The Single Phrase That Boosted My Opt-Ins By 23.64%

“Privacy is one of the biggest problems in this new electronic age.” — Andy Grove

I originally wrote this article several years ago for my Raine Report newsletter. I have since run a couple of additional tests and had very similar results. As always, it is up to you to test, not just take as given.

It might come as no surprise to you that one of the biggest obstacles to getting people to give you their email address is the issue of privacy, and that all stems from years of abuse by people who just want to make a fast buck by spamming the living hell out of their email lists.

There are of course a lot of other factors in why people will choose to opt-in to your list, and they can range from what the actual proposition is (i.e. what you’re giving them in exchange for their email address), to the words, images, and language used on the page, and much more.

This is why I’m always running split tests on my landing pages and sales pages, because I’m always after improvements to increase my opt-ins, conversions, and sales.

In all my years of testing I always find that there are two things that crop up:

  1. The smallest of tests can result in the biggest changes
  2. The thing I expected to win, often turned out as the loser

So this is why I test, and why I test even the smallest things — because 9 times out of 10 the tests I run give me a boost.

Which brings me on to the most recent test I ran.

I’ve been testing many items on the whole opt-in process for The Raine Report, and in this article, I want to share with you the results of one of those tests.

This particular test looked at one very small, but very important element. I tested the privacy message attached to the opt-in form

I ran three options, the control had this message below the subscriber button:

Here’s option two:

And finally, option three:

As you can see, the forms are all identical, and it is only the text of the privacy messages which are different, and the results honestly took me by surprise.

Option two, with the wording “We respect the privacy of your email address and will never sell or rent your details.” resulted in an increase of signups of 23.64% against the control.

However, option three, with the wording “100% Privacy Safe — We will never sell your details or spam you, ever!” actually resulted in a decrease of opt-ins by 17.6% against the control.

My theory is that the word ‘spam’ in the statement is acting as a negative trigger in the prospect's mind, and thus reducing the sign-up rate.

I have previously tested opt-in forms with no privacy statement against forms with a statement, and the form which had a statement has always won the test.

But I’ll be brutally honest with you, I really expected the results of this small test to be completely insignificant, and I thought the stats would tell me that there was only a fraction of a percentage change between the options.

This is why it’s so crucially important to always be testing.

One very small tweak with one very big outcome.



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