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How to increase downloads for your app by 85%? (Hint: include more screenshots!)

You Need A Budget (YNAB) is a user-friendly application for personal finance management. The company teaches people how to become awesome at managing their money by following a 4-Rule methodology. And they sell personal budgeting software that follows the methodology. The software is elegant, simple to use, and does just what you need it do – meaning you don’t bog down in unnecessary features that eventually make you want to quit (and pull your hair out).

Using Visual Website Optimizer, they wanted to increase the number of downloads for 7-day free trial of their personal budgeting application. For their first test, they chose to optimize product tour page. For software applications, the tour page is the one which takes up the job of convincing a casual visitor to try out the application. Motivated visitors will anyway download the application so it is the semi-interested visitors who need to be convinced. To optimize the tour page, YNAB chose to do a simple A/B split URL test with the conversion goal as downloading of the free trial.

They designed the variation with following objectives in mind:

  • require less clicking by showing all screenshots as nice, large thumbnails
  • freshen up the design of the page (having handwriting-type captions)
  • strengthen the call to action with a prominently placed testimonial at the very top

As you will see below, the major change was including many more screenshots and hence not requiring visitor to click on different ‘categories’ to see what app can do. You see, semi-interested visitors are more likely to hit the back button than activity hunt for what your app can do. So, including all relevant functionality of the app in form of screenshots on a single page did the trick of convincing them to download the free trial. Here are the screenshots of variations:

Original (control)


Redesigned (variation) – 85% increase in downloads


The variation with more screenshots and lesser categories/links increased downloads by 85%. This result was statistically significant at 97% confidence, so YNAB has implemented it permanently for their tour page. In their own words, here is what they concluded from the test:

We simplified the page presentation and strengthened the call to action with a very convincing and authoritative quote.

Thankfully, like many other customers, they had great praise for Visual Website Optimizer:

Visual Website Optimizer was extremely valuable. We’ve been working with Google’s website optimizer for the past three years and we’re never going back. We were constantly having to jimmy-rig the script code, make sure it was not conflicting with Adwords code, or Google Analytics, etc. It was a big enough nightmare that we avoided testing as much as we could – something that cost us real money over that time obviously.

Are you wondering what is going to be the next page they are going to optimize? Homepage, of course! YNAB will optimize their complete funnel from homepage to product tour to payment. We wish YNAB best of luck for their future tests.

Founder and Chairman of Wingify.

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