Social Proof Tool Boosts Landing Page Conversion 32.4%

The recent release of a new subscriber count chicklet met a mixed response.

We’ve read plenty of positive comments on the blogs who covered this feature.

But there were definitely others (both in the release post’s comments and on other blogs) who doubted the usefulness of such a feature.

Of course, this is one of those cases where you should apply the best lesson in marketing ? Test!

Fitness expert and AWeber user Carl Juneau did just that, setting up a split test on his landing page to see if the presence of the subscriber count chicklet affected opt-in rates.

He swung by our blog the other day to share his results.

Adding The Chicklet Increased His Opt-In Rate By 32.4%

In a comment, Carl shared his results:

Justin, Mark, other readers:

I implemented the the readers widget on my landing page the day it came out in an A/B split using Google Optimizer (services.google.com/websiteoptimizer).

Here are the results:

OVERALL
Visitors: 552
Conversions: 140
Conversion rate: 25.36%

PAGE A: NO WIDGET
59 conversions / 271 visitors
21.8% ± 3.5% conversion rate

PAGE B: WITH WIDGET
81 conversions / 281 visitors
28.8% ± 3.7% conversion rate

Page B chance to beat Page A: 97.2%
Improvement: 32.4%

Results impressed me and are significant at the a=5% level. I only have 2300 readers, so even (relatively) low numbers benefit conversion.

Key Takeaways

  • You don’t have to have a huge list for this to work.

I think a lot of people believe social proof is only effective when you’re talking about huge numbers of people, like the McDonald’s “Billions and Billions Served” signs.

Carl doesn’t have billions of subscribers. He has just over two thousand. And yet, the chicklet still made a big impact on his landing page conversions. Why?

Here’s what I think: the more homogeneous your audience is, the more powerful social proof is.

If McDonald’s said “2300 Served,” well… who cares? There are millions (billions?) of people who eat hamburgers. 2300 isn’t that many in the grand scheme of things.

But narrow your audience down to people actively interested in getting six-pack abs, and suddenly 2300 readers is a helpful cue that Carl knows what he’s talking about.1

  • Test. Then, test some more.

Carl’s not haphazardly adding and removing stuff from his page.

He’s using Google’s Website Optimizer to test and track, and he’s making sure to get statistically significant results.

As we’ve discussed before, split testing is a crucial element of a successful marketing campaign.

So start today! To help, here are some split test ideas you can use for your email campaigns.

More Split Test Results To Come Soon

I’m in touch with Carl directly to discuss some other possible tests we can do to raise his opt-in rates further (and share the results with you, of course!).

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1. For more on social proof, I strongly recommend Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and his newer book Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive. Both give numerous examples of how social proof affects decision-making.