Rearranging a few words increased my opt-ins by 500%

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris - July 15th, 2014

Have you ever seen a movie or TV show and been completely blown away by how good it was and then 2 months later see it again and were just as enamored as the first time?

3 weeks ago the wife and I started watching Newsroom on HBO. It’s so freaking good! Literally after every episode we both said “That is an amazing show!”

Click. <watch next episode>

For some reason I’m constantly blown away by the effect rearranging a few words can have on my business.

I’ve experienced it over and over but just last week it happened again and it reminded me of this simple truth.

Truth = HOW you describe your offer is just as important as the offer itself.

For example, I made a new opt-in bonus last week. It’s a swipe file that contains 6 of my favorite pop-ups and a 3-part free course on how to use pop-ups in your business. [You can download it for FREE here]

Instead of creating a big landing page or writing a blog post about it, I started off by throwing up a one line call to action in a HelloBar (the red/green bar at the top of this page). I’ve found this to be an easy and effective way to test a new bonus and the words I use to describe it.

This is how it typically goes: 

When I initially set it up, that percentage sucked. Less than 1% of the people that saw it downloaded the bonus.

Then I rearranged the words that I used to describe it and that percentage went up to 2.3%.

But I thought I could do even better than that so I re-arranged the words one last time and it jumped up to 3.9%.

The exact copy I used in HelloBar

The bonus didn’t change.

The content they were getting didn’t change.

The only change was the words I used to describe the offer.

Let that sink in.



Literally the only thing standing between 0.7% of people saying “Yes!” and 3.9% of people saying “Yes!” was a few words.

That’s a pretty big deal.

So, I’ve officially dedicated this Summer to getting better at arranging my words.

I’ve been scouring the interwebs for the best courses, books and training so that I can get better at this.

and you should too!

Here is the best of what I have found and studied so far.

1. The Dark Art of Writing Long-Form Sales Pages by Joanna Wiebe

2. This book will teach you how to write better by Neville Medhora 

3. How to Tell a Story by Donald Miller

4. The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert

5. Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins


Takeaway: Start paying attention to how you organize the words that you use to describe your offerings. Experiment with them. AND buy one of the 5 items listed above to learn how to get better.

PS: Do you have a book that’s helped you with your writing? Tell me what it is in the comments.

  • Eric Silva

    What’s Up Bryan,

    Great post man, that’s a pretty awesome jump in conversions. It seems like the 3.9% one has a semi-story vibe going on, like you’re talking to me in a conversation. Just my thought, I like it.

    Love a lot of those books you mention (Nev is awesome!).

    I also like this book:

    Secrets of the Written Word: The Ultimate Resource on How to Write
    Powerful Advertising Copy from One of America’s Top Copywriters and Mail
    Order Entrepreneurs”

    Keep Rocking dude,
    Eric Silva

    • Good suggestions. I think you are right about the story vibe. Learning how to tell good stories is something I’ve been working hard on.

  • Derrick Horvath

    Bryan, wondering if all these variations were on the site AFTER the post about this was published? Maybe folks were more interested in using pop-ups after seeing your post vs. before seeing your post and that would have an impact.

    My thoughts on why the last did better: In the first variation you’re telling me I’ll want to copy 6 different pop-ups, but your not telling me which one I should use to get the best result. Information overload to some I suppose.

    But the final one you’re telling me to download a single pop-up that got you 1k sign ups, that’s a single specific thing with a single specific goal. Makes sense why it worked. My guess is the only people that wouldn’t want that would be someone that wasn’t interested in doing pop-ups at the moment.

    • Really good insights! These were all before the post on Friday. I tested them 2 weeks prior.

  • Love your stuff bro…keep er comin

  • Stumbled across this little gem recently. Quick easy read that sparked some great writing

  • I think the winner, “pop-up that collected over 1,000 email addresses” is more benefit-driven (hell yeah I want 1,000 email addresses!) than the others that emphasize “6 pop-up templates” (templates are free…who cares).

    Very cool experiment. I just picked up How To Tell A Story. You might like Andre Chaperon’s course, Autoresponder Madness, for a deep dive down the rabbit hole of story-based copywriting and launches.

    Keep up the awesome work mang.

    • God observation. I just heard of (and purchased) AM last week. Have you gone through it?

      • Yes, Andre’s system is sophisticated and awesome…definitely geared toward folks in the IM space.

        The first few soap opera sequences I wrote were laughably bad (maybe they still are, haha). Look forward to hearing your takeaways Bryan.

  • Another great course is the KopywritingKourse by Neville. –

  • great tip, Bryan. I’ve experienced the same thing with my site – which is why I’m always testing something. You never know what arrangement of words will make the biggest impact, though studying copywriting definitely helps.

  • I have read all Joanna Wiebe’s copy-writing ebooks. They are brilliant – worth buying the lot for around $60.

    • Totally. I’m going through them right now. Loooove her style.