8 A/B Tests to Run on Your Popups to Get More Email Subscribers

Popups are not a set-and-forget type of thing. The only way to truly maximize your conversions with OptinMonster popups is to test, test, and then test some more.

While you can test just about every aspect of your popup such as headlines, images, actual offer, description text etc, sometimes the smallest changes are the ones that get the most results.

One of the most important aspects of your popup that needs constant split-testing to perfect is your call-to-action (CTA).

Your call-to-action is what prompts action from your audience; a poorly written call-to-action will repel conversions, while a well-tested, thoughtfully-crafted CTA bring them in by the bucket-load.

If you don’t know exactly what details of your CTA should be split-tested, then you’re in the right place.

In this post, I’ll describe eight simple yet powerful A/B test ideas that you can start using in your popup today.

1. Change Button Color

The first and most obvious A/B test to run on your call-to-action is its color. In this case, I’d recommend that you follow Derek Halpern’s advice on Social Triggers:

What stands out gets remembered, what blends in gets ignored.

Call to Action Button Impacts Conversion

The call-to-action that gets the most clicks, is usually the one that stands out from the rest of the design on the popup.

While the psychology of colors is important, but if your call-to-action button does not stand out, then it won’t be remembered!

2. Change Text Color

You can run a similar A/B test by switching up the color of the button’s text (and not the button itself).

I recommend that you remember the same principle here as well: what stands out gets clicked.

Some psychology tips for colors:

  • Red: is the color of youth and joy. It reflects boldness and confidence.
  • Green: Creates a soothing calming effect, it evokes a peaceful, progressive, and calm emotional response.
  • Blue: It reflects trust, strength, reliability.
  • Black: Black generates a sophisticated, solid, secure emotional response.
  • White: Clarity and simplicity are the two major effects of White.
  • Yellow: Yellow is the color of optimism, warmth, friendliness.
  • Orange: Orange creates a fun, friendly, confidence, and cheerful effect.
  • Pink: Sensuality,femininity, romance, and love are the emotions associated with Pink.

3. Add Urgency

Historically, urgency is one of the best ways to improve conversion rate. You can create urgency by implying scarcity or a time limit.

We have seen users tripling their conversions by adding urgency elements in their popups.

Here are a couple of ways to imply urgency in a call-to-action:

  • Get Instant Access (this spurs the reader to immediate action)
  • Reserve Your Spot (implies limited accessibility)
  • Showing the Expiration date of the offer

Urgency Coupon Popup

See our article on how to use urgency to hack your conversion rate.

4. Place the Button Differently

If you’ve always set your call-to-action button on the right side of your popup, then it could be time to see how different CTA placement could impact conversions.

For instance, try putting your signup button on the left hand side.

Envira Gallery Popup

OptinMonster comes with several themes allowing you to choose from buttons on the left, right, or even center of your forms.

5. Use a Number

Social proof is a powerful conversion motivator. Try leveraging it in your call-to-action by using a number to show just how many people have already opted-in.

Numbers Popup

When your new visitors sees your popup, they know that you’re not just a random website that will exploit their contact information. Because 310,000+ people before them have already trusted you with their email addresses, they instantly see you as a more reputable brand (and therefore are more likely to opt in).

One important thing to remember here is to constantly update this call-to-action as you get more and more subscribers. In the world of social proof, bigger is almost always better.

See our guide on 5 ways to build social proof and increase conversions and 11 proven social proof examples.

6. First Person vs. Second Person

If you ever A/B test copy that uses a point of view other than third person, like “Sign me up”, then you should also test using the first person point of view vs. the second person.

For instance, Michael Aagard once split-tested CTA copy “Create My Account” vs. “Create Your Account”.

The result?

The second person POV (“Create Your Account”) performed nearly 25% worse than its first person POV counterpart.

Image via Unbounce.

Try a similar test on your popup to see which call-to-action point of view works best with your audience.

7. Add a Trust Builder Underneath

A trust builder is a short sentence/phrase that reassures your audience that they can trust you with their email address.

Normally this can be done with a simple privacy statement on your popup like this:

  • 100% privacy guaranteed
  • We respect your privacy
  • Your information will be kept private
  • We will never send you spam emails or sell your information

Here’s an example of a trust builder in action in a popup.

Syed Balkhi Social Proof Popup

Notice in this popup, Syed Balkhi (co-founder of OptinMonster) uses the OptinMonster transparent theme to add logos of popular publications where he has been featured in.

This is called borrowing credibility which is also a great trust builder.

Since the audience is already trust those large reputable publications, it instantly boosts your credibility in their eyes.

8. Make the CTA Longer (or Shorter)

Length can be another decisive factor in a call-to-action. In my experience, most popup and landing page CTA’s favor a shorter length. Often used call-to-actions don’t exceed more than 3-5 words (e.g. Get Instant Access, Create My Account, Download the Free eBook).

On the other hand, longer call-to-actions (e.g. Click to get your free download, Send me post updates, etc.) are more or less ignored.


Personally, I have no idea. My guess is that people believe that their audience will find lengthier text a turn-off because it requires a few more milliseconds to read.

However, there’s little/no data to support that idea at all. Once again, the only way to know what CTA length will work for your popup is to run an A/B split test!

Wrapping Up

If you haven’t already started A/B testing these call-to-action details on your popup, then go ahead and do it now!

With OptinMonster, A/B testing is made incredibly simple — you can create a new popup variation in just a few clicks. See our tutorial on how to create split tests in OptinMonster.

Not using OptinMonster yet? Want to give it a try? See how how OptinMonster works and why you should start today..

Do you have any experiencing with split-testing? If so, feel free to share your experience with us in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this article, then you may want to check out these 16 ridiculously simple ways to get more email subscribers in less than 5 minutes.

Also please consider following us on Twitter (@optinmonster) as we share tons of other awesome conversion optimization tips there.

Noumaan Yaqoob is a blogger and an avid WordPress user. In his free time, he tests WordPress plugins and learn more about internet marketing.


  1. MikeJensen says:

    Hypothesis for test should be based on analyzing data, not off of other people’s results.

    Running an A/B test on something the is considered common sense VS a bad idea is wasting your time. The bright CTA that stands out will win every time.

    This is more along the lines of “Best practices”. Don’t let your button blend in with the rest of the page. Use a big bright CTA that stands out from the rest of the layout / design / colors.

  2. Eric Amundson says:

    Hi Syed,

    Love this post – thanks a bunch!

    I’m curious if you’d share an occasion where you were particularly surprised by the results of A/B tests you’ve run on subscription forms?

    While many of the tips seem rather common sense (although not necessarily natural), the result that caught me most off-guard was the “First Person vs. Second Person,” where there’s around a 25% difference in subscribers just by using “my” versus “your.” Huge!

    1. Syed BalkhiSyed Balkhi says:

      Majority of my A/B tests are on the actual message. Have had several surprises such as asking a question in the message almost always win when compared to a statement.

  3. Kyle P. says:

    Thanks for this article. I really like the idea of using numbers as proof. I’m definitely going to test that in our geo-campaigns.

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