Split test popups on your website and boost conversions

Nina De la Cruz Nina De la Cruz 6 min read

When you design your first popup, you rely on your assumptions about what works and what doesn’t.

However, guesswork can be tricky.

We recently conducted a popup A/B test where we had 5 different versions of the same email subscription popup on our blog.

Guess what? The winning variant had a 1,5% higher conversion rate than the original variant!

You’ll be surprised how changing one small thing about your call to action (CTA) can make a big difference.

If you want to find out the best combination of text, image, offer, and timing, there’s no better way to do it than through split testing.

In the article below, we’ll explain what split testing is, provide 6 ideas on how to test your pop-up CTAs, and show you how to conduct an experiment in Getsitecontrol.

If you haven’t heard of Getsitecontrol, it’s a website popup builder for those without a coding gene: marketers, ecommerce store owners, and bloggers. It allows you to create efficient calls to action and optimize their performance through A/B testing.

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a common marketing tactic designed to optimize website conversions. Although in this guide we’re talking about popups, you can also split-test website pages, emails, and even ads.

It all comes down to creating a variation of your original popup and tracking its performance to see whether it drives more sales, signups, or CTA clicks.

To conduct an A/B test for a popup, you need to create A and B variants. The Getsitecontrol app will display them evenly to your audience, and then you’ll be able to compare conversion rates. Based on the statistics, you’ll find the winning combination of text, image, and offer.

Sounds easy? Let’s have a look at concrete examples.

6 Test ideas for popups

Before you set up the test, you want to come up with a hypothesis that may sound something like:

“If I increase a discount by X%, it will lead to a Y% increase in conversions”


“If I use website overlays instead of modal popups, email signup conversion will double”

The control (original) popup should be considered variant A; its variation – variant B.

Keep in mind that you should always use just one variable for the test. In other words, if you’re testing a discount percentage, nothing else about variant B, except for the discount percentage, should be different.

Here are 6 popup A/B test ideas to help you get started.

1. Split test popup format

You may think that what you offer is way more important than how you offer it. However, from our experience, the popup format matters a lot. For example, in our test, an email signup form featured on a sticky bar had a 1,3% lower conversion rate than the same form featured on a fullscreen overlay.

Wondering what will work better on your website? There are 5 popup formats available in Getsitecontrol: fullscreen popups, modal popups, sidebars, slide-ins, and sticky bars. Test them out and find the answer.

2. Split test your offer

If you’re using popups to promote special deals, it’s easy to find out which deal is more attractive in the eyes of your audience. For instance, you can compare different discount percentages and amounts, lead magnets, or shipping terms.

💡 If you happen to be on Shopify, you will even be able to see how many orders each popup variation has contributed to.

3. Split test CTA buttons

The CTA button is one of the key elements of your popup, and you surely want it to drive clicks. A common example of a split test for a CTA button would involve a different color or a different CTA wording. However, you can also create a variation with an “opt-out” button and see if it affects the conversion rates.

4. Split-test popup color theme

When it comes to colors, views differ. Some people say popups should match the website’s color theme, while others claim they should be as contrasting as possible.

Although there’s no golden rule, we’ve noticed that the color theme does influence website visitors’ perception and engagement rate. If you’re doubting, choose one of our pre-made – light or dark – themes, and test it against your original design.

5. Split test popup displaying trigger

One of the best practices is to display popups with a delay and let visitors get familiar with your website first. Does it always work? That will depend on your call to action. Sometimes, it makes sense to display it 3-5 seconds after a visitor arrives; other times, the best moment is right before they exit. If you’re hesitant about what applies to you, run an A/B test.

6. Split test popup images

A good image can help you drive visitors’ attention to your CTA. However, what works for other websites, may not work for yours. For example, you can compare popups featuring a product image, a stock image, and no image at all.

💡If your image is a part of your branding, it might be a great idea to use it as well.

Now that you have a couple of ideas on what to test, let’s walk you through the process of how to do it.

How to A/B test Getsitecontrol widgets

Split testing popups in Getsitecontrol is easy, and the setup will only take you a couple of minutes. You can watch a video tutorial below or proceed to the text instructions.

Before launching the test, you need to create two (or more) versions of your popup. There’s no need to create each one from scratch: just clone the original popup using the Clone button and you’ll get its identical copy. With your hypothesis in mind, adjust the copy and then follow these steps:

  1. In your Getsitecontrol dashboard, find the popups you want to include in a test.

  2. Press the A/B button on each of them and choose a test, e.g., Test 1 (make sure you are adding them to the same test). If you have 2 variants, one will be shown to 50% of your site audience, and the other one — to another 50%.

  3. On the left side of your dashboard, you’ll see a new block featuring tests that are currently running. Click Details to find out how popups are performing; from there, you’ll be able to stop the test and choose to deactivate or delete the less successful variations.

Start your first popup A/B test today

Split testing is a quick and easy way to verify your hypothesis and optimize website conversions. Remember that even a 1% change in a conversion rate can lead to noticeable sales or signup growth. Use one of the ideas featured in this guide to get started and see how things go!

Nina De la Cruz is a content strategist at Getsitecontrol. She is passionate about helping small and medium ecommerce brands achieve sustainable growth through email marketing.

You’re reading Getsitecontrol usecase collection where we talk about the best practices for using website popups. This usecase is a part of Collect feedback section.

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