A/B/C split test: The power of a smile

An A/B split test I did in April this year showed that for my Collectorz.com landing pages, photos of real people worked better than cartoons. So the completely new site design I created in June features large header images showing either me or my wife standing in front of our movie and book collections, like this:

But a comment by Gleb Koshuiko on this blog (“Try to smile on the photo”) and one by a fan of our Collectorz.com Facebook page (“that is one angry dude”) made me think:
What would happen if the landing page had a smiling Alwin instead?
Or, let’s take this one step further, would it help if the person in the picture smiled and pointed to the main call-to-action, the free trial box?

So that is the test I just completed: Serious vs Smiling vs Pointing.

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More site design tests and… Success!

My new site design is finally performing better than the old design! But it took some tweaking and of course A/B split testing to get there.

Interestingly, the key changes were all related to the presentation and location of my main calls-to-action: try and buy.

Here’s an overview of the new design, the tweaks, the split tests and the test results.
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New website design – take two

The A/B split test for my new product page has been running for a week, but the new design isn’t working yet. The results after one week:

  • Sign Ups: 1.0% more
  • Sales: 17.1% less
  • Average Purchase: 3.0% higher
  • Total Profits: 14.8% less

I am especially disappointed with the Sign-Up conversion rate. It has increased, but only slightly. I was expecting more from the strong focus on the calls-to-action in the top section. Maybe having two CTAs there (try and buy) is not the way to go. Let’s tweak and then test again:
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A/B split test result: trial sign-ups are down, but profits are up?

After running an A/B split test, when the results are in, you always have to make the decision:
Do I switch to the new version or not?

If the difference in conversion is large, the decision is easy: just switch to the best version.
If the difference is small, the decision may be harder, but then again, which way you go doesn’t matter much anyway.

However, I have just done an A/B test where the difference in results is large, but still it’s not clear whether I should stick with version A (my control), or switch to version B (my challenger). Here’s my test: Continue reading

A/B split test: cartoons vs photos

For the past 2 years, our Movie Collector product page has shown a picture of me standing in front of my own DVD collection. Similarly, the Book Collector home had a picture of my wife Sytske and her book collection.

But then we had nice cartoon characters created, mainly for use in advertising material. Being happy with the results, we thought: let’s use these characters on our product home pages too. It would improve the “after-ad-click” recognition of the visuals and of course, it just looked nice.

So we replaced the photos with the cartoon characters, without split-testing.

Recently, while staring at our website, I started wondering: was this really a good idea? The cartoons may look nice but do they really work better than the photos?

So I finally did the A/B split-test: Cartoons (A) vs Photos (B). Continue reading

Top right

Through the years I have been experimenting with many different landing page designs and layouts. And there is one factor that’s consistently proving to improve conversion rates.

Or, to be more precise, consistently causes a decrease in conversions every time I stop doing it:

Having my main call-to-actions (Try and Buy) on the top right of the landing page

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Website Design: Less is More?

lptest-smallOnce in a while, I try to take a “fresh” look at my website. I just put one of our product pages on my screen, I sit back and try to imagine what it looks like for a new visitor, who just arrived there after a Google Search.

The last time I did this, the main thing that struck me was all the Try/Buy “noise” on the right side of the screen. There’s a Sign Up for the Free Trial box, a Get it Free (TrialPay) option and five (!) different buying options (Standard, Pro, two “Pro + scanner” options, plus a “custom order” option). I realized that I had been replicating most of my shop page right there on the landing page.

So I started experimenting with a different approach, aimed at getting more people to sign up for the free trial. Then just let the trial edition and the autoresponder sequence do the conversion to sales. I didn’t want to remove all buying options though, because we see a lot of customers buying without trying. But it would have to be reduced to just one button, simply taking the user to our recently re-designed shop page. Continue reading