How a One-Word Copy Change Boosted Conversions by Over 30% in This Split Test

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“Free” vs. “new.”

Both words make powerful copy, but which drives the most conversions?

LeadPages user Robert Grossman of Wellness Prosperity Systems ran the following split test to determine just that.

Actually, today’s test was just one of several split tests that Robert designed to zero in on the most effective copy.

Throughout this series of split tests, Robert made small changes to the copy and continually split tested each change. Then Robert combined the winning results of each split test to create the best performing copy.

For example, a follow-up split test to the one below determined that “… Book Demonstrates” improved response by 20% over “… Book Reveals” in the headline.

But first, Robert ran the split test you see below. This particular test involved another minor copy change, which boosted conversions by 30%. Take a look…

Original: New Book — Here Robert used the Giveaway (2-Step) Squeeze Page, #2 template to promote his latest day spa management book. The headline in this variation uses the “New Book Demonstrates” line.
Original/Control: New Book: Here Robert used the Giveaway (2-Step) Squeeze Page, #2 template to promote his latest day spa management book. The headline in this variation uses the “New Book Demonstrates” line.
Variation: Free Book — With the same Giveaway (2-Step) Squeeze Page, #2, Robert created an identical landing page with only one change. Here, the headline offers a “Free Book” instead of a “New Book.”
Winner: +30.63% – Free Book: With the same Giveaway (2-Step) Squeeze Page, #2, Robert created an identical landing page with only one change. Here, the headline offers a “Free Book” instead of a “New Book.”

Digging Into These Split Test Results

Of these two headlines, “free book” won out in this A/B split test.

The losing “new book” variation had a conversion rate of 45.00%, while the “free” page pulled in 58.78%.

Most of the traffic to Robert’s split test came from facebook campaigns targeted to people who own spas. This particular page ran for two months and attracted around 450 visits.

These results reveal that Robert can expect a 30.63% improvement in his conversions just for switching to the “free book” headline. Not a bad boost for changing a single word.

Put another way, for every 100 visitors to this LeadPage Robert can expect to find 13 more conversions after switching this one word of copy.

After running the numbers, Robert’s results are confirmed at a very impressive 99.64% probability level.

This means there is only about a 1-in-286 chance that this result was a random occurrence. In other words, this was a statistically significant result — that you can count on.

Check out Robert’s full statistical summary below.

With a total visitor count of just over 450, the results conclude that Robert’s “free” copy did indeed improve results — with a 99.64% certainty.
With a total visitor count of just over 450, the results conclude that Robert’s “free” copy did indeed improve results — with a 99.64% certainty.

Robert’s Iterative Approach

So let’s dig into Robert’s unique split testing approach a bit more.

Robert split tests many slight copy variations on the same landing page to systematically test how his audience will respond to certain copy.

His copy changes are specifically designed to avoid altering the meaning of his message. Instead, he tests for what “small changes” make a difference in his results.

I’ll let Robert explain…

“The idea behind this test was to only change the supporting words, but not the main message. I was breaking down the headline to ‘lock in’ the best elements of the wording. The strategy is to run a sequence of tests to zero in on the best wording. Like this:

“Test #1: ‘free’ book vs. ‘new’ book
“Test #2: Free book ‘reveals’ vs. free book ‘demonstrates
“Test #3: Free ‘book’ demonstrates vs. free ‘report’ demonstrates

“My hypothesis was that I could combine tested variations of each key phrase inside the headline to get the best response rate.”

For this split test, Robert did expect the “free” version to win. The big shock — and I see this reaction a lot — came from seeing the impressive 30%+ difference this change made.

I want to hear what you think about Robert’s approach. What’s the best way to interpret these iterative results?

Let me know in the comment section at the end of this post.

How to Use this Step-by-Step Split Approach

If you’ve been following any of my recent split test blog posts (like this one, this one, or this one) you’ll have seen the pattern by now: Even small changes to your design or copy can have a significant impact on your results.

LeadPages’ built-in split testing system makes split testing for significant changes simple.

Because it takes minutes to design and deploy a test between unique headlines, photos, backgrounds, and body copies, running iterative tests like Robert’s are easy.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you’re testing background images. Start with two different background images — a person vs. a product image — and run a split test to see which is most effective.

Now that you know an image of the product generates the most conversions, get even more specific. Try a few different camera angles, make the photo black and white — the specificity you can get with split testing is endless.

If you’re new to to the LeadPages system, check out our helpful getting started page or watch the brief 1.5 minute video below for an introduction.

I’d like to say thank you again to Robert Grossman of Wellness Prosperity Systems for sharing his test and allowing us to explore his fascinating split testing methods.

Let’s keep the discussion going: What’s your take on Robert’s step-by-step approach? I look forward to hearing what you think in the comments below.