The Top 5 Surprising Tips from A/B Tests

[WARNING: Since we're now far past April and this post continues to be popular, I want to be clear that this is an April Fools joke. Please don't follow the advice in this article.]

Since 2007, WiderFunnel has been testing websites for all manner of businesses. From the results of thousands of tests, we’ve discovered what really works to maximize conversion rates.

But, that doesn’t mean test results can’t surprise us. We often test innovative experiences that push the boundaries of what’s expected.   Tweet this:

We often test innovative experiences that push the boundaries of what's expected
Many times, we discover new tactics that work so well that we keep them locked tightly in our conversion knowledge-base.

Today, I’ve decided to share the top 5 winning A/B test tips.   Tweet this:

Today, I've decided to share the top 5 winning A/B test tips
You should try these on your website immediately.   Tweet this:

You should try these tips on your website immediately

#5 – Yellow is the surprise magic colour

In test after test, we’ve found one colour that wins every time in every situation. For conversion optimization, yellow is gold!   Tweet this:

For conversion optimization yellow is gold!

We’ve tested this dozens of times. Here’s an example of a recent ecommerce test:

Blue Add To Cart Button

Blue

Control

Green Add To Cart Button

Green

25.4% sales lift

Red Add to Cart Button

Red

14.8% sales decrease

Yellow Add To Cart Button

Yellow

454.38% sales lift!

#4 – Offer carousels on home pages always work for ecommerce

It turns out that I was wrong when I’ve said that rotating offer carousels don’t work.

They work well, especially if you’re selling lingerie, swimsuits, workout videos or sexy Halloween costumes.

Fortunately, there are still companies to help you build these rotating offer banners, like the experts at Wakefly. They’ve found it so successful for their clients that they have one on their home page too!

Which ties in to the third most important tip…

#3 – “Hits” are the new black

The traditional web “Hits” metric has gotten a bad rap in recent years, but you should rethink that. We’ve found that Hits work better than sales conversion tracking.   Tweet this:

Hits work better than sales conversion tracking

The benefits of the Hits metric:

  • It’s much easier to influence Hits than sales conversions
  • Hits is a strong indicator of sales increase (like, if people are sticking around to view more content, they’re probably going to buy more too, right? Obviously.)
  • Hits are much less complicated than trying to measure average order value, revenue per visitor, multi-stream blended conversion value, etc. Remember the KISS principle!
  • Hits is more encouraging for your conversion team, and they need encouragement on a daily basis.

#2 – Morgan Freeman can sell anything

Morgan Freeman is awesome because everyone believes anything he says and you don’t need his permission to put his face in your ad!   Tweet this:

Everyone believes anything Morgan Freeman says. Use him in your ads!
It’s true. I read it on the internet.

Morgan Freeman sells stuff

Morgan Freeman sells stuff

And the Top Tip to boost your conversion optimization results…

#1 – The Harlem Shake is hot for websites too

Not only is the Harlem Shake the hottest fad for team building, college campuses, and my daughters and friends, but it also lifts conversion rates.

Check out our latest winning home page design.

It is *guaranteed* to lift your conversion rate too.   Tweet this:

The Harlem Shake is *guaranteed* to lift your conversion rate

EDIT: Please, look at the date this was posted. I know it seems legit, but it’s an April Fools joke. Gotcha!

15 Comments

  1. Michael Straker April 1, 2013 at 11:49 am - Reply

    #6 – It's now official. Best practices ALWAYS work.

    #7 – It therefore follows that there's no need to test your ideas.

    • @chrisgoward April 1, 2013 at 11:52 am - Reply

      That's the logical conclusion.

      And, also, WiderFunnel will be ceasing to do business as of today.

      • Michael Straker April 1, 2013 at 11:54 am - Reply

        We'll miss you, Chris. But you'll look great in that McDonald's uniform.

  2. Jonathan April 1, 2013 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    On #5 Wouldn't you say it depends much on the background color and the overall site color scheme? Or is it quite a golden/yellow rule ;)

    • @chrisgoward April 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm - Reply

      Nope. Apparently yellow always wins, no matter what the rest of the site looks like.

  3. GEORGE April 2, 2013 at 2:19 am - Reply

    Hey, sorry to look at the hair of the hairdresser, but if yellow always wins, why your action buttons are still in orange ?

  4. John April 2, 2013 at 2:30 am - Reply

    This is great! Thanks Chris, brightened up my morning!

    Glad to see I no longer need to waste my time testing!

    Yellow everything here I come!

  5. PKumar April 2, 2013 at 2:47 am - Reply

    #1..the flashing jumping site will never win, visitors will get headaches.

  6. Karen April 2, 2013 at 2:47 am - Reply

    I actually got heart palpitations reading this, until I realized it was published Yesterday – April 1!

    You did a great job with this article. I’m almost tempted to send it to a few staff members to gauge their responses. It would be a great way to test my own in-house training.

  7. @chrisgoward April 2, 2013 at 8:57 am - Reply

    For everyone who have been frantically emailing me: yes, this was an April Fools joke and no, WiderFunnel is not closing our doors! Long live testing!

  8. Spudart April 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    How would orange perform? Yellow probably excelled, because it looks most like a button. It calls out "click me!" Orange is pretty good at that too. Just look at all the orange "reply" buttons on this page.

    Let's see orange in your test results, please, pretty please. :)

  9. Ian Brodie April 14, 2013 at 3:04 am - Reply

    I've been looking at the home page of the wakefly site you linked to for sliders. Is it for real? Surely some humongous April fools joke in its own right?

    Sliders. Meaningless – 3-Word – Strapline. "Cool" but incomprehensible value proposition.

    Ace!

    • @chrisgoward April 14, 2013 at 9:12 am - Reply

      I know, right?

      I'm sure they're well-meaning at heart but have drunk the "Brand Essence is Everything" kool-aid.

  10. @chrisgoward April 2, 2013 at 8:56 am - Reply

    Sorry to yank your chain, Jonathan. This was an April Fools joke. Just to the opposite of everything I said in this post :-)

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