Where To Start Split Testing Your Sales Page
You’ve heard me harp on about split testing before…
However it’s come to my attention that I may be going over the heads of some people who are not technical and are not sure how, or what to test.
So I want to give you some really basic ideas to get you started.
We’re going to look at an example of a sales page – in this case a video sales page.
It’s the simplest form of sales page to create (not including the video) and hopefully this will help you get some ideas of what to test.
Take a look at this diagram:
We’ll look at branding, headline, the video, the order button and finally the use of notification bars
Let’s begin with your branding.
The first place most people start with a business is thinking about their logo, business name and branding.
For many years I coached small businesses in marketing and many’s a time you could hear me telling small businesses not to worry about branding. That it was pointless. This is both true and untrue depending on who you are marketing to.
I did a test some time ago which really proved this point.
Version A had branding at the top of the page before the headline – Version B had none, just the headline.
This was tested with 2 different traffic sources – my own email list for that niche who I have a relationship with, and with targeted but cold traffic.
That means these were people who were interested in the subject but had not heard of me or the product being promoted.
The page converted better with the branding to the email list… people who knew me preferred to see branding and a logo etc.
But the people who came from advertising (cold traffic) bought more from the page with no branding.
Given that I was intending to advertise in order to get most of my traffic, removing branding at the top of the page made around a 22% increase in conversions (2% to 2.4% ish)
Let’s move onto the headline.
Even though I’m coming to this second, your headline is by far the single most important factor in my opinion.
I think there are 3 stages to headline testing.
1- testing the headline copy:
This is by far the most important test you can make on any page.
Why? Because this is the first thing that people tend to read.
It is the deciding factor telling them if this page is something they are interested in.
So you want to have the best possible headline to get more people to stay on your page.
2- Testing headline formatting:
Once you have a winning headline you can start testing the formatting, Start with colour, then move onto font and use of bold, italics highlighting and underlining. Use the same headline but try different formats to see if that makes a difference.
3- Testing animated headlines:
These are headlines which pop-out, move, scroll in, type or any other type of movement designed to grab attention.
I’ve split test headlines and had as much as a 700% increase from 1.6% conversion to 11.6%
This is where you are most likely to make the biggest difference.
Some niches have had red headlines crammed down their throat for years and have become immune, others have not. One test gained around a 580% increase by changing the headline from blue to bright red.
Sometimes this works, sometimes not – try it in your niche.
Ok So you can see there is a bit of work in testing your headlines, let’s now move onto your video.
So the first thing you should look at is the size of your video.
If you host your video with youtube quite often that give you an embed code to paste your video into your website which is around 640×480.
However I tried making the video bigger – closer to 800×600 and this made a small but significant change in how long people watched the video and then went on to buy.
It was a shift from 3.4% to 4.1% conversion… for such a simple thing to change that’s well worth it in the long run.
Now this is more complicated and certainly more time consuming but when it comes to video there are so many things you can test to get a better result. The problem with testing video is that compared to making a change to the layout of a website, making a change to a video takes way more time.
But if you are up for it some things to test are.
Talking head video vs powerpoint text type video,
using a Prezi type video which creates animated zoom and pan type videos (reply to this email if you want to know more about how to do this)
and sketch, type animated videos.
You can also test having different voices. A mans voice vs a woman voice. If you are selling to a global market then test using an American voice (if you are not american).
You can hire voice over artists on fiver to do this for you.
And finally you can test having music or no music in the background.
Having said all of that I have found using powerpoint type videos with some music in the background. So I use this as my benchmark to get started and test all the other things on the site which are easier to test before I look at redoing the video.
So on our diagram I am showing a thing called a notification bar.
These are a small pop up bar in a different colour from the rest of your site with a short call to action and usually a button or a link on them.
here’s an example:
There are many little plugins or wordpress templates which have this as an option.
It’s not hugely important but it can make a small difference in conversions depending on the call to action. I’m guessing the psychology is that the website information could be dated but what appears on the notification bar is the latest update… hot news etc.
If you are trying to sell a product you might now want this distracting people from your message, but if, for instance you are looking to get signups then this might work for you.
Personally I’ve seen it increase signups and people wanting more information, but lower sales if used on a video sales page.
Increase in signups as much as 30% more, so it’s worth exploring, but use with caution in case it detracts from your message.
Lastly I want to explore buy buttons with you.
Like headlines I believe that these can be very important.
Second only to headlines in many cases.
There are many different theories and ideas about buy buttons.
In the example diagram above I mentioned timed buy now buttons (which would pop into visibility at a certain point in the video – presumably around when you would be getting to the call to action or the ‘close’)
Time was when a timed button was cutting edge and it increased conversions, but in many niches now the audience is becoming more sophisticated. They realise you are trying to sell them something and they are willing to buy if it sounds good.
Our latest tests are showing a better conversion from having the buy now button showing right from the start rather than making them sit all the way through your presentation before they can buy.
The most famous buy now button in internet marketing is one created by a fella called Perry Belcher. Perry Belcher got obsessed by testing buy buttons and created hundreds of different versions until he created one that seems to beat all the others hands down – every time.
This has since been dubbed “The Belcher Button” and looks like this:
It’s been some time since the Belcher Button was developed but I know people who use this very successfully every day. Again this may be cone of those things that changes from niche to niche so it’s worth testing.
Just factor these things into your button.
🙂 And don’t write “The Belcher Button” at the top. Lol.
Put a call to action there like “Special Offer” or “Today Only”
You can also look at button colour, call to action above / below button, and even testing the words you use on the button.
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These might seem like small changes but an increase is an increase… more money is more money right?