The Power of a Single Word: 161% Click-Through Rate Boost with Copywriting

The Power of a Single Word: 161% Click-Through Rate Boost with Copywriting

  • Veeam changed a single word in the anchor text of the link to their pricing inquiry form and got 161.66% more clicks.
  • MarketingSherpa opted for a more straightforward webinar email subject line and got 45% more unique clicks.
  • Always assume that clarity trumps persuasion in landing page copywriting.

They say a lot of things about words: that a picture is worth 1,000 words, but words are mightier than swords, and that, ultimately, when it comes to proving your claims, it’s rather all about showing, not telling.

However, no one out there is questioning the power of words—especially not B2B online marketers, who know that a single word change can go a long way. VWO saw an impressive 161% click-through rate boost with copywriting, while a MarketingSherpa webinar invite email got a 45% better click-through rate after altering a single word in the event title.

Today, we take a look at these two case studies, on how even the slightest copywriting changes can up open rates. We also analyse the effects of these changes, each in its respective context, and derive some generally applicable takeaways that go far beyond the power of a single word.

2 case studies in the subtle power of copy changes

Virtual infrastructure company sees 161.66% click-through boost with single word edit

Veeam Software, a Switzerland-based company with over 39,000 customers for their virtual infrastructure management and data protection solutions the world over, asked their clients a simple question via a Qualaroo-created survey:

“What information are you missing from the Veeam product pages?”

The majority of answers came back as variations on the same theme of pricing. The reason Veeam doesn’t offer direct price information on its site is that it sells solutions through affiliates and partners. It’s up to those partners to decide the final price of each product and they all have the liberty to offer promotions and discounts.

What the company website does have is a “Request a Quote” button, which leads to its Sales Inquiry form page. As such, the goal of their single-variant split test was to drive more clicks to that form. To test this, they used the ‘Request a Quote’ control, with the ‘Request Pricing’ variant, as seen below.

161% Click-Through Rate Boost with Copywriting

Image source: VWO

The results were impressive: that single word change lead to 161.66% more clicks to the pricing inquiry form (up from 0.54% to 1.40%), with 100% reported statistical confidence from VWO. And it took no more than a couple of minutes for the company to set up the test.

“Of course,” you’ll rush to say, “this doesn’t tell them anything about increasing leads. How many people are filling in that form?” We’ll get right to that, in the Insights and Takeaways section of our post.

Webinar invitation email gets 45% more clicks by altering event title

In October 2012, Daniel Burstein was preparing to present a webinar on B2B social media marketing, alongside two other experts from SME Digital and Topsy Labs. The free, Marketo-sponsored event was initially titled “5 B2B Social Media Career Killers… And How to Overcome Them.”

But in waltzed William Duke, the marketing expert at MECLABS and said more people would click through the links in the email, if it came with a different title. His copy read “How to Overcome the 5 Most Common Social Media Mistakes in B2B Marketing”.

Here’s how the control and variation performed on the ensuing split test:

The Power of a Single Word: 161% Click-Through Rate Boost with Copywriting

Image source: Marketing Experiments

The second title proved more successful on most counts:

  • 5% click-through rate (up from 36.8%) for the registration link;
  • 3% click-through rate (up from 22.6%) for the reservation link;
  • 4% more unique clicks per email delivered;
  • 7% unique clicks per email opened, up from 8.34%.

Burstein explains that the particular MarketingSherpa list they emailed is already highly motivated enough to open just about any email from the company. However, the 45% relative difference is significant and reveals that subscribers found Duke’s title to be more exciting.

Insights & takeaways from split tests with such subtle variations

Some of you may be sceptical to taking a wholesale approach to the above results. And you’d be right. One of the pitfalls of A/B testing is to buy into the results without taking into account the context in which they emerged.

As explained above, in the Veeam case, lead generation through form filling is the ultimate goal for their sales funnel. For the MarketingSherpa webinar, the difference was small and came from a motivated mailing list. But, beyond this, some general points still hold and they’re especially relevant for landing page copywriters.

  1. Ask the right questions. Always assume that your customers know best and ask for their feedback.
  2. Act on the responses. If your customers want to see a certain change, test it, and then deliver. Don’t fall in love with your copy, just because you wrote it. This is about the customer, not about you.
  3. Be clear and straightforward in your communication. Assume that your visitors (and potential leads) have a ton of online info to sift through. Don’t beat around the bush and help them get to the point as quickly as possible.
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