17 Tested Ways to Increase Your Conversion Rate (from ASW11)

[T]his was my third Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas. And, I still learned a lot. This time it was at the Wynn.

One of the highlights was the Ca$hvertising keynote. For this post, I’ll share a few tips from the keynote and one of the sessions that stood out.

17 Proven Studies to Make You Money

Here are the best publicly-stated ways to increase your conversion rate that I heard at the conference:


1) Fancy fonts are used to make something sound that more effort went into making it (Source: Derek Halpern). Restaurants often use fancy fonts to make the food look like it took a lot of effort to make.

2) Figure. Optimal width for reading online is around 550-600 pixels wide (Source: Halpern). This got the best reading comprehension on average. Halpern also recommended having a thinner opening paragraph. Then, the body content expands as it’s read. See example of DerekHalpern.com, above.

3) Reverse type on print reduces readership by 70% (Source: Whitman). People aren’t used to white letters on a black background; it’s annoying to read.

4) Figure. Captions have high readership — often by 2-3 times more than the body of an article (Source: Whitman). Ogilvy often used his captions as headlines because of the increased readership from this.

5) CAPS slows down reading by 11.8% (Source: Whitman). Exception is when only putting ONE or two words in caps for emphasis.

6) Don’t use Times New Roman font online (Source: Whitman).

Pictures and Photographs

7) Figure. People look at what others are looking at (Source: Halpern). Have a model looking where you want your user to look. See example with Chemistry.com.

8 ) Arrows also guide eye flow in a similar manner (Source: Whitman).

9) Engage users by having a smiling person staring from the monitor to the user (Source: Halpern). Grabs attention.

10) Do not use motionless photos (Source: Whitman). For example, a person riding a bicycle would likely be more effective than just showing a picture of bicycle.

11) Cartoons can be powerful in ads (Source: Whitman). 39% of newspaper subscribers read the comics; this is a higher percentage than many categories.

12) Use top down (to the left) product images online (Source: Halpern). Shows the three dimensional aspect of a product that most would expect to see in real life.


13) Figure. Use less than 6 offers on a page (Source: Halpern). 3 is most likely optimal. Above 6 offers dramatically decreases conversion rates.

14) Show “lock” near credit card form to improve conversions (Source: Halpern).

15) Remove all navigation from billing information page (Source: Halpern). No one wants to spend money. People will use any excuse to not buy. Having unnecessary links/navigation is often a trigger for users to not buy.

16) Put core benefit in headline (Source: Whitman).

17) Paying for larger ad space rarely results in an equal or greater ROI (Source: Whitman). This was from an offline study — although it’s probably very similar to online as well.

More About the Show

Dr. Drew Eric Whitman was the first keynote speaker this year. He’s the author of Ca$hvertising, one of the most recommended advertising books today. I wrote many of his tips above. Even though I lost my voice at the conference, I was still able to talk to him briefly at the end of his keynote. For at least the last three conferences, Affiliate Summit has done a superb job on locking in very knowledgeable and helpful speakers. Last time they had Frank Lunz, a pollster and political analyst that knew a lot about which type of words persuade people — very helpful for copywriters and affiliates. The time before, there was Dr. Robert Cialdini. Dr. Cialdini went over the very fundamental reasons people are persuaded.

I went to a few sessions to give my voice a break. Amanda Orson and Ad Hustler had a good session on Local Affiliate Marketing. Ad Hustler gave some more details on the post he made before: How I Generated $1,700,000 in Auto Sales Despite a Weak Economy. His landing page examples of the different lead generation campaigns he ran were really creative, I thought.

In summary, I enjoyed this ASW and learned a lot that will help my business grow. If I missed any parts of the keynote that you think I should add, post a comment below and I’ll add it.

Update: Affiliate Summit added the Ca$hervertising keynote to Youtube:

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link to a book costing a whopping ten bucks. Also, in case I misquoted a case study, make sure you actually split test if you use one of these techniques, and track the results. I cannot guarantee these statements will actually make you money.

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12 responses to “17 Tested Ways to Increase Your Conversion Rate (from ASW11)”

  1. imkazu Avatar

    great actionable points

    have heard great things about the book;
    ordered it together with ‘tested advertising methods’ recently

  2. Shock Marketer Avatar
    Shock Marketer

    @imkazu: Tested Advertising Methods is amazing. It is the first advertising book I have ever read and had a huge influence on me going into advertising.

  3. shawns Avatar

    thanks for writing these down mike! hopefully they’ll post the vid online!

  4. StackThatMoney Avatar

    These are some really solid tips!

  5. Snoop Avatar

    Ca$hvertising is an awesome book and highly recommended. Awesome tips here. Gracias!

  6. NegBox Avatar

    Good compilation, really. I would have loved to see AdHustlers creative landing pages you mention.

  7. Matt Avatar

    With #15, what do you think of removing navigation on pages where there isn’t billing, but maybe you’re doing a review of an item or membership site of some kind? Do you think you’d have increased coversions here as well?

  8. Shock Marketer Avatar
    Shock Marketer

    @Matt: With a lot of landing pages it’s good not to have any navigation. I recommend split testing this because sometimes navigation actually helps increase conversions for a landing page. It really depends if the person has enough information to make a buying decision from just the LP.

  9. Nail Yener Avatar

    Great ideas for increasing conversion rates. I use red, thick arrows on some of my landing pages and I can say that it increased my CR.

  10. Ed Avatar

    Awesome tips! I guess no. 18 will be to split test.

  11. d3so Avatar

    These are great tips!
    I’m currently reading cashvertising.

  12. Jason Parker Avatar

    I realize this is an old post.

    I found it on affbuzz under “Legendary Posts.”

    Great stuff. I especially like the tip about drawing the eye where you want it to go by having the person in the photo look at your webform.

    I actually have Cashvertising but never read it… Think I need to break it out.

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