feedback than real customers! That’s where I got the idea for the headline in the first place, it’s a piece of feedback that we get constantly.”
But wait, it gets even better
The best part is that Laura didn’t stop at that. In fact, she’s almost always testing and the current landing page of the website has undergone many changes. It employs loads of best practices and is an excellent guide for anyone interested in optimizing their landing pages.
Quickly rounding up the best practices on this homepage, they are:
- A headline that catches the visitor’s attention
- A sub headline that provides social proof as well as a call to action to sign up for their newsletter
- Another call to action that includes an all caps “Free”. See this case study on how the word “Free” affects conversion rates.
- Large button that is easy to click and also has a contracted arrow pointing towards it.
- A large amount of social proof… see how social proof helped in increasing revenues by €50,000.
- Eyes looking towards the primary headline. Here’s some awesome research on how this affects visitor behavior.
- Human photos have shown to increase conversions even when intuition says they shouldn’t have. And then there are the famous 37signals tests.
Hope these the best practices culled from the LKR Social Media homepage serve as a guide for your landing pages too. If there’s something you like, dislike or want to clarify about this case study, please just scroll down a little and put in a comment.
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