Step with me into the past of Wishpond’s growth team (or as it’s affectionately known, the “GTeam”). It’s February and we’re struggling to reach our main KPI: the total value of Wishpond signups.
Revenue can be a tough needle to move, but we’ve identified one area to target: our pricing page.
And it makes sense. We’ve looked at the data and found a serious user drop-off at the pricing stage of our funnel – fair enough, it’s the first step at which potential customers feel like they need to commit to something.
The GTeam is convinced, however, that there’s still work to be done here – that this pricing page is one of the keys to the KPI Kingdom. So we pick an element – typography, layout, CTA – and we optimize.
And we optimize.
And we optimize more, and more, and some more, because we’ve found that a bunch of little victories are how you win the war. But there’s just one problem: we’re not winning. We’ve reached a stalemate, and every new test we run makes us feel like we’re digging deeper into the trenches.
So our CEO Ali calls a ceasefire on our endless testing barrage to re-strategize: we’re going to test again, but it’s going to be a big one. A huge test encompassing multiple variables: design, copy, the works.
Now this isn’t how A/B testing is supposed to work. You’re not supposed to test a bunch of variables all at once.
But we did, and it worked.
In this tale of testing, I’m going to look at the various elements we tested on our pricing page, our rationale behind the changes, and the results we got.
Our Original Design
Before we take a look at where we went, we need to see where we started. This was our original pricing page:
I mean, it’s not awful – it got the job done. But we saw opportunity. I touched on it earlier, but we wanted to focus on our pricing page for a multitude of reasons:
- It’s a key decision-making stage: We know that pricing is really one of our “make or break” points. If we’ve done a good enough job convincing a visitor of Wishpond’s value on the site so far, this is where they’ll be. All we need to do is seal the deal – and that starts here.
- It wasn’t optimized: We knew there was a lot of room for improvement here. We’ve run countless tests on tons of our pages, but this was a page that still had a lot of potential to become a real game-changer.
- It needed a fresh start: The page, as it was, was already the Frankenstein monster-esque product of various A/B tests run over months and months. We knew that starting from almost-scratch was a good way to shake off the rust and give the page a new beginning.
Once we were sure the pricing page was the best pathway to success, we set off into the world of testing, knowing full well we’d be committing the cardinal sin of optimization.
We were going to run a multivariate test. No more A/B testing – we were going to need the whole alphabet (and maybe some numbers) to describe the optimizing we were about to do. And we were fine with that.
Because sometimes you need to get a little dirty to do a lot of work.
So, as a team of (shameful, sinning) testers, we identified a few key elements and concepts we wanted to include on our new page. We also laid out the various purposes we wanted our pricing page to fulfill. We wanted our new page to be:
- Informative: Though a pricing page is really a rather late step in our signup funnel, a pricing page visitor isn’t a guaranteed customer. This means we needed to provide an adequate amount of information to viewers on the page who may not have been 100% convinced of Wishpond’s benefit and the results it could drive for their business.
- Trustworthy: Pricing means payment, and payment means we need to come across as trustworthy as possible to potential Wishpond users. We knew trust elements would play a big part in the design of this page, and with good reason.
- Visually-appealing: For a product that revolves so heavily around the ability to create beautiful pages, we knew our page had to walk the walk and talk the talk. Basically, we wanted our page to inspire others to be able to create their own pages – and we knew we could do this by making our page look awesome.
Let’s get into it!
Why we did it
The headline on the old page wasn’t great – though it was descriptive, it didn’t add anything to the page. People who click through to this page already know they’re going to the pricing page. There’s nothing in the headline that makes a page visitor want to act – the page might have even better off without it.
Though our change was conservative, it was a welcome one. We chose something action-oriented, and added a subheadline that mentioned our free trial, communicating the benefit of signing up for Wishpond. We hypothesized a more direct, engaging headline would get more visitors to continue reading the page (and eventually to sign up).
Why we did it
Our old plan names were a bit vague – “Basic” and “Pro” don’t really speak to the visitor in a way that helps them understand who each plan is built for. Though it’s simple to see there are three plan tiers, it’s difficult to know which plan is right for different businesses without needing to read a into each feature to see what is and isn’t there.
So we switched it up, creating plan names that better explained to page visitors who plans were made for. We made the division between each plan much clearer – businesses new to digital marketing and lead generation might want to pick the “Starting Out” plan, where businesses with a bigger digital footprint might want to consider the “Everything You Need” plan.
Why we did it
Though the old CTA wasn’t awful, we changed it with the goal of making it a little more specific. We hypothesized that “Start Free for 14 Days” primed visitors a little better for the next steps in the funnel (namely, signup and billing). Though this is something that might not have a huge impact on the clickthrough of these buttons, we’ve found that preparing visitors for the next parts of their entire experience improves the conversion rate of the entire funnel.
Really, this was a “just do” item for us. We wanted to improve the overall user experience of the page, and we felt a large part of that task had to do with drastically improving clarity. Having more descriptive plan names (with some nice icons to boot) makes understanding our plans much more intuitive for potential customers.
Why we did it
This was one of our more dramatic changes. If you take a look at our old page, you’ll see it was pretty overwhelming. There’s an endless number of features, which stretches the page out significantly and decreases the conversion rate. There’s simply too many things listed.
Though this list of features is great for showing the difference between plans, it’s tediously long and we hypothesized that it was hurting more than it was helping.
Our new pricing page takes this list and shortens it significantly, making the page much more compact and mentioning only the things we’ve found are most important to the purchase decision-maker. People no longer need to trudge through a list of features – they can quickly skim each pricing plan to see what they can get out of them.
Why we did it
Our original testimonial sat on the bottom of the page. Though it wasn’t a bad one, it was so far down the page that few potential customers ever saw it. On top of that, it felt impersonal. Though we liked that it was from a well-known publication like The Huffington Post, the lack of a name to attribute it to gave it a generic feeling.
On the other hand, our new pricing page is chock-full of testimonials. We have one featured testimonial (right below our plans), and a testimonial carousel towards the bottom of the page with three additional testimonials. All of these testimonials feature images and names, and are coupled with visible results that make it perfect for skimmers.
Whenever we design a Wishpond website page, we want to make sure we keep different types of visitors in mind – and that means doing things like adding detail for more intensive readers, and employing intuitive visual hierarchy to make it easy for quick readers to get what they need from the page.
And the new pricing page, in all its glory:
Why we did it
Oh boy – this is a big one. One of the primary issues we identified with our original pricing page was the overall look. Though we have a ton of things in the pipeline as far as design updates go, we knew this one was one we needed to make – and fast.
Luckily, we had somewhere to start. We’ve been working on designing a new home page for quite a while now, so we had a great foundation for the new design of our pricing page. Though it can be hard to determine (beyond typical conversion rate optimization design best practices) exactly what effect design changes have, we knew we wanted it to feel modern and inviting.
Armed with the help of our talented design team, we built a refreshed version of our page that was cleaner, more user-friendly, and up to date with current design standards. We borrowed heavily from Google’s Material style guidelines to give users a familiar experience.
Some page design highlights include:
- A new layout: In addition to a complete overhaul of the visual elements of the page, we took a look at the sections on the page and evaluated the importance of each. We knew – from looking at the page’s heat maps and studies we read – that if you want someone to see a page element, you want it to be as high up on the page as possible. We removed sections we found ineffective (our “JumpStart Program”, support, and integrations sections) in order to let our more important page elements shine.
- Icons: As marketers, we know how important visual aids can be when looking to improve a user’s overall experience. The icons on our different plans help page visitors quickly understand who each plan is made for, while also serving to “jazz up” (I know, that phrase is a design no-no) an otherwise text-centric section of the page. The icons further down the page (“More Features”) are more literal, providing a direct visual representation of the feature each piece of copy describes.
- A testimonial carousel: From what I’ve seen, carousels are becoming more and more popular on modern pages. I reckon this is the case because they’re an elegant and efficient way to present greater amounts of information to visitors without overwhelming them visually. We knew we greatly valued the effect of social proof, so we decided to double down on testimonials by creating a carousel of them on this page.
- Bullet-point features: There are a lot of ways to get to our pricing page – and I mean a lot. Whether it’s the tens of thousands of people that see our blog overlay each month or the “Start Free Trial” button in our navbar, there’s tons of different people with a wide variety of expectations who visit our pricing page. As a result, we need to make sure our page doesn’t alienate any of our viewers. Putting together a list of our features for unacquainted potential customers makes it easy for them to see Wishpond’s benefits with only as much copy as we need.
After our test concluded, we were left with results that were better than we could have expected. Our new pricing page crushed our old one, driving a massive increase in user signups and pushing our revenue through the roof.
Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
Here’s the signups we generated over our testing period:
And the juicier number – our revenue (with actual numbers hidden, for obvious reasons):
I know it can be tough to see the exact benefit without the number itself, so trust me when I say this redesign increased the revenue we generated on this page by tens of thousands of dollars.
To summarize, our pricing page redesign increased signups by 41.7% and upgrades by 54.3%. Needless to say, we were ecstatic. Our gamble to push against the status quo of A/B testing had been rewarded: our test had won.
You know the deal: success means never being satisfied, and that applies to optimization too. Though this pricing page redesign drastically increased our conversion rate and – most importantly – our revenue, we know there’s still room to grow. Since implementing our new pricing page redesign, we’ve been hard at work putting creating new hypotheses and running new tests on our pricing page.
That’s really the lesson here: the testing never stops. When you feel like you’ve exhausted all your optimization options – that’s where the fun really starts and the ideas start flowing.
And don’t forget. Best practices are great guidelines, but they’re not everything. We strayed off the beaten path, broke the golden rule of optimization, and got away with it.
We can’t wait to do it again.