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23 A/B Split Tests that Get More Subscribers for Your Email List

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

A squeeze page is the foundation of any online business.  It’s the place where you offer a free report or “lead magnet” to get people to join your email list.  And it’s through these subscribers that you generate a large portion of your Internet income.

That’s why it’s incredibly important to optimize a squeeze page and make sure you’re maximizing the number of people who subscribe.

How do you do this?

It’s simple.

You use a technique known as A/B Split-Testing.

With split-testing you divide web visitors into two equal sections:

Group A sees one version of your squeeze page.

Group B sees the same squeeze page…with ONE change.

Then you measure which version gets the highest number of subscribers.

On a long enough timeline, squeeze page optimization will increase your Internet income.  You want to keep testing and tweaking till it converts most of your visitors into subscribers.

This is important because as you know:

More subscribers = More people looking at an offer = More Money

Okay so you know the importance of A/B split-testing.

The question is “What do should I be split-testing?”

That’s what we’ll answer in this post!

Over the last five years I’ve done hundreds of split-tests on my affiliate site.  Some successfully raised my opt-in rates.  And others were complete disasters.  The important thing is I discovered a bunch of things that should be tested on every opt-in page.

So today I’d to talk about 23 tests you should run with a squeeze page.  We’ll start with the five tests you should do first.  Then we’ll go over another eighteen to run after them.

Let’s get to it…

The Top 5 Split-Tests for a Squeeze Page

#1: The Offer- Without a doubt, the most important test is the freebie.  Even if you already have a lead magnet, it’s still important to try different offers.

A/B Landing Page OptimizationFor instance, for the Steve Scott Site I’m on my 4th lead magnet.  And I’m not afraid to try a fifth if I think it’ll increase subscriber numbers.

My point is test different offers.  I know it sounds like a lot of work.  But the worst thing that can happen is you’ll have another free piece of content that adds value to your email list.

#2: The Format of the Freebie- You should also test how your content is presented.  Some people like to read.  Others prefer audio.  And many enjoy watching video.

Test different formats for your lead magnet.  You might find your subscribers really respond to one particular presentation style.

#3: The Headline- Testing the headline is another way to dramatically increase subscriber numbers.

To do this, I first recommend building a copywriting swipe file that includes headlines from other successful squeeze pages.

Then take the best headlines and rework them to match your freebie.  Keep doing this till you find a title that gets the greatest response from your visitors.

#4: The Style of Introduction- Like we’ve discussed, some people prefer video and some don’t.  Try a video introduction with your page and see if it makes a difference. While most people use text to describe an offer, you might discover a simple video improves opt-in rates.

#5: The eCover- Does including an eBook cover always increase the number of subscribers?  Sometimes the answer is NO.  Especially if you’re using a crappy, unprofessional image.

Run a test and see if an eCover raises your opt-in rate.  In addition, try different images. You might be surprised at how much a simple graphic increases the interest in your free offer.

…Another 18 A/B Split-Tests to Run

How to Run a A/B Split TestSpend at least a month on the first five split-tests.  These will have biggest impact on your opt-in rates.

Only after doing the above should you try these eighteen tests:

#6: The Sub-Headline- Including a sub-headline works well with some squeeze pages.  The goal of the headline is to create curiosity.  And a sub-headline increases the curiosity by talking to the exact type of prospect you’re targeting.

#7: The Name Field - Its standard practice to ask for a subscriber’s first name and email address.  But I’ve found that you can increase opt-in rates by only requiring an email address.

Use caution when running this test.  In some markets, it’s important to personalize each email.  You won’t be able to do this if you eliminate the “name field.”

#8: The Subscription Button Text- While we’re on the topic, you should test what’s written in the button that people use to subscribe to your list.  From my experience, the words “Free Instant Access” works really well.  However you should also try phrases like “Grab this Free Report” or “Send My Free Download.”

#9: The Subscription Form Color Try different colors for the background/border of your opt-in box.  Start with red.  And then experiment with other colors like dark blue or green.

#10: The Arrows Around the Subscription Form- Here’s a neat little trick you should try.  Include a graphic of a red arrow pointing towards your opt-in form.  This subtly draws the eyes of the prospect towards the area where they should subscribe.

#11:  The Bonus Reports- Again you might think that “adding stuff” increases subscriber numbers.  In reality sometimes giving too much negatively affects subscriber rates.  In this case, run a test and see if adding an extra report or offer works with your list.

#12: The Page Background Color-The background color of a squeeze page can have a huge impact on the number of opt-ins.  Obviously you want to use white for your text area.  But also experiment with the color that borders this area.

There are a lot of colors that people prefer.  Like: Dark blue, sky blue, black, dark red, and forest green.  Try these and see if it helps!

#13: The Pen Name- Believe it or not, the name you use can affect opt-in rates.   When you first enter an affiliate market, try testing different pen names.  You might find one that really resonates with people.

#14: The Length of Copy- Some markets need a lot of information before subscribing. Others want you to get to the point.  Test the amount of information that’s provided on a squeeze page.  Keep everything else the same.  Just change around how much is revealed.

#15: The Presence of Text- Here’s something that surprised me.  My current squeeze page “winner” doesn’t have a single line describing my offer.  Instead I have a headline, a few images, and a simple opt-in form.

Experiment with including text on a squeeze page.  You might find that more people will sign-up simply because you’ve created a lot of curiosity about the freebie.

#16: The Anti-Spam Statement- Including an anti-spam statement on your squeeze page is a great way to build trust.  It also might be another way to get more subscribers.

I think the reason this helps is because you’re eliminating the thought of “will this person put me on a marketing list and spam me with a bunch of unwanted email?”

It’s good practice to include an anti-spam message on a squeeze page.  But play around with the location and the words that you use.

#17: The Privacy Policy- Including a privacy policy is another way to increase your “trustability factor.”  Opt-in rates might increase when you include a page that tells people how you’ll use their contact information.  On the other hand, having a page like this might remind people that they’re joining an email lest.  Test this and see what happens!

#18: The Contact Us Form- Potential subscribers like having direct contact with someone who can help solve their problems.  Including a contact us page is one way to show that you’re in the business of helping folks.  Ultimately this increases the perceived value of both you and your free offer.

#19: The Physical Contact Information- Use caution with this split-test!  We’ve already talked about building trust with your prospects.  One of the best ways to do this (and increase opt-in rates) is to include a physical address and phone number.

Just think very carefully before posting your home address.  You might end up with a crazy person ringing your doorbell, asking for “help” with a problem.  This happened to me and I can honestly say it’s freakin’ scary!

#20: The Squeeze Page Template- Squeeze pages come in all shapes and sizes.  Nowadays it’s easy to buy a prepackaged template which adds a stylish look to your site.  The information is the same.  The only difference is it’s presented in a slick manner.  So test this and see how subscribers react!

#21: The “Professional Look”- Another thing that surprised me is a simple, “amateur” squeeze page often outperforms something that’s professional designed.  On the other hand, I’ve also talked to marketers who recommend hiring a freelancer to create a slickly designed site.

#22: The Fonts Used- The fonts and font size used on an opt-in page can also have an incredible impact on subscriber rates.  Play around with font options like Arial, Georgia, Tahoma, Verdana and Times New Roman.  Plus, experiment with different font sizes.

#23: The Font Colors- Another thing to test with text are the font colors.  My advice is to use black with the bulk of your text.  However you should play around with the “attention grabbers.”  For instance, I’ve found that these work best:

  • Dark red for the headline
  • Dark blue for the sub-headline
  • Black text throughout the copy
  • White background for the interior design of the squeeze page

These work for me.  So start with them and then test different color combinations.  Perhaps you’ll come across something that’s more effective.

How to Run an A/B Split-Test

Success on the Internet isn’t rocket science.  You don’t have to be the smartest or hardest working person.  All you really need is a commitment to test and track all aspects of your business.

The one thing that’s worked for me is to do multiple A/B split-tests on my squeeze page.

Now I understand that you might be a bit intimidated by the idea of running a split-test.

Fortunately it’s not hard to do.  Just use a site like Google Optimizer and you can set up a test in less than five minutes.  If you have a little bit of money you might also want to look into AdTrackZ(This is the program I’ve used for five years to split-test my affiliate site.)

Furthermore, you’ll want to track each version of your squeeze page within your email marketing program.

For instance, in Aweber I set up an ad tracking code for each page.  You can see this in the images I provided below.

This shows the raw HTML code for my “conhead” test which is the control version of my squeeze page:

Aweber Squeeze Page Ad Tracking 1

And this shows the raw HTML code for my “testhead” test which is where I’m currently testing a new headline for my affiliate site:

Aweber Squeeze Page Ad Tracking 2

The great thing about Aweber is you can “tag” each subscriber and know which version of your squeeze page they’ve signed up under.  Here’s how this would look in your subscriber database:

Aweber Subscriber Ad Tracking

With every split-test you’ll want to create a new tracking code.  That way you’ll get an exact count of which squeeze page generates the best results in your email marketing campaign.  Ultimately this gives you incredible insight into the performance of your Internet business.

Final Thoughts on A/B Split-Testing

I can’t over emphasize the importance of A/B split-testing.  It’s the best way to increase your Internet income without doing more work.  Basically you can take the same amount of web traffic and increase the number of people who respond to your offers.  On a long enough timeline this will increase the revenue of your online business

Here’s what I recommend…

Each week set up a single split-test for your squeeze page.  Or if you’re not getting much traffic then do a test for every 400-500 people that see this page.

As I’ve said, running a split-test only takes five minutes to set-up.

Try the 23 ideas in this post and you’ll quickly increase your opt-in rates…and your Internet income!

Take Action. Get Results.




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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Peggy Baron

Hi Steve,
This is great timing! It was suggested I set up split testing regarding the graphics on my latest ebook. It seems some think the woman in the graphics looks smug. But here’s my question – Would it confuse people to see totally different graphics for a product?

I realize I’m talking product and you’re talking squeeze page, but I’d love to hear what you think about testing graphics on a sales page that’s already been out for a few months.

I can’t remember where I read it, but one blogger said she had better optins if she did NOT put an anti-spam blurb. She thought the reason was maybe it caused people to pause and think about spam when they saw it mentioned.

This is a great post on what to test and how to do it.
Thanks Scott :)
Peggy

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Peggy Baron

Oh crap, I put Scott instead of Steve at the end of that comment. Sorry Steve, or Mr. Scott. :D

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Steve Scott

LOL,
either is fine.

I haven’t mentioned it in a while, but I have said a few times in the past Steve Scott is actually a pen name. ( I had some nutjob show up on my doorstep from tracing my real name a few weeks before I started this site so I went with a pen name)
Anyhow, my “real” first name is Scott, but it is also less confusing when people say “Steve” so really they are totally inter-changable. :)

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Steve Scott

Well if you send them to product page you could have group A look at one and group B look at the other and chances are A would never know about B.

It all depends if you have enough of a volume of fresh traffic going directly to a product page. If you do testing A and B with two different grapics will work like a champ.

…But I tend to think we are talking apples and pears. If you had links with two different pics on the same page.. yes it could get confusing.

I would say set up a poll with two different graphics choices and ask your readers/ visitors to vote. Perhaps make it “sticky” for two weeks or so to ensure you get the proper volume of “votes”

My opinion though ( if it is your “become a PLR writer” that cover looks fine to me) But then again…there is a reason I outsource all my graphics

I hope I answered your question

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Eugene @ Lifestyle Design

Hi Steve,

Great post! Chuck full of priceless info. So I guess it goes without saying that the squeeze pages should be separate from your main blog site? Not just a page on the blog?

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Steve Scott

Gene,

Glad you liked it. I would say it is better to have your squeeze page its own domain. Mainly because you can really optimize the URL for the keyphrases you want to target. Your links to it also count as inbound links rather than internal (though that is likely a small plus). I wouldn’t say it is a “hard and fast” must. It is certainly my preference (and I think better) to have it off site, but a page on your blog is probably fine too. The more important thing is to have something valuable to give and getting the traffic to it…. and of course the whole point of this article…conversion once people get to your squeeze page

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Ana @ Get Targeted Web Traffic

I think it’s just as easy and as important to use at least some of these tests for our blogs as well since we do build lists through them.

Anything can and should be split tested; what do you think, Steve?

Ana

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Steve Scott

Ana,

Absolutely. It is a little easier to split test opt-in pages. Partially because there are simply less variables. But yes…everything should ultimately be split tested or at least have the metrics read and digested after changes are made.

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TheInfoPreneur

Man,
This is an AWESOME post…one for the books as far as I’m concerned. Even though I was developing a complex thinking you were calling me a CONEHEAD….then I realized it was a CONHEAD. Hah!

This is definitely something I’ll be picking up a minor in very shortly…and I’ll be back to scrape your tips. ;)

Later,
B

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Steve Scott

Brandon,

Haha, being a conehead wouldn’t be to bad anyway, at least as long as you were 1970′s dan akroyd conehead and not sad 2000′s dan akroyd conehead.

Certainly glad you liked the info and hope you get some good use from it when you are ready.

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Dahlia Valentine @ That Internet Marketing Thing

Hey Steve… My first time here from Blokube. This is an amazing list of split-test ideas. I’ve been slowly trickling subscribers into my list, so I’m definitely going to start with your top 5 suggestions today.

And I agree with #19. Even though some people say it elicits trust, you gotta be careful with your address. My sister had some of the very same issues that you did. Crazytown!

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Steve Scott

Dahlia,

Glad you found my site through blokube. Once you get enough subcribers starting (and eventually continuing) to get a better autoresponder sequence through use of split testing is a powerful tool. In my Primary affiliate niche I have been growing my list for 4 years now and I am still working on a better sequence with weekly split testing. The good side is that you get a product that gets better and better at conversion.

#19 definitely may depend on your niche. It is scary having some guy say he tracked you down on your doorstep. It will almost certainly help sales…but I don’t think it is worth it…personally

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Sheila Atwood

Steve,

Thank you for the the checklist. And the ways to get it done.

I have Google optimizer to test my headlines but I have not used it to test the other parts of my squeeze page. Like duh! I also like the way you are keeping track in aWeber.

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Steve Scott

Sheila,

There is so much that can be done for optimizing squeeze pages, autoresponder sequences and the like. It takes time and effort but will be well worth it down the road.

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paul wolfe

Hey Steve

Awesome post. Great job. Funnily enough this morning I was thinking about my lousy subscriber numbers….my traffic is building quite nicely, but the job of converting them to subscribers ISN’T!

First job – new opt-on bonus.

Second job. Split testing!

Thanks for the post – really great info.

Paul

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Steve Scott

Paul,

It is a process. Particularly in this sort of niche where people are a little more saavy and may not want to be on “another list” despite the freebie. But better optin bonus and split testing and more split testing are a great way to go! :)

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Terje Sannarnes

Awesome post Steve. I have got plenty of traffic, but yet my subscriber list count is only puny 2800 subscribers. So I will implement some of your tips to get the number up.

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Steve Scott

2800 isn’t bad at all, Pretty good start and a nice base to run a good set of split tests from. :)

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Brankica@Blogging for beginners

Hey Steve this is awesome. I have this post open since this morning, and have been re-reading it for the third time.

Taking notes and writing down some ideas. This is something I have on my to do list for awhile and you just made it easier to do. I see this will take some time, but I am so in the mood to do it. Not only for my blog but other niche sites as well.

I think this has to be the most detailed and by far the best post I have read about split testing ever!

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Steve Scott

Brankica,

Having you say you really enjoyed the article means a lot. I know you are a no “BS” gal! You certinaly should get to some split testing, as I am sure you know. It is an ongoing process. Rome really wasn’t built in a day and all that….but it is something that bit by bit really adds value.

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Murray Lunn@Start an Online Business

This is really, really amazing man.

We did split tests with our email campaigns when I was at work which showed some very, very interesting stats as far as how people interact with a landing page based on copy and text. We would think one thing but it would completely miss the mark.

I need to get into this with my own sites now that I’ve begun to build a list and have a few things coming soon. Those little tweaks can be the difference between 10 and 100 people signing up, ya know?

Got this sucker bookmarked and ready to roll :)

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Steve Scott

Thanks man! It is strange what works and what doesn’t. I have often been surprised myself by what actually works. And of course it is definitely time for you to start workin on that list! You have the time now, right! :)

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Jazz Salinger

Hi Steve,

This is so cool. I really needed this. I love it when you write posts that I can use as a reference point while I go off and try to implement what you suggest.

I’ve been stumbling around trying to improve my conversions. Now, thanks to you, I have a comprehensive checklist of things to do.

Thank-you so much! :)

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Steve Scott

Jazz,

Great it will be nice to hear how much it helps you on conversions! :)

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Fran Aslam From Onlinewriter

Hi Steve:

Good continuation from the last week. Split testing is a good proof for success of a tool or script. Though I read it a while ago, it was only in the back of my mind now your blog post reminded me. Thanks for great information. I might use it soon. Actually I need to write ten emails to start a list, that is what I am waiting on, and then I will add one email every day.

Fran A

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Steve Scott

Fran,

Thanks for the comment. When you get your 10 done I would recommend spreading them out of 1 every 2 days or even better one every 3 days. It seems to work better and you get less disenrolls.

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Adam Paudyal

Steve;

This post couldn’t have been more timely man! I am using a squeeze page in one of the niche sites I have created and was thinking about how to get more of my visitors to opt in the email subscription.

Well, now got a lot of testing and tweaking to do (O: Bookmarked the article so that I can use it as a reference.

Thanks brother!

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Steve Scott

Awesome Adam!

Glad you are going to put it to instant use! :)

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stevenpapas@norton360discountcoupon

well done Steve, very valuable information you are giving here, thanks. To be honest, I wouldn’t have thought of all those 23 little tests myself. This “trial and error” kind of method, should definitely induce a perfect squeeze page, through time.

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Danny @ Firepole Marketing

This is a very valuable post – thank you, Steve!

I’m curious – would you just split-test the landing page, or the contents of the email messages, too?

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Steve Scott

Danny,

Over time…Split test everything!! I get decent enough results pretty fast now, and make some sort of a “tweek” about once every week. As you keep at it…and eventually circle back you get closer and closer to having a “perfect” set of messages from top to bottom.

BTW, I really enjoyed your article on problogger today! Thanks for dropping by!

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Ana @ Aweber autoresponder

Just re-read the post – definitely lots of things to ponder over. I am thinking of doing some split-testing on my blog; will follow your advice, Steve.

Ana

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Ana! Glad you liked it! :)

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