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Using A/B Split testing to refine your startup’s positioning: 90% increase in conversion rate

Quick, imagine that you own a small local business, say an automotive repair shop, and you are looking forward to using Internet for getting more business. While researching for your options for tools or services, which of the following pitches is going to appeal you most?

  • Businesses grow faster online!
  • Online advertising that works!
  • Get found faster!
  • Create a webpage for your business

Having difficulty making your mind? You are not alone. CityCliq provides low-cost, search engine-optimized webpages for small and large businesses. As they provide a suite of tools to businesses for creating and managing their online presence, getting the positioning right is critical. They recently used Visual Website Optimizer to A/B test which product positioning works best. The conversion goal for this test was a click on their pricing plan. Implementation wise, this simple test was quick to setup (took them just 15 minutes to do so); major effort was invested in coming up with good candidates for positioning. They ran the test for 2 weeks on their homepage and were really happy with the results.

(Click to Expand)

Here is how different positioning statements fare against each other:

Pitch Conversion Rate % Improvement over original Statistically Significant?
Businesses grow faster online! (original) 25.3%
Create a webpage for your business 47.8% 90% Yes
Get found faster! 31.8% 26% No
Online advertising that works! 20.2% -20% No

About the results, here is what CityCliq had to say:

Create a webpage for your business was our last test tagline and eventually showed a 98% chance of beating the original. In retrospect, its success makes sense, as it’s perhaps the purest, most direct representation of our product. It didn’t surprise me, as user behavior seems to vary wildly on the web. Plus, there hasn’t been much research done on the behavior of our target audience, so these results were more informative than surprising. “

What they mean is that this A/B test yielded more than just an increase in conversion rate. The test informed them about the psychology of their target customer. This is a perfect example of how A/B split testing can be used to peek into the minds of customers to see misalignment of what they want and what they think you offer. Create a webpage for your business as the winning variation tells that CityCliq’s prospective customers are already aware of benefits of being online and in fact are looking for a tool make that process simpler. All other variations tried to pitch the advantages of being online, which clearly isn’t that appealing to the customers.

Another point to note is that all but the winning variation had an exclamation mark. It would be interesting if they follow up the test with two versions of the winning variation – one with exclamation mark and one without. After A/B testing was completed, CityCliq implemented the winning variation permanently on homepage (as you can see on screenshot) and subsequently saw a rise in user actions. Inspired by their first successful test, they hope to setup a lot of A/B split tests in near future.

Founder and Chairman of Wingify.

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  2. There are two principal approaches used to achieve multivariate testing on websites. One being Page Tagging

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