Client: Karl Van Lieshout – Ausbeds Founder, Owner and Operator. Karl’s mattress fitting system helped push Ausbeds to the number 1 rank in the mattress category on ProductReview.com.au
Role: Digital Copywriter / UX Writer / Conversation Designer
Problem / Goals:
How I helped:
Rewrite web copy with a personal tone of voice that includes some direct language to emphasize important points.
Write and design a new unique selling point (USP) on the website homepage.
Format copy using a simple, smooth, interface design.
Convert Karl’s expert technical knowledge into plain language that can be used in a rule-based/scripted chatbot.
Use a question and response design to guide customers in choosing the right mattress.
Email 1 (1 day after sign up) – explain how people choose the wrong mattress firmness and how Karl solved the problem.
Email 2 (3 days after sign up) – explain mattress craters/dips and how Karl prevents them.
Email 3 (5 days after sign up) – explain mattress delivery issues and how Karl solved them.
I conducted a content audit and found a cluttered UI/UX design, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, a range of writing styles (technical to overly casual), and a USP that was not clearly defined. Data from Hotjar showed low interaction on the homepage with few clicks and low scroll thresholds.
USP does not deliver specific benefits or unique differentiation
Karl gathered data from years of fitting people to mattresses and developed a fitting system. The Ausbeds website presented Karl’s data in a calculator that attempted to help customers choose the right mattress. However, customers abandoned the calculating process too early.
Complex mattress fitting data
Karl’s email drafts were formatted as a long series of dialogues (some over 400 words) and lacked personal, engaging language.
I interviewed customers at the Ausbeds showroom to learn about their needs and pain points.
I discovered that customers experienced difficulty deciding on the best criteria to choose a mattress. They were unaware that Karl could recommend them a mattress based on their weight range.
A major pain point for customers was that some mattress retailers reduce costs by using cheap, low density foam. Customers were anxious that their mattress might break down quickly and create dips/craters. These anxieties were alleviated when customers were told that Ausbeds uses dense, long-lasting foam that will support their full weight.
The highest-priority for customers was understanding the Ausbeds policy that outlines what happens if a mattress is not the right fit. They were pleased to hear that Ausbeds encourages customers to call them so they can solve the problem and swap the mattress.
I analyzed over hundreds of reviews on ProductReview to learn about customer frustrations and objections. I also analyzed reviews for competitors so I could understand how to position Ausbeds as the preferable, more attractive option.
Ausbeds has built a solid reputation on trust, listening to customers, keeping prices low and not using gimmicky sales tactics. However, new innovative brands and independent manufacturers have found ways to simplify the experience of buying a mattress online by conveniently bundling items and offering discounts.
I developed a strategy to help Ausbeds level the playing field and gain an advantage over their competitors. The Ausbeds showroom draws in a large pool of loyal customers who may be converted into online customers. This could be accomplished by creating an online experience with clear, helpful instructions, and contextual information to help customers make decisions based on their needs.
Write SEO-optimized web copy with a personal tone of voice.
Karl’s mattress fitting system consisted of several steps that he developed over many years. However, my research revealed that customers were not aware of how Karl's system could solve their problems. I needed to study the fitting system and identify the most important steps to present to customers in a clear and focused USP on the website homepage.
Karl’s mattress fitting data could be converted into dialogue for a chatbot/conversational interface that guides customers using plain language. I could develop the chatbot persona, flow, and scripts, then my long-time collaborator – Liam Key: designer & developer – would code the chatbot into the Ausbeds website.
Research shows that over half of all emails are opened on mobile devices – short, concise emails perform best. A short 3-part email campaign could be built around a storytelling format that educates customers about how Karl uses his fitting system to solve common mattress problems.
The user research highlighted which steps in Karl’s fitting system to convert into a plain language USP. The research also shed light on what language to use in describing the steps. Each step required several rounds of editing until they could be written concisely in one sentence. I used Figma to design the new USP in a high-fidelity wireframe.
USP design in a high-fidelity wireframe
The first step in building the scripted chatbot required the creation of a question and response flowchart to make Karl’s complex mattress fitting data easier to visualize. The steps in the flowchart/fitting system help customers choose a mattress based on their weight range.
The core values and mission of Ausbeds provided the foundation for building a chatbot persona/character. I developed the Ausbeds chatbot personality and voice based on interviews with Ausbeds customers. The interviews offered insight into users’ pain points and helped me understand the language Ausbeds customers use.
Next, I used the chatbot flowchart and persona to write scripts that introduce customers to the Ausbeds fitting system and help them choose the right mattress. The chatbot scripts are formatted in a way that makes it easy for the web developer to understand the conversational flow. Simple principles guided my script writing and ensured the chatbot would:
1. Introduce itself as a bot
2. State what it can do
3. Apologize when it can't do something
4. Create a path for follow-ups
5. Give and acknowledge gratitude
6. Close the conversation
Finally, I provided the chatbot flowchart and scripts to the web developer who coded the chatbot into the Ausbeds website. Since the chatbot is custom-made and not an integration with a 3rd party service, I worked with the developer to refine the chatbot's motion design and animated interface.
For example, I ensured that any chat messages more than 4 lines of text were broken into 2 messages. Also, to keep user engagement up, users would not be sent large blocks of text or too many short messages before allowing them to respond.
Ausbeds scripted chatbot
I created a template to format the 3-part email campaign. Each email included a subject line, greeting, headline, mattress problem, Karl’s solution, sign-off, signature and call-to-action (CTA) button that linked to the chatbot.
Since Karl goes to great lengths to satisfy his customers and solve their problems, I invited customers to respond at the end of each email if they have any questions or just want to say hello.
Email call-to-action button
Results of split testing the new website pages against the old ones show that visitors who enter from the new homepage stay on the website longer and view more pages.
Split testing data
Ausbeds has increased online sales and customers compliment Karl on the new website, especially the easy to use interface. Karl has more ambitious plans – I look forward to simplifying his complex content into super short and sweet copy.
Using Google Analytics for simple split testing with Content Experiments. Websites are never truly finished. They need constant analysis, iteration, and ideas to optimize results.
Building, testing, and optimizing a custom chatbot in WordPress. The developer and I had to figure out licensing so Karl could move the chatbot around his WordPress website and use it wherever he wanted.
More chatbot testing. With more time, it would have been great to go back to the Ausbeds showroom and observe people using the chatbot.
If you'd like me to work on your website, chatbot, email marketing and more, simply drop me a line.