A Study In Quantity: Sometimes Less Is More
There are generally two schools of thought when it comes to quantity. As a certain group of hilarious phone-peddling kids would tell you, more is better.
This makes sense. More of something (well, something good anyway) is better than less of that thing. However, as a certain insurance-mongering lizard tells me on my morning commute, less is actually more. I recently ran a test for my client – My Alarm Center – that challenged my thinking of whether or not more is actually better.
A Little History & The Hypothesis
Our landing pages started out back at initial launch with little text content at all. A test was run where additional content (though not directly related to the campaign theme) was added to the page. We saw increased conversion volume and conversion rates.
Fast-forward to 2013 – remembering the positive effects of that original test, we proposed adding additional bullet points to the landing page that did directly relate to the campaign itself. We hypothesized that we’d see a similar increase in conversions.
We A/B tested the following two pages on AdWords using the ACE testing tool (allowing us to test two variables simultaneously). They ran evenly for about 3 months, at which point we compared performance. As you can see, the control page (at left) contained just a headline, image, and a couple testimonials in addition to the form. The only difference with the experiment page (at right) is the addition of some bullet points that support the service being offered.
To our surprise, the page with less detail performed significantly better than the page with the additional bullets:
We investigated any outside factors that may have influenced this result, but did not find anything that would have really impacted the differences in performance we saw.
It seemed to defy logic that telling users more about the service they’re interested in would cause a decrease in conversions. However, dwelling on it for some time, we surmise that users felt they had a satisfactory understanding of the product offering (based on the details provided in the additional bullets) and needed no further contact by calling or filling out the form. By withholding those additional bullet points on the control page, more users actually get into contact with the sales team, where personalized answers to specific questions can be answered, increasing the likelihood of a sale.
As with all things in our industry, your experience may vary, and you may find that providing much more information is the way to go. However, as you can see here, that is not always the case, and sometimes less is actually more. Comment below and let us know about your own findings when it comes to too much or just enough information.