What a 173% Increase in Clickthrough Can Teach You About Subscribers


At MarketingExperiments, we define friction in a conversion process as a psychological resistance to a given element in a sales process.

If you’ve ever waited in a long line at a theme park in July, that’s friction personified. It’s the hot and sweaty agony that makes a customer ask themselves, “Why am I doing this?”

I should also add that not all friction is avoidable, but a large concentration of it can be reduced through a little testing and optimization.

In today’s post, I wanted to share with you a recent experiment to identify and reduce friction, which you can enjoy with no lines or waiting.

Before we dive in, let’s review the background notes and give the experiment a little perspective and context.


Background: A large news publication.

Goal: To increase clickthrough rate.

Primary Research Question: Which landing page will generate the most clicks?

Approach: A/B multifactorial



Here are the pages in the experiment together.


During a preliminary analysis of the control, the MECLABS research team hypothesized the control page’s long-form layout style was impacting performance.

As you can see, the bullet points help organize the copy, but their sheer number creates a wall of text.

For the treatment, the team organized those bullets into a tabbed navigation, allowing the customer to click on what is relevant to them in an effort to help guide the conversation toward a subscription.

They also removed the video and added a second call-to-action.

How did the treatment stack up?




The treatment outperformed the control by 173% at a 99% level of statistical confidence.


What you need to know

Related:  Conversion Optimization: Eight considerations to take into account when A/B testing in mobile

The short and sweet here is friction exists in every element on your landing pages, and you have to work relentlessly to identify and reduce it.

I say this because, ultimately, customers are not just subscribing to your product or service; they are subscribing to an expectation of an amazing experience.

This experience, might I add, is best built with as little friction as possible (and hopefully no turnstiles).

To learn more about how friction factors into your efforts to convert subscribers, you can watch the on-demand Web clinic replay of Optimizing Subscription Paths:

Download the slides here.


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