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Don't Argue – A/B test with Visual Website Optimizer

Affiliate link to Visual Website OptimizerStop wondering about performance tweaks.
Have you ever wondered how a page on your website or blog would perform if only you did X instead of Y?  What about the time that you got into the huge argument with your designers or programmers on what a button should say, or where it should go?  Let’s face it: people who are good at what they do (or not) have very strong opinions when it comes to exactly how things should be.  This has always frustrated me, because although I believe there are some strong guidelines, I don’t believe there’s always a hard and fast rule when it comes to the psychology of everyone out there.   I’ve always wanted a way to easily test those arguments and “hunches” and I finally found something not only affordable, but extremely easy to use.

I’m super excited about digital A/B testing.
In direct marketing, especially direct mail, A/B testing is one of the most powerful practices to employ.  Great direct mail marketers often end up with not-so-attractive mail pieces that outperform anything you could ever imagine.  I’ve even seen cases where adding nice design elements start decreasing the performance of the piece.  I don’t know if this is true about websites, because I’ve just recently started obsessing over A/B digital testing, but I can’t wait to find out.

The example…
Our homepage had a very light green round button that says “Join Now”.  We’ve had many arguments about this button – from the design of the button to what it should say.  We’ve never changed it in fear that it might actually decrease our signups.  We had no real easy way to test it until one day I discovered Visual Website Optimizer (affiliate link).  I signed up for a free account without a credit card, pasted some supplied javascript into our site (exactly the same amount of skills needed for Google Analytics tracking javascript code) and started using their Visual Interface.  I set up an A/B test, created 2 new buttons in photoshop, and created 2 variations of our homepage.   It was super easy!  I just right clicked, chose the change image option, and gave it my new image.  I then tracked how many people got to our sign up page, and also how many people got to our thanks page  (proving they spent money with us).  I let it run for 2 weeks.  I now have proof on what works.

The results:
A/B testing with Visual Website Optimizer 
 As you can see from the image above, the “Get Some” smaller green button had a 116.49% improvement over our control.  Since I also tested the results of both signups and complete orders, I was able find out that we sell 64.95% more packs of cards using that new button.  Interestingly enough – the smaller Join Now green button resulted in more signups, yet less purchases.

What’s Next?
I’m going to make more tests, and continue to try and boost the performance of the traffic we’re getting to our site.  I highly recommend you give it a go.  It’s easier than you’d think.  You don’t need to be a developer.  The plans are affordable.  The service is amazing (I get prompt responses to my inquiries when I have problems).

Got any testing experiences you can share?  I’d love to hear about them, and I’d love to share anything else I’m learning while experimenting.

Note: I did sign up for the affiliate program with Visual Website Optimizer, but I was not asked by them to write this post.  If you know me, you know I like to learn, and share what I learn.  I’m also learning about affiliate marketing and running a program for Meet-Meme, so participating in different affiliate programs is helping me get a better feel for how that all works too :)