6 Things You Should A/B Test to Boost Conversions

Syed Balkhi

A/B TestingPhoto byAdobe Stock

Are you happy with your conversion rate?

If you answered no, you’re not alone. Believe it or not, only 22% of business owners report feeling satisfied with their overall conversion rate. This startling statistic highlights a need that extends far beyond a single industry or niche.

Marketers and leaders want more conversions. So, what’s the answer?

A/B testing, sometimes called split testing, is the perfect way to gradually improve your conversions without making sweeping changes to your website.

Simply put, A/B testing is when you make small changes to an existing campaign, CTA, or marketing strategy and show it to 50% of your audience. The goal of A/B testing is to see if you can achieve more clicks and engagement by making subtle changes.

The constant (option A) is put head-to-head with the variable (option B). If a change results in significantly more traction, marketers may make the test option the new constant.

This process can continue indefinitely until the team is satisfied with their conversion rate.

Now that you know a little more about this strategy, let’s look at 6 things worth testing if you want to skyrocket conversions and grow your business.

Subject Lines and Headlines

Two of the easiest things to test are your email subject lines and blog headlines.

Subject lines and headlines are usually the first point of contact a user or subscriber has before engaging with your brand. If you can master the art of creating clickable emails and blog posts, conversions are sure to follow.

Research shows that nearly 50% of emails are opened or deleted based on the subject line. On a similar note, marketers found that experimenting with this factor resulted in 49% more conversions. Consider running a test if you’ve noticed a drop in click-throughs and engagement.

The key to making sure your A/B test is successful is to keep most of the factors the same. For instance, you’ll want to make sure that your test headline is similar in length and captures the same central idea. What should change is how you present the content.

For example, you can experiment with numbered lists, creating a sense of urgency, or even adding humor to your headlines and subject lines.

By running these types of tests, you can figure out which version does a better job at capturing your audiences’ attention, which will make it easier to plan future content.

On-Site Popups

On-site popups are an extremely effective way to grow your lead list, promote discounts, and connect with first-time visitors. Here’s the thing; not all popups are created equal. In my experience, they often get a bad reputation because of how they are used.

If you spend time creating relevant, interesting, and valuable offers on your popups, they can do wonders for your business.

There are also many ways to A/B test this marketing strategy and reach more customers. Here are a few elements you can start testing today to maximize conversions.

  • Design - Color, theme, and placement can all be tweaked. For instance, you could change the text on your popup from green to red.
  • Timing - Experiment with when the popup appears after a user takes a specific action. Instead of showing your promotion at the top of your blog posts, you can make it pop up when the user gets halfway through your article.
  • Message - Don’t be afraid to experiment with your copy. Changing a few words can have a tremendous impact on engagement.
  • Offers - Instead of offering new subscribers $10 off their order, you could give them 15% off their entire order.

These tests are great ways to get more people to engage with your site without creating a new piece of content or promotion from the ground up.


You can’t talk about running an online business without mentioning forms. Users need to complete forms to join your email list, register for events, make purchases, and more. Optimizing everything from feedback forms to payment pages can help you create a better user experience, which will lead to more conversions.

When it comes to forms, there are plenty of things you can tweak to improve your completion rate. The first thing you should check is your form length. Depending on the context, people don’t usually like filling out lengthy forms that ask for unnecessary information.

I recommend shortening your forms by reducing fields. This can be accomplished by merging questions or deleting them entirely. For instance, you don’t need to ask new email subscribers to share their phone number via your signup form.

You can also make your forms more attention-grabbing by changing the style and overall design. One way to do this is to adjust the color scheme. Another way to test the design is to change the placement. Instead of including the form at the bottom of your product landing page, you could include it above the fold for 50% of your audience.

It’s also a good idea to test the field order, placeholder text, and confirmation message. Adjusting these elements over time will help you fine-tune and optimize your forms for conversions.

Sidebar Space

Sidebars are an important part of every website. They often contain information and shortcuts for readers that enhance their experience, which typically results in more interactions with your brand.

You miss countless opportunities to engage with your audience if you don’t test your sidebar.

There are a ton of different things you can include within your sidebar space. You could include a list of popular blog posts, share frequently purchased items, show reviews, or even include your social media feed.

Testing different elements and finding out what gets the most engagement will help you better understand the needs and interests of your customers, which can shape future campaigns.

For example, if you want to add a social wall to your site, you should run tests until you find the optimal spot for readers. Similarly, you could put an email signup form at the top of your sidebar so you can see if this change results in more email subscribers.

People underestimate the value of sidebars, but I’m here to tell you that this is an essential part of your website worth testing.

Social Proof

Next, let’s talk about why you should test social proof. But first, let’s define the term. Social proof in marketing is a phenomenon where shoppers are more likely to do something if they see that other people took the same action.

The best example is user reviews. We found that 97% of online shoppers say they are influenced by customer reviews. When you buy something on Amazon, do you check reviews before you add the item to your cart? Most of us do. So, it’s clear that this strategy is essential for businesses across all industries.

You may be asking, “How do I A/B test social proof?” Great question. Here are a few actionable tips:

  • Strategically place reviews - Aside from product review pages, try sprinkling top-notch reviews on your homepage and other key landing pages. You can even include a few reviews within your sidebar!
  • Test trust seals - Trust seals, sometimes called trust badges, are seals of approval from well-known companies like Norton or PayPal. Consider adding trust badges to forms and at the bottom of key parts of your site.
  • Add live sales notifications - Live sales notifications pop up for visitors when another customer places an order. These handy tools are an excellent way to build social proof. Test sales notifications on specific pages to see if you can trigger more conversions.

Call-to-Action (CTA)

Finally, let’s talk about how and why you should A/B test your calls-to-action (CTAs). This tip is last because you can apply it to each of the elements listed above. Forms, emails, popups, and sidebars usually contain CTAs, so saving this for the end made sense.

Many of the testing strategies listed also apply to CTAs. For example, you can change the color of your CTA from blue to red to see if the test version does a better job of capturing users’ attention.

It’s also important to experiment with the text used within your CTA. After a few tests, you may find that “Get Your eBook!” performs better than “Click Here” on your lead magnet popup.

You’ll create CTAs for everything, including different platforms. Email, social media, and your website all need good calls to action if you want to boost conversions.

There’s a lot of room for improvement, regardless of which platform you want to optimize. It’s worth mentioning that what works for one might not work for the other. When you’re done experimenting, your “best” email call-to-action may look shockingly different compared to your “best” on-site CTA.

Final Thoughts

A/B testing is one growth strategy that never ends. You can continuously run tests and find ways to optimize different aspects of your brand. If this is your first time running these experiments, stick with a couple of small tests at a time. Changing too much will likely overwhelm you and your team, which makes it hard to determine when a test is succeeding or failing.

If you’re patient and persistent, you’ll start to see sales and engagement improve throughout your testing.

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Syed Balkhi is on a mission to level the playing field for small businesses. 19+ million websites use his software to grow and compete with the big guys. 100+ million people read his blogs every year to grow their website traffic, sales, & conversion

West Palm Beach, FL

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