Win Report: How Johnson Boxes boosted conversions by 20%

Published: February 2024

Win Reports help you to grow your business by showing our methodology at work. Each article highlights a real-world test, sharing the research, insights, and techniques that led to the win.

In the next three minutes, we’ll show you how adding a Johnson Box to the top of a page increased conversions by 20%.
The image shows the original and variation screens side by side.

A Johnson Box is a highlighted section of text at the top of a direct mail letter, email, or web page. It’s designed to grab attention and emphasize key points. For an example, see our article on Focus.

Custody X Change is a SaaS company that helps separated parents improve their co‑parenting outcomes through better scheduling and parenting plans. If you’ve seen our testimonial from their President, you know that Custody X Change had run hundreds of tests before working with us. How did we discover a new opportunity?

The answer, as usual, came from our Research Department.

Research: Navigating a complex topic

Co-parenting can be a complex, emotional topic. Custody X Change is trusted by parents and legal professionals because it provides deep, comprehensive information. But that breadth of information can be challenging to navigate. Participants in our studies—selected from the company’s target market—said things like:

“The website is very overwhelming.”

“…it was too much information … I couldn’t digest it and lost interest very quickly.”

Likewise, when we ran a competitor analysis report—comparing Custody X Change’s website to their competitors—they were rated lowest for ease of use and navigation.

A bar chart shows Custody X Change’s ease of use rating as 3.0/5, as opposed to its competitors at 3.8/5 and 4.0/5, respectively.
Custody X Change’s website rated beneath key competitors for ease of use and navigation.

Feedback like this highlights a paradox. Selling online services often requires lots of content, but engagement and conversion will fall if users feel overwhelmed. Resolving this tension is the province of Information Architecture (IA)—the structural design of shared information.

How could we help users navigate the content and further raise the website’s conversion rate?

The original pages (or control)

Here’s an example, the top of one of the pages we tested. As things stand, there’s no easy way for a user to scan the page’s content at a glance.

The original web page is filled with information.
The Control: Dense with useful information, but hard to scan.

The tested pages (or variation)

Based on the research, we hypothesized that improving in-page navigation would make it easier for users to find what they needed and thus increase conversions.

We decided to add a simplified Johnson Box—a series of links at the top of the page that would be easy to read. Here’s an example of that idea using the page above:

The variation feels lighter, with a clear list of page content.
The Variation: In our variation, the Johnson “Box” is a series of generated links.

Although Johnson Boxes are usually enclosed, these pages were already busy. We decided to use white space to attract attention (and add some breathing room). The links were generated automatically from each page’s headings.

Users who were opted into the variation saw a Johnson Box on every information page they visited.

Result: A 20% increase in conversions

The Johnson Boxes improved the website’s information architecture, making it easier for users to locate important information. During the test, the variation saw a 20% increase in conversions.

To learn more about the importance of information architecture, see our article, How to sell complex products and services (Part 2). To learn more about Johnson Boxes, see our article Copywriting Friday: I amazed even myself.

What next?

As usual, we added the test to our proprietary Wins Database, then looked for ways to apply its lessons to other parts of Custody X Change’s business and then to other clients.

If you want us to grow your profits—quickly and efficiently—check if you qualify for a free one-on-one strategy session with one of our CRO consultants.

We’ll only work with you if we believe we can get amazing results together. Our success has come entirely from positive word of mouth, and we plan to keep it that way.

A few words from Ben Coltrin, President of Custody X Change

“I would definitely recommend that you work with CRE,” says Ben Coltrin, President of Custody X Change.

Thanks to Custody X Change for letting us share these insights (and for being such a great team to work with).

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