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Our Latest A/B Test: Content vs. Form as Ali vs. Foreman

December 11, 2015
Aaron Polmeer

By Today’s Industry Insider


We used to argue whether content was the heavyweight of the marketing, but given all the different contenders at a marketer’s disposal – engagement systems, marketing automation, dynamic personalization, and hundreds more – it’s definitely even more of a contested unification belt. And for today’s look at a recent A/B test, I’d say content is a lot more like Muhammad Ali in The Rumble in the Jungle.

Transactional elements like forms and CTAs are such industry standards, such thorough Don-King-supported title favorites, that they are much more like the undefeated, younger and stronger George Foreman. They’d beaten all the latest greatest contenders. They’re the bookie’s favorites by a 3 to 1 margin. They know how to get it done and land the high-figure purse. There’s an expectation that now’s their time.

But still, at the time, many couldn’t help but root for Ali. After refusing to fight in the Vietnam war, he may have been stripped of his belt, but that would never automatically make him less of a fighter. His speed and agility were phenomenal, especially for his weight class, and went out of his way to get popular support from the crowds in Zaire.

So like the setup in the fight of the century, we put Ali-style content up against the Foreman-like frontrunner, the form. We didn’t change the form at all, but paired them together to see if the explanation would drive a better understanding of the demos we provide.

In the original, you can see that we were aiming to show the reader what they’d get, but it was still pretty focused on us as a company:

In the new version, we reworded all of the copy to focus on the benefits for the user. The headline has the staple action verb directed towards the reader; the next question is posed directly to them.

The results?

Unexpectedly stellar, of course.

As with an A/B testing tool, we could quickly assess with more than 99.6% certainty that the new content performed much, much better. At one point the new copy was performing more than 130% better than the original. By the end of the 3-week test it had dipped a bit, but still held strong at around 61% above the control for the form completion next step.

But this is what I love about Kissmetrics. With the Kissmetrics A/B Test Report, we can see the results all the way to revenue. At more than 99% certainty, we can say that our content test increased sales by 213%. Not a lot of content tests can go into that level of proof.

Time to go put that title weight belt on our content strategist.

About the Author: Maura Ginty is the VP of Marketing at Kissmetrics.

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