If you are looking to squeeze more dollars out of your existing traffic, you need to start running A/B tests. Just really quickly, let me explain what an A/B test actually is if you haven’t already figured it out. It’s simply A or B tests. You try option 1 and see how it converts, then you try option 2 and see how it converts and you go with the highest converting option. This is habit that will get you far with both your online/offline business. There is no harm in testing, but it should be done in subtle manner.
I have been testing you all since I started my Twitter account. You probably had no idea, that’s the point! Although I am not making a dime from you, I am simply doing the testing for other projects and to get my name out there, and so far so good. Fortunately, I cannot keep much to myself, so I have to share some ideas with you. I want to get the idea of “testing” embedded in your brain. Test, test, test everything!
Essentially what I would like to do is get a group of “testers” together on a weekly basis and discuss the A/B tests we setup. Which ones failed? Which ones converted tremendously and which ones are worth another shot with a few changes here and there.
So the 12 A/B tests I am about to share with you are successful ones I have done myself:
Test #12: Make it abundantly clear you’re available to help
Although I did not do this test exactly as the picture shows, but I just want to make it clear how effective it is to advertise yourself where ever you are. This guy had this plastered on the back of his laptop in a coffee shop:
He was asked how many approached him because of this sign and he answered “a few dozen within 3 weeks”. These types of interactions (face-to-face) is where it’s all at. If you look presentable and trustworthy, it automatically cuts your online customer search tremendously. The customer walk up to you, not the opposite. They already know what you’re offering, and you can show them on the spot what it is you can help them with. Perfect!
Test #11: Eyes, colors, button magic
I was reading somewhere that Gmail did an awesome A/B test with the colors of their buttons. Although we cannot test as specifically as they due simply because they have a massive user base, but they tested 50 shades of blue on their buttons to come up with the perfect shade that led to the highest conversion rates. That is amazing to me, but I don’t have that kind of readership either, so I would suggest that you minimize your test to 2 colors.
A company called Performable ran a test like this to compare the effect of red and green buttons
Your first guess is green, right? Nope! Red had the higher click through rate by 21%. This is a very simply test, but you can see how important it is to take every aspect of your business extremely seriously. You wouldn’t have set it to green and left it like that forever if you didn’t do this simple test. Suddenly you’re getting 21% more!
Test #10: The free dollar value
You have a business. Or you have a product you want to sell. You know there is a group of people who are interested in what you have to say but they’re not willing to pull the trigger just yet. Maybe you’re not selling anything and you simply want their email addresses so you can notify them personally when you release a new blog post. The most effective way to attract a new reader to sign up to your mailing list is to offer them something free when they sign up with you. It might be an awesome PDF filled with useful information related to your niche, or a free video tutorial of some sort, it can be anything really.
This is where the test comes in. Should you just mention that you will give them a free PDF or should you mention that you will give them a free PDF (Valued at $300) The words in brackets are what create an increased conversion rate. Although not a huge conversion, 6% is still something. Give it a shot!
Test #9: Get on the time based bonus train
I’m currently in the process of writing an Internet Marketing book, ok? I don’t know how much I’m going to see it for yet, but this test is a two part test. Suppose I initially sell this book for $20.00. You would only get a book for $20.00, ok great! Now how about if I told you that for the first 50 buyers, I’d through in a few video tutorials on how to make money online? Then for the next 50 buyers, I’d throw in something less valuable, but still a freebie. For those contemplating buying your product, these time based bonuses convert massively (47% according to previous tests). It helps them make up their mind.
Test #8: The trial length sale
Now you are the owner of an online system or software. You know you need to offer free trials, but you ask yourself, “how long should I offer this trial for?” With all A/B tests, there are 2 options. In this case, the first option is a 14-day trial and the other option is a 30-day trial. You automatically believe that the 30-day trial will be more popular, right? Wrong. They both gain the same level of conversions on the front-end. On the back-end however is where you see the difference. Because the trial length is so much shorter, you get a huge surge in usage of your app/software/system because everyone is trying to use it more effectively before times up! If they like it, this should translate to increased sales.
Test #7: The difference between a free trial and a money back guarantee
All these years I’ve been playing around on the internet, I never cared about the difference between these two terms. I still don’t have a definition as to why this works the way it does, but using the term “free trial” will boost conversions up by 116%. The word “free” sits well with the masses. The was “30-day money back guarantee” or “30-day free trial”. The latter was the winner by far!
Test #6: Screenshots vs. live demos
You have a new product for sale, whether it’s a new software, or a physical product, people/companies have a tendency to show screenshots of their products in action, but then again there is no action involved in a screenshot. A screenshot shows me how sexy your system looks. That’s not good enough. I want to play with it first before I decided whether or not I want to buy it. How do you do this? You offer your potential clients a live demo on your site. Give them a demo environment to go nuts on. This has been tried and tested and the conversion rates you’ll see are in the 38% range.
Test #5: Do the three-step
We all tend to believe that the less steps one has to go through to get through a task, the better, right? So the A/B test here is an application form on your website/blog. Test A consisted of a 2 page process. On page 1 you would select your plan and create your account, then you submit your payment details on page 2. Sounds pretty standard, but wait…what if we split each action into a separate page? Page 1: select a play, page 2: create your account, page 3: submit payment details. Separating each action nice and clearly onto its own page will lead to a 10% conversion rate.
Test #4: Diminishing Fields
When I first dove into the world of internet marketing, I would create these epic forms on my websites where I’d ask the user to essentially give me their life story in the form of a form. I can safely say this was stupid and no one (including myself) likes to disclose more information than they need to when using the internet. Why? Because they don’t know you! They don’t know what you’ll do with their person information. Solution? Don’t ask!
So eventually I managed to reduce my epic form down to 4 fields:
I thought, ok, I’ve killed this form into 4 fields, no one should complain anymore. This will only take 30 seconds or less to fill out. Thumbs down. Can you spot the error? That’s right! The “Revenue” field. Don’t ask people how much money they make. They feel judged when you know how much they make. They feel like you may treat them differently based on their status. So I did a quick test and changed the word revenue with an open text box saying “what can I help you with?” – Yes, this skyrocketed conversion to the point that I removed the field all together because I couldn’t handle the number of requests sent in, so I finally settled with:
- First Name
- Email address
- Website URL
Note that sometimes people do not wish to disclose their last names either and honestly, what do you need with their last name. Nothing.
Test #3: The scrolling sign-up
This company called TreeHouse noticed that their readers were reading the content and scrolling down and completely ignoring the sign-up button at the top of the page. The first test they did was changing their sign-up button color from grey to green. Granted, that did increase conversions, but not enough. They had to do something more effective. So they had their sign-up button scroll down with the user. You can do this by simply fixing your header so that the sign-up bar is always visible at the top.
This tiny change has increased their sign-up conversion by 138%. Do yours today!
Test #2: Videos
If your website requires some usage, or some important concepts need to be explained, then video is the way to go. This doesn’t affect me because I’m blessed with a readership that likes to read and a lot of the content I share with you needs to be read and stored in your brain for easy access. There are however many websites that have a visual readership. They don’t want to read all your text, so you have to accommodate their needs. You make them an awesome video which explains ALL the content on your site and in return, you are rewarded with a 64% conversion.
Test #1: Add the word “FREE” to your ads
Again, I’m going to us TreeHouse as an example. They buy thousands of dollars worth of advertising per month and they came up with $60 as their Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). That’s quite expensive if you ask me. It means that for every person that signs up for my service or buys my product, I have to spend $60 to get them! That’s nuts. So they did all the usual testing (colors, verbiage, button locations, etc…) and it still didn’t do much to change the CPA.
Adding the word “FREE” into the ad however reduced the CPA to $43.
Well, that’s all folks! I hope you enjoyed the read and hopefully you learned something new today. Have you run any A/B tests? Which ones succeeded and which ones failed? Leave a comment below explaining the test(s) and the result(s).