How to AB Test Copy to Increase Your Conversion Rate

Find out how to AB test copy, the words, images, captions, and fonts that you use on your website persuasively.

Learn how data can be used to find out if your copywriting will deliver conversions.

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I believe that copywriters suffer from a particular kind of post-traumatic stress disorder. It comes from the fact that anyone who knows the language feels qualified to edit their copy.

They deliver their best work, well researched and designed to persuade. Then their work is edited by anyone and everyone. The red marks are like wounds bleeding onto the page. Too often the metaphors, symbolism and structure are amputated out of the prose. In their place are industry jargon, superlatives, and unsubstantiated claims. What is left, I call styrofoam copy.

And when the resulting copy fails to persuade, the copywriter feels a sense of defeat. The copywriter still maintains ownership of the effort — and sometimes blame. So, they begin to deliver copy that is designed to appeal to the editors, and less to persuade the actual customer.

It’s safe, jargony, and corporate.

We’re told terrifying things; that people have the attention span of a goldfish; that Millennials don’t read; that we only have 8 seconds to make our point. No wonder we’re confused about how to communicate through copy.

Data to the rescue.

The words we use to establish our value and persuade visitors to take action can be tested, and my guest today is going to talk about this. Tested copy can be defended from revisions and build your cred as a marketing genius.

Olivia Ross is the Director of CRO at Directive Consulting. She is a designer who turned into a conversion optimizer and believes that copy is at the core of any great customer journey. We discuss how to AB test copy for your marketing campaigns.

She just published her 2020 Guide, What is CRO? Grab a copy for yourself.

Related reading:

20 Compelling Examples of Persuasive Copy in Online Advertising

7 Conversion Copywriting Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew About Sooner

Better, Stronger Faster: How Better Landing Page Copy Increased Conversions By 42%

When you get back to the office…

Go find your best performing copy. The landing page that is your workhorse, or the email that delivers ready traffic to your site. How would you improve it?

Would you try a longer version? A shorter version? Would you include an image and a compelling caption? Would you write a more compelling headline?

Write these down. You might want to put them into a spreadsheet so you can sore them and sort them. You’ve begun to create your own hypothesis list.

How could you test the most compelling idea on the list? Most of your tools have the ability to test different versions simultaneously. Your landing page software, your email service provider, and Google has a free testing tool built in.

Take your list to your team and see if they can help you design a test of one of these ideas.

If it fails, you’ve learned something about what your visitors want. If you succeed, you’ve improved the performance of a flagship campaign.

Either way, you win.

Resources and links

Brian Massey
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