If you aren’t regularly A/B testing different elements of your marketing campaigns, it’s time to start.
A/B split tests are mini-experiments that test the efficacy of two variables. By delivering those variables to a randomly “split” audience, you can gather data to understand which of the variables generates the best results for your business.
One of the most important marketing assets to perform A/B split tests on is your landing pages — but there are a number of important elements of a landing page that work together to persuade or dissuade visitors from filling out a form.
Before you begin A/B testing any of these elements on your marketing audience, here’s a quick tip you can use internally to decide whether or not a landing page is ready to be published:
The 5-Second Split Test
Studies have shown that it takes about five seconds for a visitor to gain a basic understanding of a webpage before they give up and leave.
Before publishing any landing page, show it to a handful of trusted peers for only five seconds. Then, ask them what they think the purpose of the landing page is.
If they get it wrong, you need to go back to the drawing board. If they get it right, you can start A/B testing these eight other elements of the page.
8 Landing Page Features You Should A/B Split Test
1. Form length
On any landing page, visitors are required to enter a certain amount of information in order to download the offer. If you ask for too much information, visitors will feel deterred from filling out the form. If you ask for too little, you could be missing out on key lead information that would help you nurture and close those leads more effectively.
So how do you find the sweet spot? By A/B testing the number of form fields you include on each landing page.
2. Call-to-Action Button
The call-to-action button is one of the most important pieces of your landing page. Its color, shape, size and language can make or break the success of your landing page.
Google once tested more than 40 different shades of blue to determine which shade drove the most clicks. While you certainly don’t have to run a test quite that extensive, a simple change in color or language — for example, changing “book a demo” to “book your demo” — can make a huge difference in your conversion rates.
The headline is likely the first place a visitor’s eyes will go to understand the offer. If it’s not clear, compelling and actionable, you’ll drive people away.
Luckily, there’s an abundance of research on high-converting headlines already. Typically, the best-performing headlines:
- Include numbers (X Ways to Boost Your Conversions)
- Include “how to” (How to Develop An Inbound Marketing Campaign)
- Address the reader (Here’s Why You Need Conversational Marketing)
- Are phrased as a question (What is A/B Split Testing?)
These headlines may or may not work for your target market, but they should act as a good starting point.
The content of your landing page is where a visitor will go when they’re trying to decide whether or not to download the offer. Therefore, it should explain the offer in a clear, concise, persuasive and engaging way.
But by “content,” we don’t just mean the copy on the page. Landing page content can include infographics, videos and even short previews of the offer — and you could continue to perform more granular tests within those pieces as well. For example, Vidyard allows you to A/B test video thumbnails, CTAs and in-video forms.
5. Trust Marks
Trust marks are a great way to immediately build your credibility on a landing page. When visitors see that a third party has endorsed your product or service, they’re more likely to feel comfortable providing their contact information and converting on your offer — usually.
Again, some industry best practices might not work as well for your unique business, so it’s important to still A/B testing these elements. Test the types and number of trust marks you include on your landing page — do prospects respond better to quotes or logos? Are you more likely to convert when you include a headshot of the person quoted? — and figure out what works best for you.
Inbound marketing is all about delivering helpful, relevant and personalized content to your prospects — and personalization can boost sales rates by 20 percent.
So why wouldn’t you try personalizing your landing pages as well?
Some marketing automation platforms like HubSpot allow you to include personalization tokens directly within landing pages. Experiment with different types of personalization tokens like first name or company name for return visitors and analyze the way they impact your conversion rates.
Conversational marketing offers a unique and engaging new way for web visitors to convert into leads. Some visitors might feel more comfortable providing their information through a human-like chatbot conversation, so it’s worth experimenting with including them on your landing pages.
For example, at New Breed, we show chatbots on our Request a Consultation page to companies who fit our ideal customer profile. Rather than forcing them to fill out a lead form and wait to be contacted by our team, we give them a quick and easy option to book time with us right away.
Finally, you should A/B test the layout of the landing page itself. If you’ve tested all of the other incremental elements and one of your landing pages is still under-performing, you might want to make a radical change to your layout to send you in a new direction.
Sometimes, the results of tests like these will surprise you. At New Breed, we have both short- and long-layout versions of our landing pages. Though the short and long versions are radically different, we noticed in our A/B tests that the conversion rates of each are within .5 percent of each other.
That’s why A/B testing is so important — you might think you know what works best, but tiny changes could reap drastic differences in results (and vice versa).
When Is it Time to Look Beyond the Landing Page?
If you’ve made both incremental and radical changes and find that your landing page is still underperforming, you might need to look at the other factors that can impact your conversion rates.
For example, how are you driving people to that page? Are they coming from a CTA within an email or are they clicking on a search ad? Do the ads, CTAs or channels driving them to the page match the content you’re offering? If you can focus the intent of those channels and only drive high-intent visitors to that landing page, you’ll improve your conversion rates.
Guido is a Demand Generation Marketer for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.