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 (

Here are the results:

Visitors: 552
Conversions: 140
Conversion rate: 25.36%

59 conversions / 271 visitors


  1. Jancice

    7/25/2008 10:12 am

    I would like to give this a try, however I’m not interested in the entire
    optin form. I would only be interested in the actual Reader Count.

    We have a very specific Option form and would like to place Reader Count below "our" Customized optin form.

    Is this possible at this time??

    Also can the term "Readers" be changed to something like "subscribers"
    "followers" "fans"

  2. Ray Randall

    7/25/2008 1:55 pm

    The insidious facet of internet marketing is wondering about results. "What will happen if I do this?" is seldom asked. Most of us just do something with hopes for the best.

    Testing seems tedious, yet necessary. Learning how to test, testing, and adjusting is necessary. There’s nothing static about serving customers or interested readers.

    "Test. Then, test some more."

  3. Mike Herberts

    7/25/2008 5:35 pm

    A great feature and I will start an a/b test immediately.
    I DO however agree with Jancice. Please give us the option of using the term ‘readers’ subscribers’ ‘fans’ or similar. I send out videos rather than a newsletter and ‘readers’ just wouldn’t make any sense to my site visitors. And hey guys….keep at it…you’re doing a great job.

  4. ted

    7/25/2008 6:22 pm

    If social proof is so great then why doesn’t Aweber use it in the sign up form above?

  5. Gobala Krishnan

    7/26/2008 10:57 am

    It’s definitely a useful feature. However if you’re starting at zero subscribers you may want to exclude the chicklet till you have 100 or so subscribers. Social proof can also work negatively – ie others see you have no subscribers at all (or too little to even impress them), they may think twice about signing-up.

  6. Cassandra

    7/26/2008 11:29 am

    So what is this widget that people are putting on their website that is getting people to opt-in at higher rates?

  7. Steven Vrancken

    7/27/2008 2:55 pm

    It would be nice if it is possible to change `readers` to `downloads` also. For on my opt-in pages I offer a free download, I do not offer something to read.

    Will this option be available soon?

  8. June

    7/29/2008 11:18 am

    I have to agree with Gobala. With a brand new site and no list, hence no clicks on the chicklet, it might prevent people from wanting to sign up.

  9. Jancice

    7/30/2008 9:26 am

    If you don’t have any subscribers yet, just use the regular optin without the chicklet.

    When you do get a list, then use the chicklet.

  10. Alex Price

    7/31/2008 3:15 am

    What is your overall marketing method
    to drive traffic to your site, when using
    this method?

  11. Justin Premick

    7/31/2008 7:59 am


    I’ll have to check with Carl to see if he wants to address that here.

    Is there a traffic generation method for which you would expect the subscriber chicklet to work particularly well (or not well)? I’m curious about what you think the relationship between traffic source and the chicklet’s effectiveness might be.

  12. Mike Herberts

    7/31/2008 9:09 am

    I think any subscriber method that requires the website owner/promoter to be able to prove that they have something that other people find of interest, will see a benefit.

    I think there is a danger in over analysing the psychology here . . .It’s kind of…’Why would I want in, if nobody else does’ (or the reverse of that)

  13. Alex Price

    7/31/2008 1:28 pm

    I was just wondering the
    method Carl was using to
    attract visitors to his site
    so that he could see the
    effectiveness of the chicklet.

    As Gobala and Janice said
    it wuold make no sense to
    use it if you do not have a
    list of over 100 subscribers
    yet. As I am just starting out.

  14. Carl Juneau

    8/1/2008 3:31 am

    Hi guys,

    Traffic is 80% from PCC. Mostly Google, a little Yahoo.

  15. Want To Double Your Blog Newsletter Readers? Here’s The First of 4 Tactics That Helped Us - Email Marketing Tips by AWeber

    8/4/2008 2:54 pm

    […] placed at the end of posts for a while now (example: our recent post on increasing opt-in rates via social proof – click the image at left to see that signup […]

  16. Greebo

    8/5/2008 7:43 pm

    I agree with Gobala – advertising how many subscribers you have it fine if it’s a decent number, but if there’s not very many surely it will just put people off. Who wants to subscribe to a newsletter that’s only read by the author and his mum?

  17. Moorman

    8/7/2008 1:55 pm

    Great information. I will start to use split testing on all my campaigns. I wonder can I add a sign up form to my wordpress blog?

    I’m going to start selling a resource manual for indie musicians. I’m going to create a three landing pages and split test them all.

    Do you think it would be a good idea to implement a couple of different ways you can join.

    For example, you could have a opt-in form with name and email.
    One with just email opt-in and one with a couple of questions to answer. How the peron answers the questions determines what opt-in form see.

    I don’t know. I’m just trying to play around with the concept.

  18. Justin Premick

    8/7/2008 2:42 pm


    We have some information in our knowledge base on how to add a signup form to your WordPress blog.

  19. adam libman

    8/10/2008 1:52 pm

    this is very interesting stuff. I’ll try in on my site!

  20. chris

    8/13/2008 12:09 pm

    I was split testing with a pop-in box. In this case, it was the same content but different times periods in which it popped up. I did NOT have the chicklet at first. My results were about the same for all time periods…and none were acceptable rates of conversion.

    I added both the chicklet and a link to a past newsletter so the visitor would see how many others subscribe and the type of content to expect. My subscription rate sky-rocketed!

    I just checked to see how many people viewed the sample newsletter (pdf format) and it was a surprisingly low number. It looks like that chicklet did the trick. And my existing subscription count at the time was below 40 so even that low of a number was still high enough in the eyes of the visitor!

    Thanks, Aweber!

  21. Discussing Cialdini?s ?Influence? Ch. 4: Social Proof - Copywriters Board

    9/17/2008 7:46 am

    […] you’re marketing cults, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher where to go with the idea. Try this… Social Proof Tool Boosts Landing Page Conversion 32.4% explains how You Get More Readers By Displaying Your Subscriber Count in a "social proof […]

  22. Dan Thies

    10/7/2008 3:29 pm

    I’ve been running a chiclet test for a few days, so far tracking at a statistically significant 45% increase in optins. I’m going to run it for 7 full days to eliminate day of week effects.

    I’m not sure that it’s "social proof" causing the increase, though – it could just be having a blue thingy next to the opt-in submit button. The default opt-in form is pretty boring after all.

    My next test will use a # of DONUTS graphic vs. # of READERS. Will report back on that.

    Kudos to AWeber for offering this, btw.

  23. Justin Premick

    10/7/2008 4:41 pm


    Good point re: what I might call the "shiny object" factor.

    You could test different colored chicklets (you can even create a white one) to see how much effect color plays.

    And please let us know if you test "donuts" :)

  24. Mike Herberts

    10/7/2008 5:23 pm

    Please at least answer me.

    Will you be able to offer different messages like
    Number of ‘subscribers’ ‘viewers’ ‘members’

    I can’t use the chicklet as my subscribers are not ‘readers’ and would just be confused by the mssage.

    They are subscribing to get free videos not newsletters. Please Please Please just let me know. If it’s NO then that’s fine and I’ll live without using it.

  25. Justin Premick

    10/8/2008 9:54 am

    Hi Mike,

    At the moment we don’t plan to change the wording on the chicklet.

  26. Dan Thies

    10/14/2008 9:37 am

    OK, further testing on my site: Chiclet is boosting conversion on my opt-in landing page, but "no chiclet" is performing better in the blog sidebar.

  27. Marc Carlin

    10/16/2008 6:25 pm

    This is an interesting new tool that you offer. I’m going to try it out on my site.

    Thanks for the info.

  28. Johnnie Green

    12/7/2008 1:00 am

    I am still trying to set up split testing. the question, if I am an affiliate with a company, do I set up all the affiliate marketing within the section of split testing or just on one site.

  29. Carl Juneau

    8/24/2009 3:25 pm

    Thanks for following up with test results, Dan. Keep it up.

  30. Stephen Prana Tan

    5/26/2010 4:02 am

    Have been using AWeber for years, and it is my royal tool that I use in my Internet Marketing.

    Looking forward for more features by AWeber. Great work!

  31. mike henry

    5/27/2010 12:37 am

    Actually,when u starting as a new email marketing member. U don’t need to have a subscriber at all at the first time.what you need is creative idea ""where n when"" u want to catch your customer data.

    Remarks the highlight.

  32. pratik

    3/9/2011 1:14 pm

    You guys urgently need to increase the font size of this chiclet. If i do it in html then it looks hazy. Reducing size using html is not that bad hence those who want a smaller font can do it that way. This is a simple usability issue – i am surprised aweber …