7 Simple A/B Tests That Can Increase Conversions by 10% or More

ab testing

Increasing the amount of traffic to your website isn’t the only way you can increase your revenue. Boosting your conversion rate can also provide a nice lift in revenue.

When you optimize for conversions, you have to go for big lifts. Small lifts don’t always hold true in the long run, which makes them ineffective. As long as you are shooting for gains of over 10%, you should see increases in revenue.

Here are 7 simple A/B tests that you ought to try:

Test #1: Buy Now vs. Free Trial

You already know free trials convert better than a single option forcing people to buy now. But do you know by how much?

GetResponse used to have just a Buy Now button on their homepage.

getresponse

But when they added a Free Trial button to their homepage, their signup rate went up by 158.60%.

getresponse trial

Granted, their revenue didn’t go up by 158.60% because some users cancel during the free trial period, but the overall revenue increase should still be well into the double digit percentages.

If you haven’t tried leveraging a free trial strategy, you should consider testing it as I’ve never seen it lose… assuming you are offering a good product or service.

Test #2: Credit Card vs. No Credit Card

All free trials are not equal. Some people require a credit card upfront to start the free trial while others do not. Totango just released an interesting study that showed the difference between asking for a credit card upfront versus asking for it later.

totango

The results were huge! By dropping the credit card requirement, they were able to increase front-end signups by 500% and overall paid customers by 50%.

Although 50% isn’t as big as 500%, it’s still a big increase.

Test #3: Trust Symbols

We take them for granted, but trust symbols can help increase sales. The risk of testing a trust symbol on your site is small as it’s very rare that such symbols decrease conversion rates.

Blue Fountain Media wanted to increase the number of leads they were generating through their Request a Quote page.

blue fountain media

So, they decided to test adding a VeriSign symbol to the page in hopes of increasing the number of people who felt more confident giving their personal information to them.

blue fountain media verisign

The end result was a 42% increase in sales. This just goes to show you the power of trust symbols.

Test #4: Adding a Live Chat

For every customer that buys from you, you’ll have at least 30 others who won’t. Their reasoning for not purchasing will vary a lot, and in most cases you won’t be able to find out unless you ask them.

You can do so by surveying your visitors, or you can just try to ask/help your visitors out right when they are on your site through live chat.

Ez Texting tested adding live chat to their site so they could better serve their customers.

livechat

That one feature helped them increase their conversion rate by 31%.

But before you add live chat to your site, make sure you have someone available to be there so that you can answer your visitors’ questions. If you are unresponsive within the chat, and no one is ever there, it can actually decrease your conversion rates.

Test #5: Help People, Don’t Sell Them

Are you used to getting sold? Well, of course, you are… who isn’t? Because you are used to people trying to sell to you, your guard is up, and you’re ready to say “no” even before someone sells to you.

ActiveNetwork decided to change how they use emails to promote their product. They created a new email copy, using a supportive tone instead of a salesy one.

Just take a look at the difference. Here is a preview of the sales version:

sales version

And here is a preview of the supportive version:

support version

The supportive tone of the email increased leads by 349%.

You don’t have to sell to people to make money. Sometimes the best way to get a customer is to simply help them by creating a friendly conversation with them. If they like what you have to say, they will end up converting.

Test #6: Removing Form Fields

When it comes to form fields, less is typically more. This means the fewer form fields you have, the more leads you will get.

I did a test on my personal site in which I removed a field from my lead generation form:

neil patel forms

Removing one form field provided a lift in my conversion rate by 26%.

Now, this doesn’t mean you will always see a lift in your conversion rate by removing form fields because in some cases more form fields can boost your conversion rate… especially on credit card pages.

For example, asking for someone’s credit card and not inquiring about that person’s billing zip code may make the customer feel nervous. Or if you are selling a tangible product, people usually want to see the shipping address fields on the same page with their credit card information.

Test #7: Placement of Your Call-to-Action Buttons

A lot of people talk about the importance of text, or even color, of the call-to-action buttons, but very few people share data on the placement of their call-to-action buttons.

As you already know, location is everything in an offline business. The same goes with your call-to-action buttons and their placement on your website.

Kimberly Snyder recently did a test where she added the Buy Now button on top of her explainer video instead of beneath it.

kimberly snyder

Can you guess what the difference in conversion was? It was 38%. Through a quick scroll map test they found that people stop scrolling after they see the video because they are really engaged in watching it. This causes fewer people to see the Add to Cart button, which is why placing it above the video converted better.

Conclusion

A/B testing is something that you should constantly practice. Just like you don’t stop doing SEO, you don’t stop optimizing your site for conversions.

When you are reading blog posts like this one as well as others around the web about conversion optimization, be careful. If you just copy other successful tests others have run, you may end up losing a lot of revenue. Because every site has different visitors, you have to figure out what works for your site. First, you have to see if the test is applicable to your site, and then, you have to run it.

So, what do you think about A/B testing? If you need help figuring out what tests you should run on your site, start a thread on the Quick Sprout forum.

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Comments

  1. The Totango case study was an awesome read.

    We’re going to test not requiring credit cards for 90 days and see how it goes :)

    Thanks,

    Marvin
    seogroup.com

  2. Simple, yet effective tips for A/B testers for improving conversion rates. Keep up the good work, Neil. :)

    • Rohit, glad you found the post helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions or need help with anything :)

    • I am making $85 an hour working from home. I started freelancing over this website six months ago, and after 4 months on my new job, my monthly income is close to $10k. With-out a question, this is the easiest and most financialy rewarding job I’ve ever had! Check my source… Jobs95.?om

  3. Neil, another great post from your stable. No doubt when one sees a trust symbol there is the tendency to drop one’s guard.
    This is kind of a psychological technique is quite good in promoting buys especially in industries where there is quite a lot of scams.

    Such sign helps assuage a buyer seeking to purchase a domain or hosting or even purchasing items online. It gives the buyer an assurance that his or her credit card details would not be used for fraudulent purpose.

    Talking about reducing form field in order to increase conversion this isn’t always the case because an reduction may actually increase sign ups but not buyers according to a hubspot study. Any way as you said testing is required

    • Peter, thanks for the valuable feedback. I think trust is an often overlooked aspect of any website. People, always look for signals that a site is not spam and filling out a form will not harm them or their inbox. If you provide a user with trust and a great value proposition they will stick with you for a long time. I think the form field reduction really depends on your product or service. I have found in my experience that reducing the fields has provided a high conversion rate.

  4. Great post Neil!

    I can relate to #5 more, I’ve seen that offering to help people (without the intention of selling to them in the next email) makes them want to trust you more and see you service as a necessity rather than something you’re trying to force on them.

    BTW, I sent you an email about expert SEO advice. through neil@kissmetricks.com on Sept 4. I hope it’s monitored.

    Thanks :)

  5. Clearly visible Trust symbols definitely improve conversion. Would you agree that, with anything else, conversion optimization has to fit with the overall business goals and strategies? an ecommerce site with a few hundred visitors may first want to spend time getting more visitors than checking the location of their buttons? Same may not be true for a lawyer firm.

    • I just realized, I asked a very similar question below but I think you’ve phrased it better. Would love to hear Neil’s thoughts on this!

    • Sushant, I would completely agree. You really have to have a baseline number of visitors if you want to a/b test for conversions. If your site is not selling anything then you simply will have nothing to test. You have to align testing with certain benchmarks your product has or will achieve.

  6. Ohh..! Thank you for this new one great post. And i ll defiantly try test # 1 and must be use it. over all your this post is “7 Simple A/B Tests That Can Increase Conversions by 10% or More” is really good. And one thing that i would like to must say to you. Kindly tell us what ll be the best SEO latest trends and technique which is really important about off page optimization because in SEO i personally confuse about off site work.
    Thank you!

  7. A/B testing is really intriguing.When should an online business start focusing on things like A/B testing and CRO? Like, after they are consistently getting a certain volume of traffic or would you say its good to focus on these aspects even if you have very little traffic coming to your website?

    • Hey Rishadullah

      I hope you don’t mind me leaving some feedback for you.

      CRO is a ongoing process, which means you take it into account from the beginning and update your site are you learn more about conversion, your ideal customers and barriers which may be stopping them from taking action that you want.

      CRO will have a much less noticeable effect if you are not getting much traffic – as you do need some numbers to be able to get significant statistics.

      But this doesn’t mean that you should not be applying things that you think will work and that make sense ( although it probably would be smart to try to dedicate your time to actually driving more traffic first)

      I personally made the mistake on focusing on CRO instead of getting qualified traffic in my first business and in my opinion its a time consuming mistake.

      Think of CRO as part of a larger strategy to make your business site or blog a better and more enticing experience for your visitors. It is just one part of a well rounded online marketing campaign.

      I hope that helps,

      Paul

    • Rishadullah, great question! You should really a/b test once you get enough traffic coming into your site. What that number is depends on you and your product or service. I would advise against a/b testing if you don’t have much traffic coming to your site. Thanks for reading!

  8. Hey Neil,

    I really like how psychology plays such an important role in conversion optimization.

    I believe call to actions should always be placed as close as possible to the most engaging objects in the web page (Videos, Players, Images, Infographics etc).

    We’re continuing to optimize our website and will be using these optimization techniques to improve our process. We’re looking to cut down on the number of form fields we have, as well as implementing a demo/or free trial version of our product.

    Thank you for this great post

    oh, and add one more thing: As always, we have BunnyCasted your blog post so that your readers can listen to your great content.

    Cheers!

    Alejandro

  9. Jelena Milosevic :

    Test #5: Help People, Don’t Sell Them

    People love to be respected and that their privacy is protected. When they get this, they stay loyal to you. What makes that you get loyality and positive references, wic is more important then fast profit.
    WIthout good and honest reputation you just can’t stay long on the market.
    There are exceptions, but you can’t count, you will be one of them. Respect, fairplay and honesty are still more and more needed if you want to make succes by your customers.

    • Jelena, I completely agree. This has always been my philosophy. There are going to be certain people who will buy from you and find great value in your products or services. There are also going to be a number of people who don’t find as much value in your products or services, however, they will find that the advice you provide for free can take them to the moon. You should always create content and test out your website with these two core segments in mind. Thanks for reading!

  10. Hi Neil, what A/B testing website would you recommend to quickly modify a homepage without developer knowledge ?

  11. I’m constantly trying to figure out how to increase conversions on opt-in forms on our website. Thanks for the case-studies. It is also good to see service industry areas covered by the study and not just product sales. Too often A/B testing studies relate simply to whether “Buy Now” or “Invest Now” are better at converting sales.

    • Nick, glad I could help. You bring up a great point: studies often don’t go as in depth when it comes to the difference between different calls to action. Ultimately, the findings are going to vary according to your product or service.

  12. Again, very valuable information and well and nice and easy explained thanks again

  13. Great post! I’ve got a lot of new ideas now for a/b testing…thanks.

    Darryl Van Dyke
    Senior Editor, Cardsight.com

  14. An interesting test would be to combine #5 and #7 to see what happens. Smaller(newer) eCommerce stores generally lack the authority or social proof to convince their visitors to buy, so instead of shoving the “add to cart” button in their face, it would be something new to see what moving the add to cart button below a helpful description would do.

    BTW, sorry to drop a link like this but I figured the best way to get your attention was like this! I’ve written a post about 50 ways to build links to online stores and thought you may find it interesting. I’ve linked to you and your ultimate guide from it, too: http://goo.gl/9llT4A – would mean a lot to me if you could see/share it :)

    • Shabbir, great point. A lot of successful e-commerce companies follow that strategy. People always want to know what the benefits of a product or service and what better place to share these then right before a call to action or click “add to cart” button. I don’t mind the link I think the readers and others will find it helpful. Thanks for the valuable tips :)

  15. I was wondering about what sort of effect (conversion wise) dropping the name field had from your side bar. I know Jon Morrow is an advocate of just taking peoples emails down and not worrying about the names – as is Derek Halpern.

    The way I see it, is that its probably for the best as the conversion rates go up but a small but definitely not insignificant amount.

    The downside that I see is the email sent to the subscriber is just not as personalized. Would you be able to give some insight on this? Did you expect such an increase and why did you only do this recently?

    Thanks Neil some great examples in this article.

    Paul

    • Paul, great question. I have found that dropping the name field can definitely increase conversion rates by around 8%. While, it decreases personalization I have found that it increases sign-ups which makes up for the personalization.

      • Thanks for the response Neil 8% conversion rate is nothing to sneeze at.

        This is why I am taking the same approach for my blog, although I might try capture a name in my main opt in form.

        Paul

  16. I believe the most important point here is you saying not to monkey bluntly what others are doing. One has to understand its audience first.

    Cool examples, Neil!

  17. Great post Neil. In terms of form fields #6), if you have the technology to implement progressive profiling to ask users for new information on subsequent visits, this technique can be effective to build a more comprehensive customer profile without overly taxing users to early in the engagement.

    Progressive profiling can also alleviate the need for visitors to re-enter the same information over and over. With progressive profiling, asking users for new information for subsequent interactions can be tested (which fields, which interaction).

    Users appreciate being able to access new downloads without having to renter the same info (name, email) each time and may be willing to share additional information in exchange for the convenience.

    On a separate note, I just joined the Quick Sprout forum today. Very cool :) Thanks for sharing.

    • Rick, thanks for this response. You have provided a wealth of information! I agree, progressive profiling really makes it easy for your users to provide bits and pieces of information during subsequent visits. I’ve found that implementation is often tricky, you have to do it in such a way that it doesn’t seem like you are spamming your core users. Let me know how you like Quick Sprout forum. I look forward to hearing more from you on there!

  18. Nice Neil. Great point, very informative

  19. Absolutely true. I do made some changes in my company website and tried out AB testing. At first, i wondered what change it create by just moving the position of download button a little. But really surprised to see the increase in conversion rate. That’s when i found out the importance of AB testing.

    Excellent examples Neil. After reading your blog, i learnt some valid points to try out. Thanks for sharing!

    • Bharathi, sounds like you discovered A/B testing on your own. You are right on point! It’s a very valuable tool and something we as marketers should exercise constantly. Your goal should be to optimize your website for conversions — a/b testing is the way!

  20. Nice advice! The one that I have noticed to work bests for my adwords campaigns has been the reduce form fields one. This has help increase our conversión rate to almost 10% in some landing pages.

    • Argudo, great point! Reducing your form fields will get users in and out as quick as possible. It will also help you out with your conversions. Once a user is signed up you can gain more information from them during a prospecting call.

  21. great post……
    I agree With #6 ,It is good to reduce form fields….

    Thanks for sharing…..

  22. All the points are worth to implement, great info and tips.

    Thanks for great post.

  23. Hi Neil and Quick Sprout Crew,

    What tracking software do you recommend?

    Something basic (other than Prosper202) to start
    off with?

    Many thanks!

  24. It seems all easy but execution is what matters.

  25. Great tips Neil! I don’t do enough A/B testing that’s for sure.

  26. Interesting post. Now a days user are not interested to sign up too, all they want is to purchase, pay and move. Credit Card vs. No Credit Card was highlight. Once again thanks for the post, Neil.

    • Jayson, you have a good point. People really want to check out and receive their product as soon as they can. It’s up to marketers to show them that they have other options.

  27. Found #5 very helpful in increasing my conversion rate by 30%. Thanks for sharing your ideas.
    Regards
    Muhammad

  28. Well, you’re giving some good ideas to test. But the best thing in here is when you say people shouldn’t just bluntly copy what you’re doing.

    On top of that, I’m completely and utterly frustrated that everyone in the conversion business just gives me some percentages. These are completely boring and meaningless if you don’t give me some actual numbers.

    I find this even more frustrating because I’ve noticed a lot of conversion ‘experts’ don’t even know the difference between increase and change. So only giving me percentages means I don’t even know what the actual changes are.

    Guess what I’m saying is you should make your data transparent. No sense in sharing it with other people, let alone experts, otherwise…

    • I think you are definitely correct in your assessment. You definitely want to make your tests as transparent as possible and provide the proper context. Often times people only share the data that supports their assumptions. I like to see a holistic approach when it comes to data sharing. Thanks for your valuable feedback and I look forward to hearing more from you :)

  29. Neil, awesome man! Totally new ideas. Everytime I come here I get something new. Thank you so much for your hard work.

  30. Thanks sir i gained some knowledge from your previous posts for how to increase conversions like use of arrows, testimonials , call to action buttons and many more . i used them and the results are great.this will again increase my knowledge and help me to perform better in my field.

    • Rohan, glad you found the post helpful. I think getting the conversion process down will really do wonders to help out your bottom line. Let me know if you need help with anything!

  31. Thanks Neil. I am just getting into A/B testing and you have made me realise just how many opportunities I have for improving conversion rates.

    • Phillips, glad you found the article helpful. The opportunities for conversion testing are endless. Thanks for reading and please let me know if you have any questions or feedback :)

  32. Excellent post. These all are simple A/B testing but these can result in good results. I will surely try few of them :D
    Thanks

    Saif

  33. Wow really helpful tips, going to try the free trial change asap.

  34. # 5 works like a charm, people appreciate warmth. Thanks for the tips.

  35. This is a perfect guide for my new wallpaper wordpress theme , i am going to launch on my website. but i am not sure how to give them free trial for that theme. I have no provision in my theme. But i am sure using a free demo account i can help them better understand my theme. Thanks for posting this wonderful post for us.

    • Rakesh, you can give them a couple of themes for free and see how that works out. By showing & offering a few themes for free you can really gain trust and that can go a long way. Please let me know if you need any help. Thanks for your input!

  36. Wow, that is an absolutly great list, the last one with the button above the video is the most appealing to me. I will give it a try.

    Thanks
    Eugen

  37. There’s so much conflicting advice out there about #1 and #2. Especially when it comes to supporting free users vs. paid users. I suppose the only thing to do is to test and go with the data.

    Thanks for the write-up!

    • Irma, that will always be the best solution for anyone who wants actionable insights. I would suggest a/b testing a number of variables to see what works best. Thanks for reading!

  38. I know it’s conflicting because you end up providing support to free users when you could have been spending that time marketing yourself but to support that read #5. If you think about helping them then they are a unique marketing strategy. Besides word of mouth advertisement is the best and these free users can help you a lot in future.

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