What can be so difficult about writing a product description anyway? Sure, writing a product description is easy, one that won’t sell, that is. Writing product copy that sells, on the other hand, is serious business and requires that you do your homework.
Often, people forget that a product description is a sales tool and not merely words your jumble together to outline the features of a product. If your product copy has been solely about telling potential buyers about the specification of the products, then there is still a lot you need to learn. Not to worry, you are off to a good start because this article presents 25 tips you can start using right away to churn out product copy that is certain to yield results.
Tip 1: Focus more on the benefits than the features
The minute you set out to write product copy, chances are you will pen down the features before anything else, and while the buyer needs that information, your aim should be to show them what they stand to gain by making the purchase. To be able to tell the audience how a product will benefit them, you need to know that audience. Find out what they need and how the product takes care of that need.
Tip 2: Answer who, what, where, when, why, and how
You need to find out who the product is for, what sets the products apart from the rest, where the product will be used, when it will be used, why anyone should use it, and how the product works. Ultimately, the nature of the product in question will determine how these questions are answered, but it is important that you try to provide all the best possible answers.
Tip 3: Don’t be cliché
Almost every product description says the product is great and of the best possible quality. Using words like that gets old and it can bore your potential buyers. It is hard for a reader to see such copy and not wonder what makes you different from the rest who make the same claims. Instead of going for the words everyone else uses to describe their products, focus on proving to your customers why the product is “great” or “excellent”.
Tip 4: Be clear about your tone of voice
You have to decide how you want to sound to your audience in terms of how your brand is perceived. Do you want to come off as fun and exciting or serious and reliable? Whatever the tone of voice you choose to convey, be sure to make it consistent with your brand identity and throughout all your content. You don’t want to sound fun in one page and uninspiring in another. Don’t say you are friendly, show it.
Tip 5: Keep the format easy to scan
You have to format your copy having it at the back of your mind that your reader is in a hurry to head off somewhere else. Professional e-commerce copywriters know formatting is about as important as the copy itself because if the copy cannot be read, then it is pointless. It is important that you use buttons, paragraph breaks, bullet points, and photos correctly. Also, take mobile optimisation very seriously.
Tip 6: Use urgency to your advantage
Try to create a sense of urgency to make visitors buy now, rather than later. To achieve that, you have to present them with facts or information that make them convinced the line of action is in their best interest. You can create a sense of urgency by emphasising that there is only a limited number of items left in stock. You can also create limited-time offers and time sensitive reminders.
Tip 7: Take advantage of search data
With site search data, you can learn about the type of language and terms buyers use to search for products. If buyers are using specific terms to search for a product on your site, chances are they are using the same terms to search on the major search engines. It is up to you to incorporate that into your product descriptions and meta data.
Tip 8: Be honest
You definitely want to colour your product copy with as much pizzazz as possible, but it doesn’t make sense to go overboard and let falsities in the mix. Try your best not to exaggerate as those who are enticed to buy because of your heightened claims will return to haunt you if they end up disappointed. It is better to step down the hype and keep descriptions honest than end up with an angry customer.
Tip 9: Be a fortune teller
Becoming a fortune teller as you write your copy means you paint a picture of the buyer’s future with your product. Let your visitors have a peek into what their future looks like if they buy your product. Don’t simply talk about the feeling of excitement that comes with acquiring something new, show them what value they are to expect even after several months of using the product. This is an effective way of showcasing your product’s value.
Tip 10: Get rid of buyer’s guilt
Chances are every buyer who makes a stop at your site will suffer from buyer’s guilt. This is particularly so if what they’ll be buying happens to be a treat, whether it’s expensive jewellery or a fancy new gadget. You need to reassure them so they don’t feel too guilty about spending their money on the product. Be clear about the fact that you are offering them a bargain, congratulate them for finding such a great deal, and make the product sound essential and exclusive. Try to avoid words like “treat” or “expensive.”
Tip 11: Combine descriptions with bullet points
Not everyone consumes content the same way, so while you need those compelling descriptions, you also need to include bullet points. That way you can cater to those who want to know all there is, those who want a fleshed out description, and those who want a quick look through the bulleted points. You will be producing highly engaging product copy with a combination of a bulleted list of features and creative descriptions.
Tip 12: Run with the wind on your first draft
Your first draft is where you fit in all the benefits, features, and objections, arranging them properly so the buyer won’t have a hard time following. Feel free to include all the information you think is necessary and don’t think too hard about what you are writing. As long as you already have all the information you need and are in an enthusiastic and positive mood, write speedily. Forget about errors, you’ll take care of those when you are editing and fine-tuning what you have written.
Tip 13: Use words that appeal to the senses
When you use words like “buttery,” “velvety,” and so on, chances are the customer’s mouth would begin to water. Sensory or sticky words are superb because they paint such a vivid picture and can be used to make the product appeal to more than one sense at a time. Even in the world of fiction, we love writers who are able to make us “feel” whatever is happening in the story, as opposed to simply describing the events.
Tip 14: Drive sales using loss aversion and fear
When you use loss aversion and fear to your advantage, you are trying to convince customers by making them see what they would be losing by not buying from you. This is the technique that is deployed when e-commerce stores offer expiring promo codes and coupons.
Tip 15: Vary levels of detail according to product
If you sell different products, depending on the product you are preparing copy for, you will need to vary the amount of detail you include in every product description. You must take into consideration the complexity, price, points and type of product. A tie, for instance, would likely not need as much description as a mobile phone.
Tip 16: Keep your micro-copy effective
It can be tricky when trying to decide what to do with button copy and calls to action. It is finer details like these that often make businesses decide that they need a professional copywriter. The copywriter may stick to the regular micro-copy if they find it is better to do so, or they may offer something more unique if they believe it would work better.
Tip 17: Know what the limits of your CMS are
Your CMS or content management system would likely have a word count limit for product descriptions. Be sure to check what those limits are in order to avoid a situation where you might have expended loads of energy on product copy only to find out later that you wrote way too much copy. Be clear on the limits of any additional fields and other features the CMS might have.
Tip 18: Play on the customer’s imagination
Due to the limitations of e-commerce, buyers are not able to hold a product before they buy it. To make up of for that as much as possible, you have to appeal to the imagination of the potential buyer. Create scenarios and tell a story to completely immerse the customer.
Tip 19: Keep your writing active
There is hardly anything marketing-related where the passive voice wins over the active voice. It applies to product copy as well. When you write in an active voice, you are more persuasive and sound much clearer. Instead of saying “these sunglasses can be worn on a sunny day,” say “you can rock these sunglasses on a sunny day.”
Tip 20: Infuse a bit more persuasiveness as you edit
Editing is great for eliminating mistakes in our grammar and typos, but that is not the only reason it is useful. Remember, product descriptions are a sales tool, so every time you have to edit, edit it to be more persuasive, engaging, and readable. Ask yourself if the content is focused on the buyer or on the firm.
Tip 21: Use social proof to your advantage
Social proof can come in a number of forms like reviews, publicity, case studies, testimonials, and starred ratings, among others. What social proof does for you is it shows potential buyers that others have bought the same product in the past and are enjoying or enjoyed using it. You can use your reviews to create more compelling product copy, including the negative ones which you can turn around and use to directly address your customers’ concerns.
Tip 22: Make customers feel exclusive
The limitation of not being able to provide your customers with an impressive in-store experience doesn’t have to come in the way of your providing them a brilliant experience. You can achieve this by using your copy to make them feel like they are part of an exclusive group when they buy from you.
Tip 23: Include keywords
The fact that product descriptions are often under 100 words means you would not be able to put in as many keywords and keyword phrases as you would like, but that does not mean you should abandon them all together. Have at least one solid keyword in the product description, product image caption, or headline.
Tip 24: Don’t talk down your audience
Don’t insult the intelligence of your readers by assuming they won’t understand what you are trying to say about the product. You don’t want them feeling underestimated or patronised if you want them to buy from you.
Tip 25: Be careful about using slang
Using slang works to forge a strong connection with the customers and make them forget for a minute that you are trying to make them buy your product, but you must be careful not to overdo it.
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