The purpose of every product copy is to answer the question ‘what will this product do for me?’ so that it can motivate buyers and drive them straight to the shopping cart to purchase it.
Rarely do we come across product descriptions that are crafted to sell. What occurs in most cases is that the ready-to-buy customer leaves the site immediately – after being turned off by the bad copy. Worse still, most e-commerce websites run the same product description, supplied by the producer or the manufacturer.
When you want to write a product description, which drives sales, you shouldn’t just highlight the product’s features. Remember, there is a right way and a wrong way to describe a product. You are misinformed if you believe features of a product alone will inspire visitors to buy. That’s the wrong way to write a product copy. Do you know why? It’s simply because product features don’t answer the question – ‘what’s in it for the prospective buyer?’
Here are some tips that you can use to turn every product copy on your online store into its own salesperson.
Translate Product Features into Buyer Benefits
One surefire way of increasing the sales of a product is by turning its features into benefits. As an online store owner, you need to understand the difference between a feature and a benefit; a feature is a prominent aspect or an attribute of your product whereas a benefit is the advantage that using your product will bring the buyer.
A prospect is more concerned about what ‘a product does’ than ‘ what a product is’. Get that?
Let’s assume you’re selling a portable music listening device. This product has a ‘storage capacity of 1GB for MP3 songs’. Now that’s only a feature of the product. When you describe the product, you should turn this particular feature into a benefit – how does something like ’1000 songs in your pocket’ sound? Yes, that’s exactly what sells.
While highlighting the features of a product is good because it tells prospects at a glance what it is or what it is made up of, explaining the benefits in a way that’s personal, practical and believable is much more important because it addresses their needs.
There are many good, fun ways to explain the benefits of a product. An experienced product description writer knows how to write and motivate buyers with benefits.
Use the Tone and Language of the Target Audience
Would you talk to healthcare professionals in the same way as you would do with teenagers? Certainly not, specially when the way you explain or speak impacts your bottomline.
Know clearly about the audience you’re seeking. And keep that audience in mind when you write your product description. While it is important to speak to the ideal buyer in your copy, it is even more important to highlight who they are, speak the same language as they do and use the words that would inspire them most to buy.
Two things that you should always bear in mind while writing the product description include a) your relationship with the reader and b) the knowledge level of the reader.
Even if two online stores sell the same products, the tone of writing used in their copy can make a huge difference. The one whose copy is well-crafted, matches the product more and suits the prospect’s mentality better will convert more visitors.
All of this depends on how familiar you are with your audience. For immediate connection, you should let the prospects believe that you understand their world better than anyone else. You’ll strike a chord with your audience only when you talk their talk and use words and phrases that they are familiar with. If required, do some more research. And don’t forget the most important word – You.
Don’t Just Write, Create an Experience
Take your product copy to the next level; make buyers feel that they are closer to a life they always dreamt of. Help them imagine the success your product can help them achieve.
Coca Cola doesn’t sell soft drink; it sells a unique feeling (‘Taste the Feeling’). Before this new tagline, the company capitalized on ‘Open Happiness’, from 2009 to 2015. BMW doesn’t sell cars, it sells the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’. The list is endless.
The lesson is that you have got to sell an experience which revolves around your product. So, what you need to do is first think about the emotion that you want to elicit when buyers read the description of your product. Then you need to find those words that you can use to create that emotional impact. Your product description should help prospects visualize how your product will transform their lives.
Make the Product Copy Easy to Scan
The product description that you write needs to be long to take in all the essential elements. But you don’t want the copy to consume much of the prospect’s time, right?
It’s important to ensure that your product copy is a quick, effortless read. So, get ready to format it properly. A well-formatted product description gives the buyer an option to decide quickly whether the product they’re reading about is a good match for their needs. Use bullet points and lists to highlight the key points. Make the text bold where it is required. Use subheadings to break text into sub-sections. Choose the right fonts and colors. Use other formatting techniques to make the most important parts of the product copy prominent.
Optimize for the Right Keywords
When you approach product description copywriting with the audience in mind – the words and phrases they use and their specific needs – a good amount of keyword optimization happens automatically. But there are more search engine optimization tips you can apply.
Your product description has some important places where keywords need to go. While you incorporate keywords and phrases into the body of text, you should also remember to include keywords in the title and the subheadings of your copy. Plus, the image filename, the image description and the image alt text are other elements where using the target keywords is a good SEO practice. Use different variations and synonyms of the keywords you have targeted to rank one product page for multiple terms or phrases your audience may be using.
In any case, don’t get obsessed over keywords. Use of too many keywords makes the product copy weak and less enjoyable for readers – and it paves the path to search penalties.
Follow the latest search engine optimization guidelines and try to please users to rank higher in search results.
Edit the Text to Boost Persuasiveness
First draft of anything is bad. After you have written the first draft, give it a thorough read to detect typos, grammatical slips, cliched words (and phrases) etc. Recheck the list of product benefits to make sure you didn’t leave something crucial out.
Most important of all, review whether the product description is engaging enough. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and read the copy all over again. Does it focus on the buyer? If it needs rework from that angle, do the edits to make it more buyer-focused. The final copy should read easy and engage and motivate prospects to buy.
It’s always a good idea to have another pair of eyes look at the product copy before you publish it.
Are You Ready to Write a Great Product Description?
Poorly-written product copy is one of the most common reasons for losing customers and sales. Therefore, you should seriously see to it that your product description is written to inspire visitors to take action on your e-commerce website or online store. If you don’t have adequate time, skills or in-house staff to do it yourself, you should go ahead and hire experienced copywriters for great results.