A/B Testing Newsletter Landing Pages

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In the last two years I’ve tested a lot of things on the landing page for Hacker Newsletter. While I found some small wins, overall it hasn’t amounted to much in terms of increasing my conversion rating. The most important observation has been that the source of traffic makes the biggest difference in the conversion rate, and more specifically - if a visitor is already subscribed to another newsletter, they are around two times more likely to sign-up. So with this is mind, one way to grow your list is to leverage swapping mentions with other newsletters to focus on these high converting users or look into other ways to target those users.

For completeness sake, here is a list of some of the things I’ve tried. Some of these increased the conversion rate per Google, but like I said before, nothing produced a striking change so I won’t provide any metrics. However, these would all be great things to test for every landing page and your results will vary. For example, I know Peter Cooper has mentioned that he saw a significant bump by adding a screenshot.

  • Adding a screenshot of the newsletter
  • Removing the subscriber count
  • Adding testimonials
  • Adding images to testimonials
  • Trying different numbers of testimonials
  • Removing links to past issues
  • Providing an addition subscriber field
  • Welcome text
  • Spam text
  • Linking to featured articles