April 26 Clinic Notes



These are the notes for our interactive April 26 teleclinic on Headline Testing. The recording of the event will be posted here in a few days.

If you are participating in the live teleclinic, we will ask that you refresh your page several times through the call as we add data and other notes. Data will appear below this sentence.

Headlines (Case 1):

1. (Control)

2. Dental Plans for $8.33 a month. Acceptance Guaranteed.

3. Over 55,000 Dental Care Providers. Acceptance Guaranteed.

4. Dental Care Coverage. Best Price Guaranteed.

5. Low Cost Dental Care for the Uninsured.

6. Best Price Dental Care – Without Insurance.

Landing Page Headline: Impact on Conversion Rate
Headline Impact on Overall Conversion
Headline 1 -5.68%
Headline 2 72.76%
Headline 3 26.41%
Headline 4 -68.43%
Headline 5 -20.44%
Headline 6 -5.11%

Headlines (Case 2 – Group 1):

1. You Are Master and Commander of a Billion Documents

2. Cost Effective Litigation Management Solutions

3. We Sell Unfair Advantages. Interested?

Landing Page Headline: Leads Generated (Group 1)
Metric Headline 1 Headline 2 Headline 3
Impressions 38,410 38,889 38,365
Clicks 1,151 1,171 1,159
Click-Through Rate 3.00% 3.01% 3.02%
Leads 7 2 5
Conversion Rate 0.61% 0.17% 0.43%

Based on an average cost per click (CPC) of $0.28, Headline 1 generated leads for $46.04 each, Headline 2 for $163.94, and Headline 3 for 64.90.

Based on these test results, Headline 1 is the clear winner.

Headlines (Case 2 – Group 2):

4. An essential resource when corporate clients tell you they have 2,000,000 documents to be reviewed.

5. Say Yes when a client asks you to review FIVE MILLION separate documents.

6. Say Yes when a client asks you to review FIVE MILLION separate documents. And smile.

Landing Page Headline: Leads Generated Group 2
Metric Headline 4 Headline 5 Headline 6
Impressions 32,754 38,149 35,786
Clicks 807 948 888
Click-Through Rate 2.46% 2.48% 2.48%
Leads 6 9 0
Conversion Rate 0.74% 0.95% 0.00%

Based on an average cost per click (CPC) of $0.31, Headline 4 generated leads for $41.70 each and Headline 5 generated leads for $32.65 each. Headline 6 generated no leads.

Landing Page Headline: Headline and PPC Ad Copy Test
Metric Headline 1 Headline 5
Impressions 27,333 83,105
Clicks 422 2,445
Click-Through Rate 1.54% 2.94%
Average Cost Per Click $0.74 $0.25
Leads 3 17
Conversion Rate 0.71% 0.70%
Total Cost $312.14 $617.20
Cost Per Lead $104.05 $36.31


  1. Be aware of your testing options. Basic A/B testing and multivariate testing allow different levels of flexibility and specificity, as we saw in the examples above. A/B testing allows you to focus exclusively on headlines, while multivariate testing allows you to test other page elements simultaneously. For the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, see our recent reports on these topics:

    A/B Split Testing Brief

    Multivariate Testing Brief

  2. Identify effective phrases using Google AdWords or other PPC search engines. On the pay-per-click (PPC) search engines, ad copy can be tested to optimize CTR quite easily. On Google AdWords, for example, multiple ads can be created in the same ad group to test a variety of ad copy approaches. The best ad copy can then be isolated and optimized even further.

    By identifying effective phrases via PPC ad copy testing, you will then be much better equipped to write headlines that convert well. See our recent report for more information:

    PPC Ad Copy Tested

  3. Leverage your Unique Value Proposition (UVP). If your website has a truly unique value statement, you should not ignore it when writing your headlines. Additionally, the same principles of creating an effective UVP will help you write well-converting headlines.
  4. Test a group of very different headlines. Cast aside all assumptions about what the best headline might be. This will mean writing and testing a broad variety of headlines, all of them significantly different.

    Once you have found your winning headline, you will have found the best approach or hook.

    However, you may not be expressing that approach in the best way. So start testing a variety of small changes and variations to that one line. In this way you will find the best expression of your winning approach.

    The first round of testing gives you the best approach. The second round finds its most effective expression.

  5. Test the presentation of your headline. Once you have optimized your headline, test some small design and layout changes. It may be that the layout of your page is getting in the way of people being able to see and read the headline without distractions.

    Test font sizes and colors. Try adding some more white or blank space around the headline. Trying moving graphics closer to or further away from the headline.

    On the web, the design of a page is an essential element in improving the readability of all your text.

Learn from the MEC Research Team How to Test and Optimize Your Website

Become A Certified Online Testing Expert With the Marketing Experiments Professional Certification Program. Register today for classes starting June 15, 2006.


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