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How to increase newsletter signups by 28%? Ask users to ‘watch a video’ or ‘get instant access’

Last week we ran an A/B test contest where you had to guess which button increased newsletter signups by 28%. Was it ‘watch a video’ or was it ‘get instant access‘? We got a total of 51 submissions (tweets + blog comments) and would you believe it: 51% said ‘Get Instant Access‘ would win while 49% said ‘Watch a video‘ will win. This is incredible and clearly demonstrates how hard is it to guess what is going to work on your website!

Before announcing the correct answer, we’d like to announce the winner of $3000 worth Visual Website Optimizer subscription. Please join me for the drum roll… and the winner of this contest is: Stephan Schubert and here is the winning tweet. Congratulations, Stephan!

‘Watch a video’ v/s ‘Get Instant Access’ – 28% increase in signups

I recently interviewed The Social Man (one of the Visual Website Optimizer customers) on their successful split test. As you will read, this test is typical example of how a single change (in call-to-action) can result in significant increase in conversions. Almost all our case studies make the same point about A/B testing which is worth repeating twice: (seemingly) small changes can increase conversions on a landing page. So, you should always be testing.

Here is the full interview:

1. What was the conversion goal of the split test?

To convert visitors to email newsletter subscribers, and to get them to see a video about how a guy can learn to “talk like a ten”.

2. On which page did you run the test?

(Please note – this is a different page than the original, but keeps all the same content. We track lead sources and use different landing pages for traffic from different sources)

3. What is the traffic source? Organic, direct, PPC, etc.?

Cold traffic from a dating website – CPM. We tested a lot of different bids and were very surprised about the most profitable bid price.

4. Which part of page did you select for the test and what variations did you test?

We initially ran a test with three different variations each of headline and sub-head. Once we found the best combination for those, we split the “Submit” button on a whim. One said “Free Instant Access” and one said “Watch The Video”. See images below:

Version A: Get Instant Access (11.9% conversion rate)

Version B: Watch the Video (15.3% conversion rate)

Editor’s note: so now you know that ‘Watch the video‘ increased conversions from 11.9% to 15.3%. A total increase of 28%!

5. Why did you think that the variations you created had better chances to beat the original? What were you actually testing in this test?

Pushing for the action of “Watch The Video”. The subhead that won (“Get The Free ‘Talk Like A Ten’ Video Now!!!”) also mentioned that they could “get” the “video”.

6. What results did you get? Were you surprised by the results?

15% opt-ins for cold traffic off this particular site is amazing – We’re running ads/offers into a few very nichey demographics on that site that generate huge CTR’s (.300-.400; in comparison, the CTR on this campaign is .086 for our best creative) and haven’t beaten this conversion for any other squeeze page.

7. Any lessons which can be derived from your test?

I’m reminded of the parable where an old friend of Henry Ford’s said “Henry, why don’t you ever buy any bolts from me?” to which Mr. Ford replied “Heck Joe, you’ve never asked!” It’s always worth including action verbs like “get”, “watch”, “download”, “enter” etc. in tests.

8. How valuable was Visual Website Optimizer for this test?

It’s so much easier – and more powerful – than Google’s website optimizer. We’re finding it to be an indispensable tool that made me excited about running tests again.

9. Short background information about your business.

The Social Man is in business is to make men awesome. We have a variety of products and coaching packages that cover everything from flirting over text messaging, to how to be sexier, to overcoming social anxiety. I previously ran an enterprise software company, and feel very blessed to be doing something I love that’s employs passionate people and has helped so many men. My business, Turnseven, Inc., manage a few other niche brands in addition to The Social Man.

Founder and Chairman of Wingify.

Comments (9)

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  1. I’m just starting to look into A/B testing, but looking at this has me wondering what variables really had an impact on this test.

    The buttons are so different, are we sure the message was the defining factor? It seems like it could have been the color contrast of the button with the page.

    1. @Ian: no, we are not 100% sure here. An ideal way of doing this test would be to setup four versions which vary by button style and button text.

  2. Loved this post.

    Ian has a good point: it could be the graphics, not the text, that improved conversion. But I’d best against it.

    Usually, words matter more than graphics.

    I’ll test this on my own site.


    P.S. The Social Man should test the proven “FREE Instant Access”.

  3. This is very timely – but as Carl & Ian pointed out I think the style of button could have had an equeal if not greater difference than the text within it.

    We are launching a new product and will be testing 4 different text calls to action within two (maybe 3) different buttons.

    I will report back what we learn if you’re interested in the results.


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