We've written before about Anne Holland's addictive Which Test Won?—a site where readers compare marketing pieces from actual A/B tests and vote for the one they would guess is more effective. Often, visitors get it right. But in a recent comparison of two banner ads, they got it profoundly wrong.

Both banners used identical copy to invite a highly qualified audience to sign up for a free webinar. Version A had a left-side button and included a headshot of Dennis Kruger, a German analytics and testing expert likely to be recognized by some responders; Version B featured a right-side button and no image.

Three-fourths of Holland's readers chose Version A as the likely winner. But, writes Holland, "Version B—with a right-side button, sans headshot—boosted on-demand webinar sign-ups by 65%."

She emphasizes the importance of measuring results based on the banner's goal of sign-ups—not simply by the number of clickthroughs. "Never judge a banner test only by clickthroughs; as demonstrated here, what really matters is the conversion activity downstream after the click."

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