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3 Copy Tests Your Competitors Probably Haven’t Tried Yet


three copy tests

The success of your testing program is in part due to your test ideas. And it’s not always easy to come up with new ideas.

Some companies seek a better understanding of their customer journey, which results in a grand UX overhaul. But when the optimization dust has settled, it can be hard to zero in on the elements that will continue to move the needle.

Copy tests often focus on headlines, subheads, and CTA buttons, but that leaves a lot of opportunities for content optimization. Get a leg up on the competition with these often-overlooked areas to test messaging:

#1: Testimonials

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of compelling social proof. When your visitors see that others—ideally, others like them or those in positions of authority—have had good experiences with your product, it can help them take the next step.

A traditional A/B test may be two landing page versions: one with testimonials, one without. But if you’ve already found that testimonials are working, you can go deeper.

Consider testing the content of your testimonials. Make a list of your customers’ pain points, zero in on two or three, and test them against each other.

Planet Fitness advertises a laid-back, non-meathead environment—and this testimonial supports that.

Planet Fitness testimonial

But it may be that members are drawn to their ultra-low $10/month membership fee. A different testimonial may illustrate a before-and-after story of paying top dollar at the sports club for amenities you don’t use and then—Eureka!—finding a gym that’s just as good for a fraction of the price.

In two in-depth posts by Joanna Wiebe at Copyhackers, she deconstructs how they dramatically increased paid conversions on a landing page. An important part of the strategy was including a testimonial that follows the problem-agitate-solve (PAS) copywriting formula.

You may also choose to test:

  • Demographics: Does using a testimonial from someone in your ideal audience’s demographic (and including a picture) lead to a lift?
  • Media: What is more popular, a video or text testimonial?
  • Placement: Does moving testimonials up lead to more conversions?

#2: App store details

Tools like Optimizely allow you to A/B test mobile apps, but what if you want to focus on the step before that? App store optimization (ASO) is something we’ve talked about before, and it deserves further exploration.

Google Play and Apple’s App Store display all sorts of elements for apps:

  • Icon
  • Description
  • Screenshots
  • Promo video

Google Play allows developers to run split tests on their store listing, but there currently is no such function for the App Store. Tools like SplitMetrics and StoreMaven allow app owners to test content in the stores of both platforms.

In a Smashing Magazine article, a marketing strategist for SplitMetrics shares some of their findings from A/B tests with apps. Among their insights:

  • Less is more when it comes to app icons. Choose one simple visual—don’t cram a bunch of elements into that little graphic.
  • It may be best to show the experience for a utility app and appeal to emotion for a game app.
  • Video previews may make no difference when it comes to conversions.

#3: Retail reminders

Many ecommerce sites offer multiple ways to flag and save items, including:

  • Saving items to a wishlist
  • Adding to favorites
  • Adding to cart

Etsy, for example, gives visitors ample options to save and share items, from adding to a personal list to sharing on Tumblr.

Etsy screenshot

But what happens after the item is “saved”? If current cart abandonment rates are any indication, it’s likely that users save the items and promptly forget about them.

Reminders are sometimes sent via email, which can help close the gap between items saved and actual conversions, but there’s more that can be done.

Online retailers have a prime opportunity to create site copy aimed at reminding shoppers of their saved itemsand eventually test those messages for effectiveness.

After shoppers add an item to their favorites on Neiman Marcus’ site, they’re later prompted to sign in and “reunite with [their] favorites.”

Neiman Marcus screenshot


This message could be tested against one that takes a different approach, such as:

  • Including thumbnails of a few of the items
  • Tapping into loss aversion (“these items may not last forever”)
  • Highlight a price change that benefits the shopper (“one of your favorite shawls is on sale”)
  • Including appropriate seasonal/geographic language (“everything you need for the beach”)

If you’re dealing with abandoned shopping carts in your native app, consider creating—and testing, of course—push notifications. Tread lightly here, though, as too many notifications will frustrate users.


Traditional headline/subhead copy tests are limiting. Consider testing testimonials, app store details, and retail reminders to create a better customer experience, learn more about your users, and even boost conversions.

Do you have experience testing any of these ideas? What commonly overlooked copy tests have you run? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.