How different privacy policies affect conversion: the results of 4 A / B tests!

Original author: Michael Aagaard
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When creating forms for collecting contacts or for registering, it is important to test different options in order to understand which one works most efficiently. In this first-person case study of Michael Aagaard , this is an example of how you can change the conversion rate only by slightly changing a small microcopy on the form. A microcopy indicating the company’s privacy policy can be written in different ways, and as the author found in this case, the result will also be different. How to write about the privacy policy on the form so that as many site visitors as possible leave their contacts and register?

Recently, I tested 4 different options for using the privacy policy on the registration form on the home page of the betting and betting community website. The results surprised me very much, since each of the options had a different effect on the number of registrations - from a decrease in registrations of 18.7% to an increase of 19.47%.

In this article I will show all four variations, introduce you to the data obtained as a result of testing, and share what I learned from each of the experiments.

First experiment with privacy policy

Here is a screen shot of the homepage. As you can see, the initial version of the registration form does not include an element of the privacy policy, so I decided to check how the conversion will change (in this case, the number of registrations) if you add a privacy policy to the form.

In my first experiment, I preferred an informal, unobtrusive version of the privacy policy:

100% confidential - we will never send spam

I was absolutely sure that using the privacy policy statement would positively affect the number of registrations compared to the original form. In fact, I did the testing just to find out how big the conversion rate jump would be. Imagine now how puzzled I was by the test results!

A form with an emphasis on confidentiality led to a drop in conversion and reduced the number of registrations by a staggering 18.7%!

Testing data: I conducted testing for 9 days, 16152 visits and 297 conversions were made(or filling out the form), and the original version was more effective than the one in which emphasis was placed on confidentiality throughout the trial period. The statistical level of data reliability was 96%, and the standard error was 0%.

Development of the first experiment over a 9-day period.

What I learned from the first experiment:

No matter how paradoxical this may seem, adding a privacy policy does not guarantee more registrations. On the contrary, this can reduce conversion.

My hypothesis is that, although in the message you are trying to assure potential customers that you will not spam - the word "spam" is alarming in the minds of users. Therefore, directly in the form of this word should be avoided.

The second experiment with privacy policy

In the second experiment, I didn’t repeat the mistakes using the word “spam”, but still used a short and alluring statement about 100% confidentiality, as in the first experiment:

100% confidentiality. We will keep all your personal data secret.

Testing data: I conducted this testing for 12 days , and after 15675 visitors and 279 conversions (registrations), I did not notice a significant difference between the original version and the second experimental form. In the first days of testing, the effectiveness of the second option was higher, but closer to the 12th day the results were equal.

At first, the progress of the second form was noticeable, but closer to the 12th day the results were equal.

What I learned from the second experiment:

Despite the fact that the second experiment was more successful than the first, it still did not lead to an increase in conversion.

It would seem that the fact that I removed the word “spam” and focused on the aspect that the information will be kept secret should have had a positive effect. However, even with a focus on keeping information confidential, the company’s privacy policy still seemed vague and uncertain to potential customers.

Third experiment with privacy policy

The first two experiments helped me to find out really valuable information and contributed to the birth of the idea for the third experimental registration form. By the way, I was still surprised by the results of two previous tests.

For the third time, I decided to portray a privacy policy more authoritative and firm , instead of gently pointing out that information is kept secret. In addition, I wanted to make this option much more understandable than both of the previous ones. So, after thinking about all this, in the end I got:

We guarantee 100% confidentiality. Your data will not be distributed

Bingo! This option worked! He significantly increased the number of registrations - they became more by 19.47%!

Testing data:I conducted this testing for 12 days , 20257 visits and 380 conversions (registrations) were recorded . The statistical level of data reliability was 96%, and the standard error was 0%. From the very beginning of testing, the effectiveness of the third experimental form was higher than the original version.

Progress of the third experiment over a 12-day testing period.

What I learned from the third experiment: The

guarantees provided were the most noticeable change in the third experiment. The first two talked only about 100% privacy, while the third experiment talked about guaranteeing 100% confidentiality.

It seems to me that this formulation is much more credible. In addition, the second part of the message, which says that your data will not be distributed, looks not only clear, but also much more convincing.

Persuasiveness, clarity and authority are the parameters that should be taken into account when developing a privacy policy, and I believe that the combination of these three factors is exactly what the success of the third experiment is related to.

The fourth experiment with privacy policy

The first three experiments taught me really a lot and helped develop several hypotheses - customers need a guarantee of your privacy policy; using the word spam can seriously harm.

Now I was curious to know what would happen if I combine the “best” and “worst” elements of previous experiments, combining them into one - this is how experiment 4 was born:

We guarantee 100% confidentiality. We will never spam!
Testing data: I conducted this testing for 15 days , 18959 visitors and 370 registrations were recorded , and as a result, there was no significant difference between the initial version and the 4th experiment.

What I learned from the fourth experiment:

The fourth experiment was a combination of the best element “We guarantee 100% confidentiality” and the worst “We will not spam!”

The data obtained as a result of testing showed that there was no significant difference between the original version and the experiment, the “good” and “bad” parts neutralized each other, so there was no noticeable effect on the number of registrations.

The results of four experiments:

The privacy policy that you use in the registration form can have a big impact on the registration rate. However, using the privacy policy icon does not guarantee a higher conversion - moreover, if you do not take care to choose the right wording, the conversion rate can drop significantly.

But if you are willing to spend time studying what really “works” in the case of your specific form, the privacy policy can lead to a significant jump in conversion.

The results of my research suggest that a trustworthy, understandable privacy policy that guarantees the safety of potential customers' data will help them feel protected when filling out the form. Moreover, the data obtained indicates that you should be careful with the word “spam” - even if you say it is absent - as this can contribute to the opposite effect and can cause users to feel anxious.

In this series of tests, the most effective privacy policy option was:

We guarantee 100% confidentiality. Your data will not be distributed

Now I am testing this option on my newsletter subscription form on, and at the moment the updated version is 6% more effective than the original one - the data is still not final, but still.

By the way, this is not the first thing I'm testing on

I have done many other tests on this site. Among other things, I tested several versions of the text, which led to an increase in the number of registrations by 31.54%.

PS This case interested us, an online designer of contact collection forms, stock messages, social sharing buttons and other tools, including because one of our subscription form templates looks like this:

A client who edits this template for himself may also write some other note, we hope that this article will help you choose the right text for your privacy policy. After reading this article, we also decided to test different textings on our subscription forms with the message that the user data will not be distributed on one of our customers' sites. What came of this, we will tell in one of the following materials.

Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

Which phrase will improve your conversion more effectively?

  • 52.1% We guarantee the safety of data. 155
  • 7.7% We do not send spam. 23
  • 12.7% No spam - Everything about the case. 38
  • 36.7% The phrase does not affect conversion at all. 109
  • 3% Suggest your option in the comments. 9

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