How to use A/B testing tools for creating subscription landing pages that turn more visitors into subscribers
How many times have you been in a meeting where you and your colleagues “think” or “feel” like a direction on a project is the way to go? Maybe it’s pricing for your subscription website, or maybe it’s the copy on a webpage. The problem with using your intuition in marketing is that it’s just a guessing game. And the more you get into A/B testing, the more you’ll find there are very few times intuition matches test results.
A few years ago, TimeDoctor.com, a time-tracking software company, did an A/B test on their subscription page. The main variation was this headline:
Free 30-Day Trial on All Accounts vs. See how much time is wasted.
Your intuition probably told you that the free trial was the winner, and you’re right — it had a 32% better conversion rate.
However, consider another test from Culligan, a water treatment company. They tested button copy on their website between Get a quote vs. Get pricing in order to increase form submission rates.
I don’t know about you, but I’m the type of person who knows a quote takes longer, maybe hours to days, and might require me to talk to someone before I can get a simple answer to a question like “how much does this service cost?” But if I used that intuition, I’d be wrong.
The A/B results were in clear favor of Get a quote, and not by a little. This button lead to a 104% increase in goal conversions, and they hypothesized that it’s because their service was on the expensive side and quotes establish trust moreso than being led to a pricing page.
A/B testing for subscription website landing pages
An A/B test focuses on multi-step online page flows, like subscription order forms. They are important as they focus on website components that dictate sales and conversions.
From answering simple questions to helping with major layout changes or redesigns, an A/B test is always useful when making design decisions on subscription websites.
Pros of using A/B testing tools:
- Tests are easy to conduct because you only test one thing at a time, like a headline or a button.
- A/B tests are fast to set up and quick to execute.
- They provide a simple analysis.
- A/B tests require lower traffic volumes for completion.
- They have the ability to split traffic.
Cons of using A/B testing tools:
- A/B tests limit innovative thinking and are restrictive as they have only one variable.
- There is a lack of insight as to what won or lost in the test.
- There may be build-out overhead associated.
- A/B tests have a design-heavy reliance.
Alternatively, you can try multivariate tests. A multivariate test deals with the variables on a single page. The focal points of a multivariate test may include multiple headlines, multiple images, multiple calls-to-action, long vs. short copy or reduced form fields.
Unlike the process of scientific testing, multivariate tests can focus on multiple factors at a time, helping to determine the most beneficial combination of page elements.
Before conducting a multivariate test, it’s important to realize that it will take some time, which is dependent on the amount of website traffic you’re able to attract. Since multivariate testing helps determine what website components lead to more conversions, you will have to wait until you receive enough conversions to make your data worthwhile, and it may be a good idea to spend money on PPC to direct traffic to the page(s).
A/B tests are certainly simpler and can give quicker results than multivariate tests.
Some subscription website A/B testing tools you can try
- Google Content Experiments: To say that Google Content Experiments (GCE) is a very basic A/B tester would be an understatement. But its simplicity is also what makes it so great. Within Google Analytics, you assign which page from your live website you’d like to test within the GCA dashboard. Then you can add up to six different variations to be tested. There are plenty of good paid A/B testing tools too, like Unbounce and Optimizely.
- CrazyEgg Heatmaps: CrazyEgg creates a heatmap of where users click on a particular page. The more they click the redder the area will be in heatmap. It’s an excellent tool to see where people are clicking on your site. You can test order form positions, advertisements, new content, and any kind of clickable area. You can see which navigation buttons they use, too. After enough visitors come to your site, you’ll know what’s hot and what’s not. On the same note, there are lots of cool heat-tracking tools you can use like ClickHeat and Click Density.
- Visual Website Optimizer: Similarly, this tool allows you to create multiple versions of your website and define what you want your visitors to do, and then it splits your website traffic among the different versions and selects the best performing site. This tool’s website boasts over 10,000 users, including major companies like Microsoft and Groupon.
Now it’s your turn. Have you ever run an A/B test with unexpected results? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.