It’s something we all know, but few of us are willing to discuss…
Marketing is getting harder.
Every day, we’re bombarded with thousands of messages from advertisers vying for our attention and nudging us to buy something.
We filter out these unwanted messages, both technically and psychologically, to the point where we don’t even notice them anymore.
With that in mind, you need to ensure your message is reaching the right people—and getting received.
Your sleeknotes are no exception.
Even the smallest of changes can drive your conversion rate through the roof, but determining what changes you need to make is where most marketers stumble.
This is where A/B split testing comes in.
In this blog post, you’ll learn how to run A/B split tests with sleeknotes and increase your conversion rates by as much as 373.3% (no, that’s not a typo).
I’ll also show you some great examples of A/B split tests our customers have done with their sleeknotes so you can achieve similar results with yours.
If you want a quick introduction to the benefits of using sleeknotes for A/B split testing, take a look at this video before you read on:
How to create an A/B split test in Sleeknote (step-by-step)
Step 1: Decide what you’re going to test
Note: Already a Sleeknote A/B split test expert? Jump to the last part of the blog post where I’ll show you some amazing split tests our customers have carried out (the results might surprise you).
Like any controlled experiment, you need to create a hypothesis for your split test.
What element will you test? And what change will come as a result of it?
For example, you might hypothesize a sleeknote with an image will have a higher conversion rate than a sleeknote without one.
Once you know what you’re testing, you’re ready for Step 2.
Step 2: Get your sleeknotes ready for testing
Once you’ve formed a hypothesis, you need to prepare two sleeknotes for testing.
To do that, click “My sleeknotes” in the dashboard and locate the sleeknote you want to test.
(If you don’t already have a sleeknote to test, you’ll need to create one first. If you need any help with that, take a look at our guides.)
Next, duplicate it by clicking “Duplicate” in the drop-down menu under “Options”:
This ensures you’re testing a sleeknote without existing data.
The duplicate is version A of your sleeknote.
Pro tip: Enter the editor through the Settings page and change the name of your sleeknote to something that matches your hypothesis.
For example: “Sleeknote with No Image”.
Now, duplicate version A of your sleeknote. This will give you two identical sleeknotes without existing data.
Enter the editor for the new duplicate and edit the element related to your hypothesis.
For example, you might add an image to your sleeknote and name it “Sleeknote with Image” (italics added by me).
This is version B of your sleeknote.
Remember not to change more than one element so you know what element is making a difference in performance. If you change more than one element, you’re not split testing—you’re multivariate testing (and that’s a whole other article).
Again, to ensure none of your sleeknotes have collected any data before the test begins, make sure none of them are activated before you run your test.
That way, your results will only be based on the data collected during the test which will make them more reliable.
If you’re creating a new sleeknote for the test, don’t activate it when you save:
If you’ve duplicated an active sleeknote, disable it:
When you start the split test, they’ll automatically be activated.
Step 3: Create your A/B split test
Once you’ve created version A and version B of your sleeknote, you’re ready to create your A/B split test.
To do this, click “A/B Split Testing” in the left navigation bar:
If you haven’t created any A/B split tests before, you’ll be met with this message:
Click “Create split test”.
Next, pick a name for your A/B split test (for example, “Image vs. plain text”) and choose the sleeknotes you want to test:
Click “Save & activate campaign” and the two sleeknotes will be shown evenly to visitors.
When you think your test has been running for a sufficient amount of time, stop the test.
Pro tip: Always test a full week to get the most reliable results. The conversion rate of your website will often be different depending on what day of the week it is. While there is no rule for how long you run your test, a good rule of thumb is three weeks.
Pausing your split test will automatically deactivate both of the sleeknotes you’re testing, so remember to go to “My Sleeknotes” in the navigation bar and activate the winning sleeknote.
8 elements to split test today
It’s exciting to see how so many of you are already using our A/B split testing feature.
So much so, some users have increased their conversion rate by as much as 373.3% (yes, 373.3!)
However, I want to add here that if a test doesn’t result in a noticeable increase in the conversion rate, it doesn’t mean it’s a failed test. You can still gain insight into your visitor’s behavior and maybe improve the performance of your sleeknotes, too.
Even though you shouldn’t blindly copy the split tests of others, these examples from our customers will give you ideas for what to test.
Here are eight great examples of sleeknote split tests you can try:
It’s no secret adding images to optins increase conversions.
But what about sleeknotes? Can adding images really drive more conversions?
These customers decided to find out…
i. Image vs. plain text
Livingshop, a Danish design e-commerce site, added an image to their sleeknote featuring a competition to win a gift certificate of 250 EUR:
By adding an image to Version B, LivingShop increased their conversion rate by 64.5 %:
ii. Image 1 vs. image 2
Running split tests on two different images is also a good idea. If you test often enough, you’ll get a good idea of which type of images catches your visitor’s eye.
For example, Anne Kring, a Danish photographer, tested two different images for her sleeknote:
Version A (Headline translated: “Get a gift certificate of 500 DKK for your first photo session”):
Granted, both images are similar, but Version B saw a 109% improvement.
You can also test different headlines to see which converts better.
Let’s look at a few ways to do that.
i. Feature vs. benefit-driven headline
This is what Danish consumer electronics company B&O Play did to see how they could best get people to sign up for their newsletter.
You can probably guess what happened.
B&O Play enhanced the performance of their sleeknote by as much as 59.1 % by expanding on the benefit in the headline.
In version B, they address the reader’s most common question: “What’s in it for me?” They tell visitors exactly what they’ll get when signing up for their newsletter…
…and they mention it before they tell their visitors what they have to do to get it.
One improvement they could make to increase conversions further is rewrite the call-to-action (CTA) copy.
For example, rather than write “Sign up now” (which is vague), they could reinstate the benefit in the headline: “Yes! I want to win BeoPlay H2!”
- How to Write Powerful High-Converting Calls-To-Action.
- E-Commerce Copywriting 101: How to Write Killer Product Descriptions
ii. Exclusivity vs. urgency
Asthma UK, a British organization that fights asthma, has also seen great results from testing headlines:
By targeting their visitors’ fear of missing out (FOMO) with the second headline, Asthma UK saw a conversion increase of 373.3% (!).
However, similar to B&O Play, they could improve it further by making their CTA copy more enticing.
3. Lead magnets
Offering discounts, bonuses, or entries into free prize draws can incentivize people to join your email list.
But which is better?
i. Discount vs. freebie
Organic Basics, a Danish organic clothing company, tested a free tote bag against a discount on the user’s next purchase.
The sleeknote offering a free tote bag increased Organic Basic’s conversion rate by 97.6 %.
Using power words like “free” is effective when writing copy. Organic Basics’ visitors prefer something extra for free with their order over saving money on it.
One thing that could ensure more reliable results of this test, would be to keep more elements similar in version B.
Of course, it’s tough to find images that go well with both sleeknotes since they have different lead magnets.
The copy under the headline is also different for the two sleeknotes. As mentioned, it’s easier to know what made the difference if as many elements as possible stay the same in the variation sleeknote.
Note: In some countries, it’s against the marketing law to offer a freebie in return for an email address. A recent change in the Danish Marketing Practices Act does that this applies to Denmark. To be sure, avoid using the word “free” and synonyms in this context.
Your CTA copy is as important as any other feature of your sleeknote. If it’s not consistent with your headline and body copy, visitors are unlikely to click-through.
Here are a few important considerations.
i. Color 1 vs. color 2
Different colors have different effects on your visitors.
And although it might seem overboard testing 41 different shades of blue like Google once did (yes, they actually did that), it might be a good idea to compare two colors to see which is better at catching your visitor’s eye.
By running an A/B split test, Nordkinder, a German children’s clothes company, discovered they could get 12.5 % more visitors to sign up for their newsletter by changing the color of the CTA button from pink to yellow:
Too much text in your sleeknote can overwhelm visitors causing them to close it before they’ve even seen your offer.
When in doubt, test the copy’s length to see if it has any significance on your conversion rate.
i. Short copy vs. long copy
B&O Play decided to test long copy vs. short copy:
Version B improved conversions by 11.1%.
One way they could improve this sleeknote even further is change the headline and CTA copy to something more enticing.
6. Input fields
Generally, the more input fields a lead form has, the greater the effort a visitor has to make to opt in—and the less likely they are to take action.
i. Two input fields vs. one input field
An organization that has tested the number of input fields for their sleeknote is the Danish organization Hjerteforeningen (translated: The Heart Organization):
Version A (Headline translated: “Get the newsletter Hjerteliv”):
In version A, the visitor has to enter both an email and a membership number, but in version B, the visitor only has to enter their email.
Here’s where it gets interesting:
Hjerteforeningen improved their sleeknote’s performance by 14.3 % even though the input field with membership number was optional to fill in.
7. Close method
How visitors close a sleeknote makes a big difference in your conversions.
But which is better?
i. Close with cross button vs. close with CTA button
Majbritt Lund, a Danish communications consultant, tested the following close methods:
Version A (Translated: “Get the e-book now” CTA: “Yes. I want to make more money now” or “No. More money doesn’t interest me”):
By changing the close method for this sleeknote to what you see in Version B, Majbritt Lund increased their conversion rate by 6.7%.
That might not seem like much of an improvement, but it soon adds up over time.
Where a sleeknote appears on your site can have an impact on your conversion rate.
The only way to figure out what converts best on your website is to test it.
i. Bottom right corner vs. center of the screen
The Norwegian clothing company Weightless tested the placement of a sleeknote from the bottom right corner against the center of the screen.
The two sleeknotes looked like this (only their placement was different):
The changing of the position alone (from bottom right corner to the center of the screen) increased the conversion rate of the sleeknote by 9.8%.
While the headline for this sleeknote is compelling (especially since it evokes curiosity), the CTA copy could be improved further to increase conversions.
For example, rather than using “Sign up now”, they could write something that’s consistent with the headline such as “Yes! I can keep a secret”.
Over to you
Split testing is one of the most effective ways of determining how to increase your conversion rate.
But not all split tests are created equally. What works for one person might not work for you, so it’s important to test based on what you know about your audience.
It’s not a question of whether split testing your sleeknotes will increase their conversion rates—it’s a question of how much it will increase them.
If you still aren’t completely sure of how exactly to run an A/B split test on your sleeknotes or if you have any other questions, you’re more than welcome to contact us—we’re more than happy to help you.
Did you do any split tests on your sleeknotes? Leave a comment below and share your results—I’m sure it can inspire others.