Wondering What to Test in Your Marketing Funnel? Start With These

You know how you're always reading case studies where they changed one word of their call-to-action buttons and suddenly sales went up 27%?

The takeaway always seems to be how you need to “test everything, because you never know…”

I'm convinced these case studies do way more harm than good, because it's literally impossible to “test everything.”

When a single word can have such a dramatic effect, where do you even start?

Well I read an interesting study that puts those anecdotes in perspective.

This study was sent over by subscriber Dan, always the alert student of marketing and copywriting sent me a fascinating study.

The authors of the study compiled a massive set of more than 2,600 conversion experiments, organized them into broad categories, then determined the average impact of each type of experiment.

Here's the result:

(Curious to read the entire study? Full version is here.)

This lines up pretty neatly with what any good copywriter can tell you.

Unless you're Amazon or Netflix, testing the “user interface” (i.e. design tweaks) is largely a waste of time.

Scarcity and urgency are two of the biggest factors—and I'd argue that urgency is really just using time to generate scarcity.

Social proof” is another biggie, although that term has been hijacked by social media sharing widgets and similar gimmicks. Solid, sincere customer testimonials and reviews are pretty much always going to move the needle.

Missing from this study is the biggest “lever” of all:

The offer.

Which includes the price, the guarantee, bonuses, and the chief problem or benefit you choose to highlight in your product.

When you're deciding what to test, forget the “chrome” of your website.

Focus on testing your offer, scarcity and customer testimonials.

That's where you'll get the biggest bang for your buck.