99.4% Lift in Conversions by Tweaking 4 Basic Elements on a B2C Landing Page

In the ever-raging battle for higher conversion rates and better sales, it can be tempting to go straight to the more extravagant landing page make-overs. However, in many cases, simple tweaks of basic components can yield impressive lifts. Here’s a case study where tweaking 4 basic elements on a B2C landing page increased conversions by 99.4%.

Background information: 

Client: Denmark-based online investment bank Saxo Bank.

Product: An award-winning online currency-trading platform sold via their sister site Forextrading.com.

Landing Page: A PPC landing page that pitches a free trial version of the currency-trading platform.

Optimization Goals:

1. Increase number of trial account sign-ups.

2. Reduce cost-per-conversion.

Results: “Treatment A” generated 99.4% more trial downloads and reduced cost per conversion by 48.4%.

Restrictions: We were on a very tight schedule and crafted the treatment in less than a day. At the same time, due to the CMS, there were very few things we could actually tweak. This meant that elements like the CTA-button and the form could not be changed.

Control Version: 

Landing page diagnosis: The most important finding, revealed in the initial diagnosis, was a serious lack of relevance and value proposition. This created a high level of friction causing prospects to bounce rather than engage in the subject matter.

Treatment A:

Landing page treatment: To make up for the lack of relevance and value proposition, we did 4 things:

1. Tweaked the copy so it focused heavily on conveying the value of the offer to potential customers. Also, we made sure to follow up on selling points mentioned in the PPC ads.

2. Added a more relevant image that is relevant to the offer at hand.

3. Removed the tabs at the top of the page.

4. Added trust symbols in the form of award badges.

Now I’m going to go over the 4 things we changed, and why we chose to do so.


First of all, the control had no clear value proposition – in fact, it didn’t even really have a headline. Also, the copy didn’t really say much about the trial version that potential customers were supposed to sign up for.

What is more, the control copy didn’t follow up on the value promised in the PPC ads that actually did a great job of emphasizing the selling points and value of the Forex Trading demo: free, no risk, no obligations, $100,000 demo account.

If you compare the two versions, you’ll see that the treatment is super focused on conveying the value of the offer. Where the control asks a question “Why trade Forex with Forextrading.com?”, the treatment actually answers that question by giving prospects relevant information and solid, credible arguments why they should sign up for the trial.

Furthermore, in the treatment, we made sure to follow up on all the selling points, benefits and features mentioned in the PPC ads.

The image:

The control had no image to visually supported the offer. In fact, the only image in the control version was a generic chat lady. Our hypothesis was that she didn’t do much to support the decision-making process and move potential customers further down the conversion path.

In the treatment we chose to display the currency trading platform in action on the different units that it can be on.

The tabs:

The control version had a row of tabs at the top of the page of which the purpose was to explain more about the “ins and outs” of using Forextrading.com. Although this information is useful, it isn’t really relevant to the task at hand: getting potential customers to sign up for a demo account. Therefore, our hypothesis was that we could reduce friction and make the page more relevant by removing the tabs.

Trust symbols:

The Saxo Bank Forex Trading platform has won several awards – quite a trust symbol and a selling point in itself. But strangely enough these awards weren’t mentioned or featured on the control landing page.

In the treatment, we made sure to feature the badges from all 6 awards prominently on the page.

The results

Tweaking these 4 basic elements generated a 99.4% lift in conversion and reduced the cost-per-conversion by 48.2%.

Main take-aways:

The biggest changes on the page itself don’t always generate the biggest lifts in conversions. In this case, the 2 variations don’t look that much different from one another. However, although these basic changes don’t have major impact on the page itself, they have major impact on the perceived value of the offer – and thereby also the success of the landing page.

So, before you start swinging for the fences and opt for extravagant treatments, make sure you’ve gone over the basic elements that impact the way  potential customers will perceive the value of the offer.


  1. And the stats ?

    • Michael Aagaard says:

      Hello Rami (I think your name is?) – thanks for your comment!

      Unfortunately, due to client confidentiality, I can only give you the stats, I already presented the case study.
      The treatment generated a 99.4% lift in conversions at a statistical confidence level of 99%. I can add that the standard error was less than one percent, that the test had run for 21 days.

      I wish I could share all stats in all tests. Unfortunately, not too many clients are clean on publishing all their numbers. In most cases, it’s a question of publishing a case study with stats on improvement and significance – or no case study at all.

      – Michael

      – Michael

  2. Awesome read, thank you for sharing the results. In the past when I was writing content, I had the bad habit of asking questions, instead of answering them, but this is another example of why you should tell people what they get, str8 up.

    • Michael Aagaard says:

      Hi Thomas – good point.

      Some marketing “experts” make it sound like questions have persuasive super powers. However, in my experience from hundreds of split tests, I’d say that 9 times out of 10, giving answers beats asking questions.

      It’s all about supervising the thought sequence of the potential customer, and the problem with questions is that you have no control over which thoughts they will conjure up in the mind of the prospect. So, I’m always careful with asking to many questions in my sales copy.

      – Michael

    • I wrote direct mail copy for years (the principles are pretty much the same for landing pages). One of the rules of thumb was to not ask a question unless the answer is “yes.”

      • Michael Aagaard says:

        Hi Linda – Very good point, thank you!

        “Don’t let your prospects do any unsupervised thinking” is my mantra ;-)

        – Michael

  3. Love this case study buddy. Very elegant.

  4. So these four little but smart changes have made great improvement in conversion.

  5. I have followed your many cases over the time and each time you make good points to folluw – excellent inspiration to us,

    • Michael Aagaard says:

      Hi Henrik – Thank you very much for the kind words!

      I’m glad to hear that you can find inspiration in my work.

      Stop by again soon ;-)

      – Michael

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