[Split Test Result] Using A Professional Photo On Your Landing Pages Can Hurt Your Conversion Rate

[Split Test Result] Using A Professional Photo On Your Landing Pages Can Hurt Your Conversion Rate


Transcript:

[0:00:00]

Hey, this is Jeff Wenberg with LeadPages, and today, we’ve got a bit of a counterintuitive split test to show you. This is something that people don’t often think to split test, but true LeadPages users were awesome enough to test it out and share the results with us. Here, we have CarlTaylor.com.au, and Carl was running a split test to see what the results would be between two different pictures of themselves; one being the traditional business headshot where he’s in a suit and buttoned-up shirt and his hair’s all done nicely, and the other being a more relaxed picture where his hair’s a little more messed up. He doesn’t have a suit on and he looks more like a maverick. Literally, this is the only difference between these two pages and I was blown away to see that Carl achieved a relative 76.62% lift in conversions with a less professional photo that showed more personality and insight into what Carl is really like, but this isn’t the only example of this. Rob Cornish from GainHigherGround.com also test with a more professional picture against the picture showing him out backpacking in a more relaxed atmosphere. Everything else is exactly the same on the page. Just like Carl, Rob also found that the less professional photo that showed more personality and insight into what Rob’s life is really like achieved a relative 13.57% lift in conversions.

Both of these split tests illustrate the same point. Conventional wisdom about the way you’re supposed to look in photographs isn’t always correct and you shouldn’t just follow that wisdom blindly without running your own test. Of course, your mileage may vary. Sometimes, it can produce a big result, and sometimes, it can produce a small result. As you saw, Carl got a relative 76% increase and Rob got a smaller 13% increase, but an increase nonetheless. Both got an increase from doing nothing other than challenging conventional wisdom and testing out a different kind of picture. The results depend on your market, and of course, the picture you use, but this is something we recommend that everyone test out. If you’re a LeadPages customer with access to our split testing package, here’s how you design a test like this for your own pages. In your LeadPages account, find the page that you’d like to set up the test on and select ‘Edit.’ Once in the Edit window, click on ‘Create Test.’ Click ‘Add Variation,’ and then select from the original. Then change the picture out from a more relaxed one, then click ‘Save.’ The split test is now completely set up.

We believe that LeadPages is by far the easiest, most simple way to run split test because we’ve integrated the split testing tool with the landing page builder so you don’t need to drop in any tracking code on your pages or do anything. We do it all for you in a matter of seconds inside of LeadPages when you have access to the split testing package.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the split test result and thanks again to Carl Taylor from CarlTaylor.com.au and Rob Cornish from GainHigherGround.com. If you’re not a LeadPages customer and you’d like to be, please visit LeadPages.net right now. Have a great day.

[0:02:55] End of Audio

  • Interesting… And I was really planning on getting professional photos for my site.

    But maybe it depends on the niche or business the website owner is. I mean, wouldn’t the “tastes” of the target audience of a lawyer be different from that of a life coach or a marketer?

    • My purpose here is to challenge assumptions about what works. Every market and industry has conventional wisdom about what does and does not work… that has not been thoroughly tested. So all I’m saying here is that you should test your assumptions.

  • Len P

    Totally agree that the nature of the market/audience will be a big factor. Some are looking for clean lines (i.e. suited up) others for the more “operational” (i.e. informal).

    • This test just highlights the importance of testing. My point here is not that unprofessional pictures always beat more professional ones. It’s that sometimes they do, in some markets … and that the assumptions you make are often wrong.

  • I think the sophistication of the market makes a big difference. I also think that this is different for women or at least in my more women focused industry. That doesn’t mean you need to be wearing a suit, but if you’re well put together it makes a big difference… at least in my experience!

    • Hi Natalie,

      My purpose here is to challenge assumptions about what works. Every market and industry has conventional wisdom about what does and does not work… that has not been thoroughly tested. For example, I’ve never seen data showing that when marketing to women, professional photos out convert non-professional photos. It might be true, but I personally haven’t seen split test data to back that up. I have, however, seen a lot of tests showing that more raw photos get better conversion rates. I’m not saying that you’re wrong… I AM saying that testing is important :-).

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Warm regards,

      Clay
      Co-Founder of LeadPages™
      (Headquarters in Minneapolis, MN)
      http://www.leadpages.net

  • Fantastic info!

    Here’s my feedback on it

    Even though the image of Carl Taylor was more casual, he also appeared to be giving a presentation. You get the idea that he was very connected to his audience and that he was “reachable”.
    In the second case study, yes the image was much more casual, but I would not have guessed that Rob was backpacking. Perhaps it was a just a little too casual.

    • Hi Ileane,

      I’m not sure what you mean by “a little too casual”.. it actually lifted the conversion rate.

      Warm regards,
      Clay

      • I didn’t mean that there was anything wrong with it. I think the image is great. I was just comparing the two and wondering why Carl’s conversion rate was so much higher. I love all of the split tests that everyone is sharing. My bad if it sounded too critical. Thanks Clay.

  • Susan Kuhn

    WOW. Your findings reinforce the overall shift away from “brochure” or “resume” type content to more conversational and engaged / interactive content. So…..what about images on social media sites — Facebook? LinkedIn? Twitter? G+? I wonder if it’s time to change it up there a bit too. What do you think, Clay?

    • I suggest that you actually test what works for your market and not rely on other people’s findings. Sure, applying other people’s findings can be great when you’re not testing. But really, everyone should be testing.

  • Michael

    Bottom line: Know YOUR audience (Not always a one-size-fits-all). And ABT (Always be testing). 🙂

    And it depends on culture… and it can depend on the year. By “the year” I mean, right now, we’re more in a transparent “timeline” where people like authenticity and someone who is “real.” But when the pendulum in our culture swings back, suited-up, “all-knowing expert” folks could be the desired image again.

    Great test LeadPages! Thanks.

    • Exactly! Always be testing. My point here is not that unprofessional pictures always beat more professional ones. It’s that sometimes they do, in some markets … and that the assumptions you make are often wrong.

  • Simon James

    Cool vid. Thanks for sharing Carl and Rob.

    • Glad you liked this, Simon! And thanks also to Carl and Rob.

  • KristyOustalet

    I’m wondering how a professionally taken, but fun photo filled with personality stacks up.

    • LouiseCrooks

      I think you hit the answer on the head. It’s all about injecting personality into your photo so folks get a sense of who you are.

      • Hi Louise, I’d like to disagree with you here. Rather that “it’s all about” anything… I’d encourage you to test assumptions and then doing what the numbers say work. You might be surprised to find out that a picture not filled with personality beats a picture that is filled with personality. But you never know until you test your assumptions.

        Warm regards,
        Clay

    • Then you should test that! My point here is not that unprofessional pictures always beat more professional ones. It’s that sometimes they do, in some markets … and that the assumptions you make are often wrong. In your case, a non-professional photo filled with personality might beat a professional photo filled with personality. It’s a matter of testing and not a matter of opinion.

  • Stellare

    I am in fact not surprised! Nice to see it demonstrated in this video though.

  • Suzette

    Im wondering if your’e a Sports Celeb or an attractive female and if the rules are different for those types of variables.

  • barry

    if thats true, then why is your face on your face on the main opt-in page http://www2.onlinemeetingnow.com/register/?id=bc74a33f5b

    • This wasn’t a split test about using faces vs. not using faces. So I’m not sure what your comment means.

  • gail

    Perfect timing. We’re building a new site and your split test confirms my sense that using more relaxed photos that project a sense of energy are the way to go. Your results reflect the overall desire for less formality and more access.

  • JakubHanke

    Don’t you think 290 visitors in TOTAL in case number 1 is extremely low number for making assumptions? People are so unique that I have hard time to believe any tests unless it’s data from thousands or ideally tens of thousands

    • Great point, Jakub.

      A/B Split testing conclusions are driven by tests of mathematical and statistical significance (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_significance ). You can have tests with thousands of visitors that yield statistically insignificant findings. And you can have tests with a few hundred participants that are statistically significant. So at least at LeadPages, we let the math and science of significance (and not personal opinions about what is and is not a large enough sample size) determine whether or not a test if signifiant.

      I hope that makes sense.

      Warm regards,
      Clay

  • That is awesome split testing. I would have thought the opposite but it depends on who your audience is and what you offer.

    Thanks for being stellar!

    Best,
    Stacie Walker
    Woman in Leadership Founder

  • Melinda Todd

    That’s interesting! I’m going to have to try this. I know I prefer pages where it looks like the person is fun and enjoying life. I need to get some of those photos taken of me.