How to test landing page headlines

Landing pages, are they the key to your next online marketing campaign’s success?

A landing page is really just a page with no navigation. It’s focused solely on a form, getting the visitor to sign up with no distractions. You throw some nice-sounding copy on there, a snappy headline, and a great looking image and you’re done.

But are you?

There are good landing pages, but there are also plenty of terrible ones. Don’t end up like those bad ones.

Create your headline

The headline is meant to grab attention. If it doesn’t you’re done for. The reader probably won’t read the sub-headline, or the rest of the copy you worked so hard on.

David Ogilvy said:

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

So how do you write a juicy headline?

Unbounce has some magic formulas for writing landing page headlines that you can borrow.

  • Benefits- Show the benefit the audience will get
  • Loss aversion- Show what they will stop losing buy signing up
  • Questions

In their case studies, the “benefit” headline performed best, and the question headline came in last.

What makes a create headline?

Instapages mentions a few characteristics:

  • Clarity
  • Relevance
  • Empathy

They also have a few headline forumlas you can try out:

  • “To the point” headline: A direct headline that isn’t trying to be clever
  • “How to” headline: Gives an answer to a problem your visitors have
  • “Number” headline: Attach a number to your value prop
  • “Action” headline: Tells the visitor to do something that will provide benefit or prevent loss

A/B Testing

Now, don’t just come up with one headline and stick with it, you need to A/B test.

“I don’t have time for that”. Well then I guess you don’t want a high converting landing page. It takes experimentation to create the best headline, you probably won’t strike gold on the first one.

Buffer has an article on just how to A/B test headlines without going crazy or getting overwhelmed.

When A/B testing, you’ll need some tools to help, here are some tools you can use:


Optimizely  A B Testing   Personalization Platform.pngVisual Web Optimizer



Analyze the Results

Not all A/B testing results are the same. That’s where statistical significance comes in. You need to be measuring your results based on the amount of traffic and number of conversions. You can’t compare results just by looking at them.

You can use these two calculators to help make sure your results are statistically significant so you can implement that headline!

A/B Split Test Significance Calculator 

A/B Significance Test

Do you need more testing?

Now you’ve just spent a few days testing all these headlines to come up with the one that converts best. Do you need to be testing anything else?

There’s always more to test! But make sure you are testing each variable individually. Multi-variate tests, in which you test multiple items at once like a call to action and a headline, can produce confusing results.

Here are other variables you can start testing:

  • Calls to action
  • Copy length (long vs. short)
  • Images

About MARKIT Group

MARKIT Group is a full-service traditional and digital marketing and public relations firm with an emphasis on social media, reputation management and monitoring, as well as brand management. Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Fla., with offices in New York, Pittsburgh and Charleston, S.C.
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