Should You Have Copy on Your Demo/Download Pages?

I recently saw a post on the Which Test Won blog that caught my attention. The email announcing the test results had a subject line that read:

How Much Content Does Your Page Need to Convert

The content of the email said this:

Finding the perfect balance of content is hard; sometimes too much content is overwhelming and too little content leaves the prospect confused.

This week we have a radical clean vs. clutter test, where one variation stripped out all of the content except the form. Can you guess which version won?

When you click to the blog, you’re presented with two screenshots (as seen below): version A with copy and version B without.



The results from those who guessed which test won were equally split. However, the winner of this particular test was version B: without copy.

Before you run out and delete the copy from all your demo/contact/download pages, you need to understand why this test got the results it did.

According to the Which Test Won (WTW) blog, “The visitors mainly came from internal site pages which had information on the offered software.” That’s a major factor that could completely reverse the test results if this had been a landing page. It was because people did not land on this page when first arriving at the site that allowed them to gather the information they needed prior to asking for a demo. Likewise, because they didn’t need/want to read additional information at this point the added copy on the demo page, under these particular circumstances, wasn’t necessary. But that’s not an end-all/be-all conclusion.

In fact, WTW goes on to state that there was yet another page variation in the test. “The third option (click here to see it) also beat Version A, the control, by 48.57% but it wasn’t a clean test.” As you can see, this page had copy as well as some other elements.

What if we repurposed the winning page of this test as a landing page and sent traffic directly to it as opposed to the home page of this site? Do you think the test results would still ring true? I’d be willing to bet not and here’s why.

With no information to explain what the product is/does there would be no way for prospects to determine whether a demo would be worth their time.  You see, copy doesn’t only sell, it also educates and informs. Without some sort of copy (written, verbal via a video or audio, etc.) visitors have no way of finding out the vital decision-making information they need.

In fact, the folks at WTW agreed, “We’ve seen time and time again that ‘less is more’ on your key conversion pages. That said we thought this page was a little too lean and were a little surprised that the bare-boned version ended up winning. Specifically the page is too reliant on the visitor to understand the product by the time they land on this page. If this were a PPC campaign landing page, it would likely not have had have seen such a dramatic increase.”

They get a thumbs up from me on this test and their conclusions.

My point? Don’t blindly follow test results that others publish. Test every element of your site with your target customers. Even better, ask yourself why others got the results they did before making a decision about your own site.

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About Karon Thackston

For over 25 years, web & SEO copywriter Karon Thackston has created optimized copy and content that has increased conversions & search rankings. Find out more about Karon on Google+.


  1. Interesting article, Karon. We spend A LOT of time fine-tuning the money pages, and these are some of the most important.

  2. Karon: Thanks for the article…interesting insight from these tests. I especially like your advice at the end of the article–“Don’t blindly follow test results that others publish.”
    I think it is so important to test everything! Thanks.

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