Texas State Historical Association

How creating a linear path down the page impacted email acquisition

Experiment ID: #2472

Texas State Historical Association

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 10/28/2015 - 11/02/2015

It is said that the key to a successful landing page is a good design. However, the definition of “good” is where designers will often disagree with marketers (and fundraisers). We would posit that the definition of a “good design” one that is able to best convert, not the page the looks the best.

We were able to put this theory to a test with a recent landing experiment launched by the Texas State Historical Association. At a recent MECLABS optimization conference, Phillip Farr, a designer and developer for the TSHA, was in the process of creating a landing page for an upcoming eBook to be promoted on the TSHA website. This conference focused on the concept of optimizing landing pages by increasing value to the visitor while reducing the associated cost.

After one of these sessions, Phillip took another pass at the design he had previously created. Using the principles promoted at the conference, he re-designed the page using similar style as the original page but in a format he felt would better communicate value and that would reduce friction.

Research Question

Which landing page format will acquire the greatest number of email addresses?


C: Pre-MECLABS Conference
T1: Post-MECLABS Conference


 Treatment NameConv. RateRelative DifferenceConfidence
C: Pre-MECLABS Conference 29.3%
T1: Post-MECLABS Conference 31.6%7.7% 99.6%

This experiment has a required sample size of 3,162 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 13,323, and the level of confidence is above 95% the experiment results are valid.

Flux Metrics Affected

The Flux Metrics analyze the three primary metrics that affect revenue (traffic, conversion rate, and average gift). This experiment produced the following results:

    0% increase in traffic
× 7.7% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The new landing page treatment resulted in a 7.7% increase in the number of email addresses acquired. This new treatment achieved this lift by making several modifications to the original design:

  • The headline was moved out of the background and placed inline with the rest of the page copy. This made it easier to catch the visitors’ attention as many people have “banner blindness” when they first visit the page.
  • The name acquisition form was moved below the text so it be within the visitors’ eye path as they moved down the page.
  • He removed some of the opacity around the form to make the section easier to read
  • He changed the sub-headline to communicate the reason for the form.

Experiment Documented by NextAfter

Question about experiment #2472

If you have any questions about this experiment or would like additional details not discussed above, please feel free to contact them directly.