A/B tests (also called split tests) are used to optimize your website so it generates more leads and conversions. You can take advantage of A/B tests in order to make methodical changes on your opt-in forms based on user feedback.
The classic example of A/B testing is whether your site’s website form should have a button that is blue or green (or any other color). By showing 50% of users a blue button and the other 50% a green button, A/B testing will prove which color is more successful at conversions.
Every opt-in form on your website should include 3 important elements:
- Relevance. Why should your users care?
- Value. What solution do you offer and how does it help?
- Call to action. What’s the next step?
A/B testing allows you to refine and improve upon these elements to convert more customers.
Here are 4 best practices to use when conducting an A/B test.
1. Start with a very simple idea.
Your first A/B test should involve something extremely simple, such as the color scheme of your email opt-in form.
Though you may have a lot of ideas on how to improve your conversions, keep it simple. It’s important to learn the A/B testing process before attempting to test and modify more complicated aspects of your opt-in forms and website.
2. Understand that small changes can make a big difference.
Even a minor change can significantly improve your conversion rates. Something as basic as adding a client testimonial could cause a major jump in the number of signups you receive.
For example, California Closets A/B tested a headline and saw a 115% increase in leads. Why? The alternative headline contained a clearer call to action for users and tied in nicely with their other marketing efforts. HubSpot increased their conversion rates for opt-in submissions by 24% by simply removing a photo from their signup form.
Small changes can have powerful results. Choose one idea and begin A/B testing. Once you have enough data, evaluate the outcomes. If there is a clear winner, make the change and continue to experiment.
3. A/B test everything
Don’t limit yourself to color changes and headline alterations. Your opt-in forms have dozens of minor elements that could improve your conversion rates. With OptinMonster, you can A/B test any aspect of your opt-in forms: layout, images, messaging, testimonials and much more.
Not sure what to test first? Here are a few ideas:
- Adjust the layout. Increase the size of your headline. Relocate a photo from the right side of your opt-in form to the left. Move the text up higher. All of these minor changes could significantly improve your conversion rates.
- Reduce the number of fields in your opt-in form. Make sure your form is simple and easy to fill out. You want your users and site visitors to opt-in, so eliminate any excuse they could have for not signing up. Only include the information you absolutely must have, like an email address.
- Add an image. Or take it away. Though images often feel as if they contribute to the design and layout of an opt-in form, they don’t always help conversion rates — especially if it distracts the user from the signup form.
- Change the message. Sometimes the message behind your sign-up form is more important than the actual language. Think about what your users are interested in and what would motivate them to convert. Experiment with different messages until you find the most effective one.
4. Never stop testing.
Test often and don’t be afraid to test elements you think couldn’t possibly be improved. Sometimes layouts that aren’t as appealing from a design perspective convert more customers. Even if you’ve been told 1,000 times that a red button always converts better than any other color, test it anyway.
For reliable results, it’s extremely important to only conduct one A/B test at a time. If you make lots of changes at once, you won’t be able to clearly measure which change was most effective at improving conversion rates.
Finally, when evaluating your A/B test results, aim for better, not perfect. If an A/B test comes back with insignificant results, it’s not a failure. It means you’re on the right path. Create your next A/B test and see what happens.
If you’re still unsure whether you should be A/B testing your website forms, check out this infographic from Optimizely.