Rob Lambert is the owner and founder of Flowers Across Melbourne (www.flowersacrossmelbourne.com.au), which is a digital flower shop that serves the Melbourne area in Australia. Rob also does all the website management and marketing, while testing conversions online.
A Quick Preview of the Podcast:
- How Copy Can Affect Sales Negatively In Certain Industries Online
- How To Position Copy Appropriately To Optimize Sales
- Why A Professional Copywriter Isn’t Necessary For Certain Online Goods
To See This Tactic In Action:
To See The Transcript:
Tim: Welcome to Conversion Cast, the only podcast that gets to the heart of the metrics. Now here’s another data driven case study.
What’s up fellow marketer? Thanks so much for being here. Now you wouldn’t want to see a 20% decrease in sales would you? Well obviously not. But today’s guest made a seemingly smart decision but one that turned out to be extremely costly and it revolved around copywriting. We have the exact copy that cost today’s guest 20% of his orders along with the winning copy in this test, which is obviously, what you really want. Download it now by going to ConversionCast.com/flowersdownload. Again that’s, ConversionCast.com/flowersdownload so you can avoid what could be a costly mistake.
Today’s guest is Rob Lambert, the founder of Flowers across Melbourne. Flowers across Melbourne is a digital flower shop catering exclusively to Melbourne residents. They’ve been having a ton of success and as such have been looking for ways to improve it and fine-tune their success. Rob is like me a conversion nut. He loves testing. So today, we’re going to talk about a test that showed that high quality copywriting isn’t always the key to killer conversions. In fact, Rob experienced just the opposite. I love these counterintuitive case studies and I know you’re going to love this one as well. Before you listen on, be sure to grab the copy we discussed by going to ConversionCast.com/flowersdownload so it will be easier to follow along. I’m Tim Page, the conversion educator here at LeadPages. This is Conversion Cast and here is Rob Lambert from Flowers Across Melbourne.
Hey, Rob, thanks so much for being on the podcast. I’m excited to talk some shop with you today.
Rob: Thank you, yeah. I’m excited as well.
Tim: I could even say you know, we’re going to talk some flower shop but I don’t know that’s really corny. [Laughs]
Tim: So awesome, all right. So the first thing is can you tell us before digging into the tactic itself, can you tell us kind of the data results that you were able to get from this test?
Rob: We tried professional descriptions [0:02:11] [Indiscernible] whenever we get a 20% difference negative and then we’ll try product descriptions, [0:02:16] [Indiscernible] no description and had no change whatsoever so that’s very, very interesting results.
Tim: Yeah. This is such an interesting one because we’re going to be talking about kind of a test that disproved a hypothesis that you had about you know, maybe adding some specific descriptions. So I do want to dig in to that in just one second but before we do that, just tell our listener a little bit about Flowers Across Melbourne and kind of what you do there.
Rob: Yeah sure. So we’re based in Melbourne, Australia. We like to call ourselves a local online florist. So we don’t have a bricks and mortar store. We’re purely online but we deliver specifically to the Melbourne area. We don’t deliver outside of that. We don’t do relay systems like Interflora. I’m not sure what [0:03:06] [Indiscernible] I think it is. So we’re just catering for the Melbourne audience, for people that want flowers to their friends for birthdays or get wells or sympathies, anniversaries, those kinds of things. So we’re just sending out bouquets, boxes, arrangements, flower arrangements just yet [0:03:28] [Indiscernible] amazing flowers all over Melbourne actually.
Tim: Awesome and what’s your role at the company?
Rob: So I own the company and I actually do all the website and the marketing side of things. So I actually programmed the website as it is and I have a developer on board but I programmed it using [0:03:50] [Indiscernible] and now I think I did a testing in the marketing side of things.
Tim: Awesome. Yeah we were talking briefly before we got on here for the episode and you know, Rob and I were kind of just saying how we’re both pretty big nerds and everybody chances are listening to this show is some form of nerd. So it’s a perfect marriage for our podcast here so this is going to be good. So why don’t you kind of walk us through kind of the steps that you took and what brought you to the idea to kind of do this this case study?
Rob: We actually thought we have very, very basic descriptions on the pages as it stands and you know, I was kind of – I was just looking at them going oh heck, you know, they can’t be really winning us any [0:04:37] [Indiscernible]. So because they’re very, very basic. They’re all written or one of the florists has written them in and we’re not copywriters, we’re in the business of flowers. So it was really hurting me looking at those going oh I’m sure they’re hurting sales. So I thought the best thing to do would be to get some, get a copywriter on to it, get some really good descriptions, put them out there and you know, no brainer, really just it will be much better from a user point of view to be able to get a good feeling, a good vibe about the flowers and what they’re going to give them in terms of feelings.
Because I guess flowers, you know, is kind of an emotional thing so we want to play on that a bit and yeah create a little bit of emotional connection to say well you’re giving your friend flowers. I just want to expand on that a little bit and what they’re going to get when they send this particular bouquet to their friend or family. So like I said it was always you know, a good – it would be a real win for us to be able to do that. But I was always nowadays, I’ve kind of learned my lesson over the years. Nowadays I know I can’t actually not test when I put something on.
Rob: Put something new on to the site. So what I did was I got a few descriptions so I think we got about ten descriptions from a copywriter for some of the most popular items and it took me a little while to cope because there’s a few [0:06:10] [Indiscernible] but basically I was testing the pro what I call the product description, a copy writer description against our description and I thought there’s no way you know. But I’m going to test it. I’ve got to do my duty and we can split test through and make sure that I do this right. Those results were incredible like we had a 20% decrease in conversions through the checkout page. So these are on the product page and the next step is to go to the checkout page. Our site is fairly easy so they’ll go product and then check out and then that’s pretty much they’ve done that. Go to one page checkout what they do. But we were testing conversions from the product page to the checkout page. There was a 20% decrease and I couldn’t really wrap my head around that because I thought it was or would be a really good win for us. I can tell you my copywriter wasn’t all that good. You know.
Tim: I bet. So the point of conversion here was from – it was just basically a click through to the checkout page? Is that right?
Rob: Exactly. Because we know our checkout numbers so —
Rob: –we know that once they get to the checkout x amount of people convert to a sale.
Rob: So and because we are still quite a small business. We don’t have huge amounts of traffic. It’s – I do like to test all the way through to the conversion of the sale but usually what I’ll do is actually test, do an initial test of getting to the next page and then if this – we have results like that or if there’s – if I think it’s I need some more results and we’ve got some good sort of backend [0:07:58] [Indiscernible] then I’ll test the full conversion. So yeah first, I test the step conversion and then I test the full conversion if I think it warrants it.
Tim: Yeah. I’m curious. Did you ever end up testing the full conversion with this, with this copy?
Rob: I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Rob: Because [0:08:14] [Indiscernible] and so sorry. That’s too much of a number to —
Rob: –to be losing to sales. [Laughs]
Rob: I would like to do it in the future to be honest but what I actually did was go the other way. I thought well this is what we had so and I couldn’t make much sense of it. So I thought so those number things
[0:08:35] [Indiscernible] that I —
Tim: Actually, wait. I’m sorry. Before we jump into that.
Tim: I want to give people a really clear picture of what we’re talking about here because it would be easy to say look we had procopy and then standard copy. So here’s – there are kind of two differences. So one is the very basic kind of description of what it is and it’s very short. It’s a lot of times like one or two sentences max of one line. And then the pro description, the copy description is a lot longer, and kind of more-you know, it’s more copy. So here’s an example. So for two dozen red roses, the standard description was a romantic two dozen red roses, 24 premium red roses available for delivery throughout Melbourne. So that’s the kind of description that you had before.
Tim: The copywriter description was two dozen dazzling premium roses in a heavenly color of your choice, a beautiful way to show someone you care for them. There’s no denying the excitement felt when a loved one receives a gift of love especially roses. Choose from mixed brights, mixed pastels, orange, pink, white, yellow, seasons best or florist’s choice. So there’s the kind of clear description or the distinction between the two and so now we can kind of move on to the next part but I wanted everybody to get a clear picture of what we’re talking about between the different descriptions.
Rob: Yeah, absolutely. No a good point. I mean you can hit clearly that they’re much better writers you know. That’s their job and the did a very good job so. So yeah, it’s very surprising. So I actually went the other way and thought if that makes such a difference then what difference does it make if I take off the descriptions altogether.
So I don’t have any other descriptions. The first one that you ran through, we just have nothing. So when I say that we do have other information on the page so we’re telling the customer and we’ve tested these things before what they’re actually getting in the bouquet. So we have stem counts. So that’s really all the information that they’re getting is stem counts and approximate size of the bouquet or arrangement because obviously it’s a bit hard to see over the internet to tell how big it is. That was one of the main questions or one of the questions that came up a lot for us so we put that on there and some information about sending the flowers out in bud form if those particular flowers —
Rob: — are sent out in buds. So that’s the other information we’ve found through testing that that actually gave us an increase but through testing these descriptions that gave us a decrease. So I thought well I’ll take off the standard description altogether and say. I’ll just do a weird experiment and see what happens you know, because it seems really very strange.
Rob: So sorry go ahead.
Tim: Oh sorry. I just said sure.
Rob: Yes. So. So we took those out and there’s no difference, absolutely no difference whatsoever in conversion rate. So I tested that out to thousands of thousands of users like in you know, —
Rob: It’s just a real eye opener for us. So yeah it was very, very cool to know that look I guess the [0:11:49] [Indiscernible] is like test just test everything because I thought there would be a huge win for us.
Rob: You know?
Tim: Yeah, yeah. So this is amazing. So it’s like the first test where you had the standard description versus kind of a pro copywriter description you have a 20% decrease in conversions through to, you know, click throughs to the checkout page when you had the high – or I’m sorry the copywriter description. However when you tested the standard description that you’ve been using versus no description at all at that point you saw no difference.
Rob: That’s correct, yeah.
Tim: Wow. I love that.
Tim: So and you know, I think one of the most common things that I bring up on this show is like you know, this is a really counterintuitive case study and this is definitely a counterintuitive case study. I mean having fantastic copy that really kind of plays the emotion and does all the things that copy is supposed to do and that ended up decreasing the conversion. Then when you just take away any real sales copy at all and it’s just a technical description, you saw no difference. So that’s super interesting and I think this really brings to the forefront the idea that it’s so important to test all of these things even when you think that it might be like a no brainer. Like you mentioned you thought the copy would be a no brainer. It sounds to me like it would be as well but it turns out that it’s not.
So here’s kind of my thoughts on this and I’d love to hear yours as well. So I’m thinking that this might be very specific to your industry, which again goes to testing. Is that –you know, people kind of shopping for flowers may not necessarily need a description of you know, the flowers that are coming other than you know, what’s in there, how many flowers are in there and you know, the stem count and that kind of thing. Because they might only be looking for hey, I want a bunch of pretty flowers you know, some are red, some are pink, some are orange or whatever the colors would be.
So it may be just a very visual clientele and so needing a good description might not be important. However, the thing that makes this confusing for me is that that would probably be accurate for the standard description versus no description but I wonder what makes the better copy description cause a decrease? Maybe the positioning?
Rob: I think you’re exactly right. I think I mean I agree with all those points that I think it’s very visual when it comes to the website and you’re looking for flowers. So all this is it’s a lot about the looks but we’re trying to get that response that we’ll you’re giving something to somebody. So it is something that kind of you know, you’re excited about that and you kind of hang on the line when they come to give you a thank you or that kind of thing. So we wanted to try and push that a little bit.
Obviously, that’s not really at the top of mind for them.
Rob: When they’re buying flowers, they’re looking at specifically what they’re going to get. I don’t know if they’re comparing against other websites maybe but all of our arrangements are unique to us so it’s they can’t really compare it straight product.
Rob: But yeah I think it’s about positioning because it’s funny you should mention that because I would have thought that it might have been specific to our particular industry but I’ve been able to test exactly – with exactly the same results on another website that we had which is a different sort of feel. We had what’s called sleep where I want [0:15:38] [Indiscernible]. com.au. I tested the exact same thing with the exact copywriter. Yeah, professional copy written descriptions versus our own descriptions it’s the same thing.
Rob: The same thing again and that really blew me away. So but we found on that particular side I don’t know I’ve kind of given off the track [0:16:00] [Indiscernible] but I think it relates.
Rob: What we did there was actually reposition it so what we thought that was going which puts you down the add to cart button. So that was going below the [0:16:14] [Indiscernible] and people weren’t seeing it or didn’t need as much information as we were trying to give them. So what we did in that instance was actually put it as part of the tabbed info bar down the bottom below the add to cart button. So they got it out of the way of the top of the screen and went below the add to cart button. The description, the professional description within the tabbed view actually lifted conversions versus standard subscription. So that was a lot to do with positioning. So I think going back to Flowers across Melbourne it’s possible, quite possible that positioning, there’s too much on the page that it’s kind of –you know, they don’t want to be reading. They just want to be –they know they need flowers, they know who is going to and they know that they want to get it done pretty quickly and just move on with their day. So you know, they don’t need to be reading all the extra input. That’s all I can sort of come up with I guess.
Tim: Yeah. So this makes a lot of sense. So I guess the question is and by the way if anybody wants to see an actual image of this so you can see what the description does to the positioning and kind of get a really good feel for this and get a walkthrough of the changes you can go to ConversionCast.com/flowers so ConversionCast.com/flowers and download the guide there that actually will show you the images of the actual website with the copy changes and it will also show some examples of the copy changes so you can see specifics.
So what did the copy do? I mean did this move the – on flowers, on the Flowers website, did it actually move the add to cart button below the fold as well?
Rob: No. In this instance, it’s actually on the left-hand side underneath the image.
Rob: It didn’t do anything at all to the positioning of the add to cart button.
Rob: So that was giving us –it meant that it moved down the stem count and the dimensions that we had on there but that was about it. I think it – to be honest I think that this maybe just information overload for —
Rob: Yeah it’s too much to kind of to read or maybe they’re too interested in reading that that they’ll –
Rob: [0:18:38] get on to the chick.
Tim: [Laughs] Yeah that’s so interesting. Wow. This is awesome. Great. Well I really appreciate you sharing this with us and kind of you know, giving us an inside view into something that I think is – I’m going to kind of go out on a limb and say this is one of the most counterintuitive case studies that I’ve heard. So thank you so much for being here and thanks for coming on the podcast.
Rob: Thanks so much. I really appreciate you having me. That’s – you have some amazing people on here so like I said an email
Tim: Awesome. Thanks Rob.
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Listen To Discover The Copy That Decreased Sales By 20% (and Which Copy Won)