A/B testing has become a path to innovation for Formstack. From button colors to form length, if it’s testable, we’ve probably tried it. We’re continually discovering new ways to increase conversion rates, both for our own company and for our customers.
Why? Because small changes can make a big difference in marketing. A few minor modifications to design, messaging, or timing can lead to major gains in conversions. By using a measured and strategic approach to deploying these changes (and keeping track of what works), you won’t just make an impact on your current campaign—you’ll create a roadmap for success in future projects.
That said, we recognize that A/B testing (or any primary research, really) isn’t an easy process. But like many things in life, the hardest part is getting started.
To help, here are four prime targets for A/B testing to put you on the road to conversion rate optimization.
Landing Page Headline
Why is your headline absolutely the most important element to test? Because it’s your sign on the front door, so to speak—the first thing visitors see when they land on your page.
Unfortunately, you only have seconds to grab a consumer’s attention, and 80% of readers won’t make it past your headline.
To help hook readers, provide a clear headline that directs them to the information they need. If the content that follows the headline is informative and concise, the reader can then follow the flow of the page and respond to the call-to-action to “download the whitepaper,” “try a free trial,” or “join the community.”
When Mozilla Firefox changed its call-to-action from “Try Firefox 3” to “Download Now – Free,” it outperformed the original by 3.6% and had a confidence level of over 99%, resulting in 500 more downloads during Mozilla’s testing period.
Photos and Video
Your page’s visual real estate is also ripe for testing. Why? Because humans are hard-wired to be visual. Ninety percent of information that comes to the brain arrives via our optic nerve, and that visual data is processed 60,000 times faster than information our brain receives in text form.
There are many ways to tweak the visuals on your page and test the results. You can try different sizes of the same photo, test the impact of two different videos, or even test conversions when an image is taken out completely.
So why even test an image-free page if visuals are so powerful? Simple: If images aren’t leveraged properly, they can actually hurt your conversion rate. For example, if an image pushes your form down the page, it can cause frustrations for mobile users and distract visitor attention away from the conversion.
Call to Action Button
For most marketers, getting a visitor to click the CTA button is the end goal. With that in mind, spend some time testing which button delivers the most conversions. Change the color to an attention-grabbing hue, or add some minor animation. Or, try variations with specific, motivating text that communicates your unique value proposition and drives people to take action.
Having a hard time deciding what words to use in your button copy? Keep it short. Formstack’s 2015 Form Conversion Report found that the top 10 converting buttons all contained two words or less. Specific is better, too: Adding just one word after the word “submit” can boost conversion rates by as much as 320%.
Lead Capture and Generation Form
Try testing one form layout and design against another, and then measure their effectiveness in getting submissions. Or, see if a form with added value (like a contest entry form or a survey submission) outperforms your tried-and-true contact form. Our 2015 Form Conversion Report found that contest forms convert at a whopping 35%, so this is a great way to move the needle in a significant way.
But don’t forget the golden rule of the scientific method: Test only one variable at a time, or your conclusions could be skewed. Isolate one variant at a time, and keep track of your results, and you’ll get results you can use to create your own best practices for CRO.
Want to take a deeper dive into A/B testing? Our latest infographic has even more tips to help you plan your A/B testing strategy.
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