A/B testing can be costly and frustrating.
If you aren’t careful, conversion testing can cost a ton of money and time — particularly if you don’t have the technical expertise to make changes to your website.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Our company, SmartShoot, found a way to increase leads on our website very quickly and easily by testing the right thing.
Let me explain…
How to choose what to test (This is important)
Let me give you some context:
SmartShoot connects businesses and individuals with professional photographers and filmmakers.
For our business to succeed, we need businesses and individuals to do three major things:
- Fill out a Project Request Form
- Create an account
- Publish the Project Request
But, like many websites, we get a ton of traffic to our home page. As a result the funnel often looks like this,
Our goal is to get more people past step 2 — the Project Request Form. You can see the form here.
So, we took a long, hard look at the Project Request Form.
And that’s when the debate started. We couldn’t decide what to test.
Is the form too broad? Too specific? Should we add fields? Remove fields?
It was daunting. We could test 100’s of variations, burning money and time in engineering cost before we would see any ROI.
Frustrated, we went back to the data. And that’s when we saw the low hanging fruit. It was right in our face.
The homepage, like most websites, receives almost 5x the traffic that the request form does.
To have the quickest and largest impact on our lead form conversions, we won’t work on the page where the conversion occurs, but rather the page immediately before the conversion — the highly-trafficked home page.
Let me repeat that: To increase conversions on Step 2 (the form), we decided to work on Step 1 (the home page).
Less complicated. Less costly. More ROI.
The Control (Our original home page)
When we initially launched SmartShoot, we looked at a few of our counterparts and they were ALL using “Post a Project” as the call-to-action on their websites. Good enough for us. Or so we thought.
This was our original home page:
But after a few months we wanted to do better.
I remember thinking:
Posting a project is not something people want to do. Heck, it’s not something I want to do. It feels like work.
Customers want us to do the work.
So, we talked to our customers. We asked them about their pains and what they wanted from us.
Here’s what we heard:
- We want quotes from vetted photographers and filmmakers
- We want samples of their work
- We do NOT want to sift through emails to see the quotes and sample work
To recap, our customers want quotes from photographers and filmmakers and need a service that has done the legwork of vetting and rating them.
Here’s what we tested and it couldn’t be simpler
So, we put it to the test. The original, or control, was “POST A PROJECT” with the treatment or variation being “GET A QUOTE.”
Rather than spend months of time and thousands of dollars testing the Project Request Form, we opted to change 3 words on the main button of the home page.
This test would be cheaper, easier and quicker than messing with the request form. Sweet.
First, let’s take a look at how well the new call-to-action improved traffic from the home page to the Project Request Form.
From the Homepage to the lead form page
In terms of getting users from the homepage to the request form, “Get a Quote” converted at 3.65% while “Post a Project” converted at 2.61%.
That’s a 40% improvement! Holy cake pops!
To put that into perspective, for every 25 clicks that the “POST A PROJECT” call-to-action received, the “GET A QUOTE” call-to-action got 35 clicks. Not too shabby for changing 3 words.
When we initially started the test I thought we’d be able to improve anywhere from 10-20% but never had I expected 40%.
But clicks aren’t what it’s all about.
Who cares how many clicks we got?
In our business, the real conversion is a “Published Request.”
How did the entire funnel perform with the new homepage call-to-action?
Hold on to your mouse, because this is going to be EPIC!
“Get a Quote” crushed “Post a Project” by 35%!
Not only was the “Get a Quote” button more effective at driving customers towards the request form, but it was also WAY more effective at driving customers through the entire funnel.
Sure we’d love to test everything, but we must remember to weigh the possible ROI against reality. Maybe it’s too technical, too costly or will take too long to test one area of your website.
If so, consider looking further up the funnel. You might find that you can work cheaper and more quickly there.
Many people make the mistake of assuming that the top of the funnel is a page with a lead form or the 1st step of a shopping cart. But try looking further upstream from there.
You just might find some low hanging fruit.