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Split test results revealed…
Discussed in the podcast:
01:42 – Clay Collins shares split test results
03:29 – Does the first name field decrease opt-in rate?
06:47 – Share your thoughts on email personalization
07:22 – LeadPages and Google use the same server
09:45 – Relationship of conversion rate to server speed
12:10 – How page speed affects page rank
12:50 – LeadPages’ NEW feature
15:41 – Is button color important?
16:37 – Clay Collins’ favorite “call to action” text
17:45 – James’ split test results
21:25 – What to expect from FastWebFormula 4
23:20 – Buy LeadPages with a BONUS
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James: James Schramko here and this episode is a split test results episode. I’ve got my friend from LeadPages, Clay Collins, on the line. Good day, Clay.
Clay: James, it’s good to be here. I’m looking forward to FastWebFormula 4. I started packing my bags that’s why I’m.. that’s how eager I am for this.
James: I’m getting pretty excited about it. I just loaded up a new video to the sales page. We’ve got ticket sales coming in and I’m mapping out the course content. And the part that I’ve got for you is Leads and Conversions because it’s such a crucial part of any online business, and I’ve been delving right into it.
In fact, I’ll kick this off with some of the things I’ve been up to with my leadpages lately is I’ve been split-testing leadpages with a new campaign that I’m running and we’re taking in first name and e-mail address on the first leadpages set up. And then we actually pass variables through to a form where we collect a second round of details and I’ve managed to hook this up via OfficeAutoPilot to follow up people who don’t make it to the second form but knowing that the first part of that conversion process is split-tested, and that I’m getting the best possible opt-in rate, is really going to improve the overall campaign results when we apply quite a lot of advertising budget to it.
So, I’m interested in your latest round of test results as I know our listeners are. One of them, I think you actually did some sort of testing around this first name e-mail versus just e-mail field, is that right?
Clay: Yeah. I’m very fortunate in having a landing page platform. You know we keep everyone’s results private, so I can’t necessarily go in and see individual conversion results among our customers. I think that’s a violation of privacy but I’m lucky that a lot of our clients come to me and say here are the results that we’re getting with leadpages and with your software.
Should You Ask For A First Name?
And so the first sort of split test I want to report on is from Juan Martitegui from Mindvalley Hispano. And he did a couple of different split tests. The first one was looking at the opt-in rate; with versus without asking for the first name. And Juan found an increase of 5.2%, right to a 5.2% relative increase when he dropped the first name.
So, what I’m saying is, actually that’s a very small difference, so I’m not saying, it’s like 20% versus 25%. I’m saying the relative increase was 5.2% so for him he found that difference fairly negligible and he has continued to ask for the first name and folks’ response are, results might vary, from market to market but that’s what he was getting with his traffic.
James: Yeah, that’s fascinating. And I would be really interested in the follow up to that. To find out over the cycle of that customer if having that first name field improves their conversion somewhere in the track. I mean, I still use the first name field in my e-mails because when I imported my Aweber list into my OfficeAutoPilot, I was able to bring across a lot of first names because I’ve always been collecting the first name up until recently. But, what have you done in your case, for your own opt-ins, Clay?
Clay: Yeah, so, we don’t ask for the first name and we did this based on some interesting research. The first came in from The Next Web. They wrote this thing in this article called “Hey startups! Don’t start your e-mails with Dear (name),” 95% of people hate it.
So, you know, there’s a couple of things going on here. I personally am not a fan of collecting first names. I noticed that when I write to my closest friends, I never say, “Dearest Jonathan”, you know I’ll just be like, “Hey! I’m doing this tomorrow at this time, let’s get together and talk about it.” But I never really address them by first name.
Another thing is that, in this day and age, people get that your e-mails are, you know, they understand they’re on your e-mail list right? When they get an e-mail from me, it’s not like I’m fooling them. It’s kind of like a lot of these automated webinars that happen, people know when they’re automated and it’s only disingenuous to kind of pretend like it’s live. These e-mails are not personal communications, so in this study, by the next web, that 95% people hate it when there’s subject line personalization.
Also, the organization MailerMailer reported that when there is subject line personalization, it depresses open rate. So, most people, when they write to their friends, do not include their friend’s name in the subject line. So this is really research around subject line. I would only imagine that this would also generalize to the body of the e-mail.
Now reasonable people disagree about this all the time, but when you compound, or combine these results with the fact that opt-in rates do go down slightly when you ask for the first name. I come down on the side of not asking for this. Again, reasonable people disagree about this and there are people no matter what you say to them, like literally, if you show them, all the evidence in the world and they’re pretty adamant about collecting first name, which is absolutely fine.
People, a lot of people, this is kind of interesting, a lot of people wanted us to add the ability to collect the first name to LeadPages and we’ve done that by the way. But a lot of people added that because they wanted to be able to, during webinars, address people by name when folks are asking questions. And again, we’ve done the test; there is no increase in conversion when you address people by name in webinar.
People pretty much just want to get their questions answered. And so, your ability to skillfully answer questions as opposed to calling, you know, addressing them by name is a much bigger determinant of whether or not those webinars can convert. Again, smart people disagree about this but this is my position.
James: Well that’s awesome. In fact I would love it if listeners could actually comment on this post on SuperFastBusiness.com. If you’ve been receiving e-mails from me and I’ve used your name in the e-mail, I would love to know if that offends you or if you think it’s right or wrong. I think maybe, maybe, my theory, my hunch is that, because I say at the end of the e-mail, that I reply to all e-mails, it kind of personalizes it a bit.
I mean I’m getting a lot of customer’s e-mail, me too, like you getting people sending you test results. I’m getting people say, “Hey, thanks very much! I just made $30,000 using one of the techniques you mentioned in one of the podcasts and stuff”. I’m like, well, that’s cool. So, I guess it comes down to the communication you have with your customers. Alright, let’s move on to the next topic.
Does Speed Matter?
This one revolves around service speed and you’ve made it known that your LeadPages software is running on very, very fast server, the same one that Google uses. And it has a very fast load time. But you also offer people the ability to download the whole, leadpage and upload it to their own server if they want to run it in a remote environment. Is that the case?
Clay: Yeah. So, there’s a right option for publishing leadpages. The first option is you can host it on our servers, we actually just do that for you, you don’t have to do any special work, it’s just sort of out of the box, we shoot you a URL that you can use.
Another way is through WordPress. You can also download the file and put it on your own server. Various levels of sort of hosting. So, even when you download with one of the options, you can download the file and put it on server, but even when you do that, it’s pulling all the images from Google servers. And it’s pulling the CSS from Google servers. And the file itself is combined so there’s really only one to two files in addition to the images that’s pulling.
So even if it’s on your own server, it’s still really, really optimized. Probably the slowest option is when you use Facebook. Because Facebook, this has nothing to do with us, but Facebook just takes a lot of time to load the results of Facebook tabs. But yes, so, our servers are incredibly fast and we’re on Google’s server network.
So, the very same servers that Google uses, we’re using and again from Juan Martitegui at MindValley, great guy, you can find him on juanmartitegui.com. But Juan has some split test results, something that’s interesting about Juan is he’s an actual pro. He’s been doing this for years and they’re a seven figure if not an eight figure information company.
And they found I think almost a 10 % relative increase in conversion rate when they used our URL. So, when they use the Leadpages.net URL, it’s like minvalleyhispano.leadpages.net resulted in a, almost a 10% increase in conversion rate.
There’s a few reasons behind that. There’s actually quite an interesting base of research around this. It’s been found that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. So if someone doesn’t wait for a website to load, then certainly they’re not going to opt-in. So that in itself is going to lower the conversion rate and generally speaking, according to the report by Chris Matrix, a one second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversion.
Just to put all of this in perspective, if an e-commerce site is making a hundred thousand dollars per day, a one second page delay could cost 2.5 million over the course of over a year. So, this stuff isn’t, it isn’t just pie-in-the-sky idealistic stuff. The page speed really affects the dollars and cents of your business. So, it’s really important.
James: And I can also attest that there’s a lot of users out there who have slow internet and I was one of them for the last four years. I’ve only realized how slow it was when I’ve had access to faster internet. I mean I know what Facebook looks like before you see all that blue stuff. I know what the structure is as it loads for that way.
So we can’t assume that people sitting there on 12,000 mbps or whatever. And that’s why, the other thing is that the mobile version of the leadpages is excellent. I’ve used it on my mobile phone before and it seems to render really nicely.
Clay: Yeah, all the…almost all, we’re about 75% of leadpages are mobile responsive and again that affects conversion rate. If someone has to pinch and scroll, or whatever it’s called to make the page visible and they’re moving from area to area obviously, the likelihood that they’re going to opt-in is pretty low. And also, mobile device generally don’t have the same amount of bandwidth so page speed is even more important and it’s actually amplified on mobile devices because if it takes a long time to load on a mobile device, maybe you’ve got a video and a whole bunch of things that are hogging a bandwidth, folks surely couldn’t wait around, they’re getting another phone call, their cab is coming, like who knows what’s going on?
You know, while they’re waiting for that page to load on a mobile device. And so page speed is even more of the essence. It also is a heavy factor when it comes to SEO. Google in their webmaster central blog came out and said on a 2010 post, so back in the day, that one of the signals they’re going to use to rank pages is page speed.
If a website takes a long time to load, and they know that the user that they’ve sent there isn’t going to have a good experience and that page simply doesn’t belong at the top of the surfs so this isn’t just about conversion rate, it’s also about traffic, which is kind of interesting.
Edit In A Click
James: Yeah, I agree with that. Page speed is important. Alright now, you’ve just added a feature called one click editing and I watched a demo of this. It’s essentially where you can install a bookmark chicklet on your browser, and if you happen to be browsing to your leadpage, on the internet, you can now edit it on the spot. Tell us about that.
Clay: Yeah, so you know, I use, I mean we definitely use my leadpages extensively in our own business. And I found myself wanting to make changes to various leadpages but not doing it because in order to edit that page, I had to, I’d be browsing and I’d see a leadpage that I want to edit and I realize that I have to log in then I have to find the page, load it up and edit it. Then I have to save, I’ve to do all that stuff to get to the point where I can edit that page. And I was thinking, what if there was a book marklet that I could just click on when I’m at one of my leadpages and instantly be an editor. And so that’s what we did.
We made it so that during the course of browsing your own sites, if you see a headline you want to change or if you see something that you want to switch around, you can literally click on one button and be editing that page. And so it cuts down on the number of clicks that is required of you to edit your page so if you want to quickly make a copy of your page and create a split test or you want to change something and see how it affects your opt-in rate, you could do that in a short period of time. And our belief is, the more easy we can make this tool, the more likely folks are going to be to improve their own pages and see better results.
The Rapid Fire Question Portion
James: Alright, this is awesome. You’ve given us some good product features, some test results, we’re going to put you up to a little challenge. Can we do a little rapid fire around of some random questions?
Clay: Yeah, I never know what these are going to be like.
James: Listen, just for your benefit, I never told Clay what we’re going to be talking about. I like the spontaneity. What is the strangest leadpage you’ve ever seen someone apply.
Clay: Some of the weird ones have been from the seduction market and we have a number of customers in the seduction market. You know, ranging from “how to get married to…”. Kind of some weirder stuff right? Stuff you wouldn’t even think of would be sold. I don’t want to get into specifics because I don’t want to insult any of our customers.
We back them up in every way that we can as long as what’s happening is ethical. But I would say some of the stuff in the seduction market. All the weird niches within the seduction market, you’d be kind of interested in. You know, maybe we can talk after this but in some of the sub niches of the seduction market because they’re definitely interesting.
James: Nice. Alright now, button color, is it important or not?
Clay: You know, I don’t have access to enough research on this. We have found in our own business that yellow work really well. Red is often too aggressive. And passive colors like blue or green tend to also not work as well. The most important thing however is that the action item you want for folks take stands out. Right?
So if your entire website is blue, you don’t want the button color on your ‘buy now’ buttons, or your ‘opt-in’ buttons to be blue. You want them to be something that’s sort of beautifully sticks out, right? So, that’s sort of the main feature. The main factor is that folks are drawn to it. That it doesn’t blend it and that sticks out.
James: If you’re making a leadpage right now for an e-mail opt-in for a newsletter or blog, what would be your sweetheart call to action text?
Clay: It would be download now, I believe we talked last time about the difference between download…
James: Yeah, so it’s still your favorite?
Clay: Still my favorite. Still my favorite.
James: Download now…and I noticed that your sales video has changed with that thing over there, you’ve…Clay is gone and there’s screenshots of music now.
Clay: Yes. Apparently people are more likely to purchase LeadPages if they don’t see my face.
James: How does that make you feel?
Clay: I don’t know. I’m a…you know, all I care about is that our work is getting into more people’s hands. But we took a version of the sales page that had me in it and replaced it with motion graphics and we also added sound. So it could be that the sound is more engaging and it keeps people watching longer and the motion graphics are more compelling than talking head video. Hopefully, it’s not that my face is sort of casting away demons and evil spirits and warding off…hopefully that’s not the case.
James: I doubt it. I’d say most girls would probably think you’re pretty handsome. I’ll share a secret with you. I tested my sales page on FastWebFormula a lot and I’d put up video after video to test short, long, face to camera, face with slides, animation in black and white, animation with color, with music without music. The one that I’ve got now was the clear winner of all of those and it’s an animation.
What People Want In A Sales Video
Clay: Wow! That’s interesting. Yeah, I really think it’s all about, you know, sort of zigging where other people are zagging? It used to be with opt-in bribes. This is kind of interesting but it used to be that free reports really worked well. And then it got to the point where everyone was doing free reports. And then video opt-in bribes. You know with just ‘download to get this free video’. That was working better and everyone’s started doing that. And then free reports started working again.
And then Ryan Deiss tested literally like the handwritten letter or the business plan at the back of a napkin and that was sort of unique so everyone wanted that, and then everyone was doing that and we started testing software opt-in bribes like making a software available when people opt-in, and that outperformed you know even the hand-written notes and a whole bunch of other things and this really had to do with providing something that was different than what everyone else was doing and everyone right now is doing the talking head video and I think that’s really good for blog posts and for establishing rapport. But when it comes to a sales video, I think people want to see text and they want to see results and they want to see concrete examples of what they’re going to be getting and that really is above and beyond.
You know with software, everyone’s doing explainer video, right? “Hey this is Bob. Bob works for Acme Corp. and Acme Corp. wants to…” whatever and this is, you know. And those aren’t working as well as what we’re doing right now which is demonstrating the product because most people on their sales video simply don’t demonstrate the product in such a conceptual level. In my opinion and based on what we’ve seen, this is just about providing something that is unique and different and not doing what everyone else is doing.
James: Well there you go. Well I think that definitely you got to take into a lot of account, the fact that you have software that people looking at software are going to want deliverables and specs and technical stuff. I’ve actually put a face to camera video for my event because it’s a little bit less tangible, and it’s more personal. And I’m hoping that I can carry some of the momentum from all of the live videos that I have been putting people in front of and that they just want to extend that, plus it’s a hell of a lot faster to make.
The whole thing from scripting to video-ing to producing, probably took 45 – 50 minutes so you have to weigh up speed of implementation as well. Imagine the motion stuff can take a little longer till it gets out of the pipeline?
Clay: Yeah, I completely agree with that sort of event. You know, what we really want, why I’m coming is because I want to see you and I really enjoy your blog videos. And to have all of that in technicolor, you in 3D, and to see what you’re doing and hear from you, you really in a lot of ways are the product so if you were to be like, ‘Here’s the venue, here’s the seats and here’s the exact order of events’. I’m not…I’m sure that would be cool and it certainly is attractive that it’s in a cool city in the heart of downtown and that’s.. all of that’s awesome but you’ve taught me a lot of cool stuff. So, to me, you are the product.
James: In this case it’s really just, it’s going to be me, you and Ezra talking about stuff so I’m thinking it’s heavily biased towards me. I’m going to be stepping people through the results I’ve been getting and we’ve talked about before like just the affiliate side of what I’m doing with my blog is working well. You can imagine the services and product side, the stuff that I actually own is going particularly well. So I’m taking a yearlong snapshot on that.
Talking about some of the things I didn’t do correctly that I wish I’d do better the first time around so I can save people a lot of problems there. I’m going to talk about how to create content, like you and I are prolific content creators and some people seem to struggle with that so I’ll be covering that and we’re going to do a live podcast and that should be fun.
We’ll actually be recording an episode of ThinkActGet there in front of the crowd. It’s the best way to do a podcast is with a live crowd. And talking about how I simplify things and revealing a few case studies and how to take action on all the stuff I talk about for two days so I’m looking forward to it. Not that long from the time, I’m recording this. So, I’ll be seeing you soon. Bring your party gear because it’s going to be quite fun.
Clay: I’m still looking forward to it. I’ll be jet-lagged anyway so I won’t be able to sleep so I might as well just party it up.
James: Yeah I think we’ll tip a pale ale down the gullet and it will be fun. Alright Clay, I’m going to let you go. Thanks for the update with the test results. I’ll be asking you for more details soon, I’m always interested in what’s new, what’s the latest stuff, and how people are applying this wonderful tool. Listener, if you don’t have LeadPages yet, you really want to get over there, go and have a look at Clay’s brand new sales video and see what we’ve been talking about.
I’ll put a link in the show notes and of course, I do offer a special bonus if you buy LeadPages through my links so, thanks Clay for coming along. I’ll speak to you soon.
Clay: Thanks so much, James. I appreciate it.
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Buck Joffrey says
I think the reason Clay’s videos of himself were less effective had little to do with his face. I watched a number of them and found myself mesmerized with his hands. They appeared very large and moved with the cadence of a rap artist–not a bad thing by any means…but a bit distracting.
James Schramko says
Buck one thing for sure is that there would be too many factors to test for us to know for sure what caused it.
James, the way that you communicate is very personl and friendly. So I don’t mind you using my name in e-mails. What I hate is all the people selling SEO who cold-email me, having grabbed my name off the net somewhere!
James Schramko says
Thank you Marra!
I find that asking for the first name decreases my optin rate as-well. Also having video on my landing pages decreases optin rates no matter how good the video intro is.
Thanks for the great interview James! Always golden nuggets to take away!