If you are looking to squeeze more dollars out of your existing traffic, you need to start running A/B tests. If you have at least 10,000 monthly visitors, you should consider running one new A/B test every other month, if not once a month.
With my business, we typically run one A/B test every two weeks, and although many of the tests fail, we usually find a winner one out every four tests that boosts our conversion rate by at least 20%.
One of the main ways I’ve been able to have great success is by learning from other entrepreneurs. Each week, a group of entrepreneurs, including me, discuss A/B tests that we had success or failures with. We share data with each other, which then helps all of us come up with new A/B tests to try.
Here are 11 obvious A/B tests you should try:
Test #1: Add the word FREE in your ads
Eric Siu from TreeHouse manages thousands of dollars in ad buys each week. One of his main channels of acquisition is remarketing. He tested out a lot of different ad types and found his cost per acquisition (CPA) to be around $60. He changed the color of the ads, the calls to action and many other elements within the ad, but none of them had a major impact on the CPA.
He then tested adding the word “FREE” within his ads.
That one word resulted in the decrease of his CPA from $60 to $43 per signup.
Test #2: Create an explainer video
I’ve created a handful of explainer videos, but they were all done wrong. Once I learned what elements needed to be in an explainer video to help boost conversions, I instantly saw an increase in our conversions.
By adding a video that had the same exact message as our homepage copy on CrazyEgg.com, we were able to increase homepage conversions by 64%. The big lesson I learned there was that people don’t always like reading text, but they are open to listening to a short video that explains a product or service.
Test #3: Have your signup button scroll with the visitor
TreeHouse noticed that people on their library page were reading their content while scrolling down, but they weren’t clicking on the signup button. So, at first they tested changing the color of the signup button from grey to green.
The change in color had somewhat of an impact, but it didn’t have a large enough impact. So they tested a concept similar to what Facebook does… having their main navigation bar scroll with the reader. Because the signup button is in the navigation, it would prompt people to notice the button.
This simple change increased conversions on this one page by 138%.
Test #4: Removing forms fields
On NeilPatel.com, I collect leads from individuals and companies who are interested in increasing their online traffic and, more importantly, online revenue. My submission form contained 4 fields:
I didn’t think that having four form fields would affect my conversion rate because it doesn’t take too long to fill them all out. I ran a quick test to see if replacing the revenue field with an open field asking “what can we help you with?” would affect conversions as some people may not want to share their revenue information.
That test didn’t have an impact on my conversion rate. I then decided to remove the “revenue” field altogether and only have three form fields.
That boosted the conversion rate by 26%.
Test #5: Create a two-step checkout process
I was a big believer that reducing the number of page loads and steps people have to go through would help increase conversions. Because of this, Crazy Egg had a simple checkout process… in which you would first select your plan and then create your account and enter your payment information on the second page.
Conversion Rate Experts wanted me to test a three-step checkout process. First, you would select your plan, then be taken to the page where you create your account, and then be taken to another page where you enter your payment information. The total number of form fields was the same as the two-step checkout process, but instead we were just breaking it out into three separate pages.
After a total of 817 conversions, we had a winner… the three-step checkout process had a 10% increase in conversions.
Test #6: Show a live version of your product instead of screenshots of it
Most software companies have a tendency to show screenshots of their applications versus letting people play with the real thing before they sign up.
Qualaroo used to show screenshots of their application on their homepage. Through surveying, they found that people didn’t fully understand what the product did. So, they decided to put their own product on their homepage and let people play around with it.
By embedding a live interactive version of their product on their homepage, they boosted their conversion rate by 38%.
Test #7: Free trial versus money back guarantee
I used to think that there was no difference between a 30-day money back guarantee and a free trial that required you to put in your credit card information upfront. Why? Because if you weren’t happy with the product within the first 30 days, you wouldn’t be charged for it.
Boy, was I wrong!
We tested a 30-day money back guarantee versus a 30-day free trial, and the results were huge.
By replacing all of our money back guarantee badges with free trial badges and by placing “30-day free trial” offer on every page of the Crazy Egg website, we were able to boost signups by 116%.
Test #8: Trial length
When he tested the 14-day free trial versus the original 30-day free trial, there was no difference in front end conversions. The same number of people signed up for each trial length. But the big difference was in the increase of the usage of the product. 102% more people used the product when they signed up for the 14-day trial versus the 30-day trial.
We quickly learned that reducing the trial length made people feel that they had to use our product as soon as possible. With the 30-day trial, people felt that they had a lot of time, and they forgot about using the product even though we sent email reminders to them.
The extra usage helped boost revenue as more customers experienced the power of KISSmetrics.
Test #9: Offer time-based bonuses
I used to sell the QuickSprout Traffic System for $197 dollars. If you bought it, you would get an Internet marketing course delivered to your inbox that would teach you everything you needed to know about digital marketing.
At first, I didn’t offer any bonuses, but then I decided to include a few for free. The main bonus was a video course offered with a free software plugin. Those two bonuses only boosted my conversion rate by 11%.
Michael Williams gave me the idea of running time-based bonuses, where the first 50 signups and the first 100 signups would get something that others didn’t receive.
By offering time-based bonuses that encouraged people to sign up now versus later, we were able to achieve a 47% increase in conversions.
Test #10: Add a dollar value to your free offers
Not everyone is ready to buy right away. Some people want to learn more and get to know you or your company. Once they trust you, they are open to buying whatever you may be selling.
That is why it is important for you to collect the email address of each individual who is interested in buying your product or service, but isn’t ready to pull the trigger yet.
Even though I am not really selling anything on Quick Sprout, I still collect emails so I can notify you when I write a new blog post. I used to just ask you for your email address without offering you anything in exchange. I then tested offering you a free eBook and a 30-day course, which only boosted conversions by 6%.
But once I placed a dollar value of $300 on that free course information in my sidebar, my conversions went up.
By placing a dollar value on the same free information I was offering you before, I was able to boost my email opt-in rate by 22%.
Test #11: Button colors
Around four years ago, I was speaking at a conference where a person on my panel ran A/B testing at Gmail. He was telling me how they tested over 50 shades of blue and found that one shade converted the best for them. Now, you probably can’t test 50 shades of a color on your website as you won’t have the traffic volume that Gmail has, but you can test a few variations of a button color.
One of the button colors that I would have never guessed that could boost conversions was the color red. Performable ran a test comparing a red call-to-action button on their homepage to a green one.
Surprisingly, the color red had a 21% higher click-through rate than the green one did. This just shows that you can’t assume that one specific color is not worth testing as was the case with the color red since it typically has a negative connotation… you typically see it associated with stop signs and error messages. For that reason, I thought the color red wasn’t worth testing.
Test #12: Tell people to come up and talk to you
What would a list post be without a bonus? I know I said I have 11 A/B tests for you, but I actually have 12 ;-).
My buddy Leo was in a coffee shop when he saw something that he’s never seen before. Someone had a cover on their laptop that said this:
He asked the gentlemen how many people approached him because of his laptop message, and he said, “a few dozen within three weeks”. If you are looking to increase how many people come up to you, buy a cover for your laptop that tells people what you do and that invites them to come up and talk to you.
I haven’t tried this out yet, but I will as it is a great way to potentially get new customers for my business.
As I mentioned earlier, I run a lot of A/B tests that fail. Just because the ones above showed great success, it doesn’t mean that every test you run will be successful. It just shows that you can get a lot out of A/B testing. You just have to put the time and energy into it.
Have you run any other A/B tests that have done well or failed miserably? If so, leave a comment explaining the test and results.