I don’t have to tell you that the product description is the backbone of online product sales. But you need to ask yourself – is your product description actually selling? Or is it merely giving some facts about your products? Use these 5 steps to learn how to write a product description that sells and ramp up your business!
1. Know Your Target Audience
You can’t sell without knowing who you’re selling to! Your copy should talk to someone, answer their pain points and solve problems in their life. If you’re not nailing your target audience, how are you going to sell anything?
Finding your target market certainly isn’t easy. It involves a lot of research, time and effort. But once you’ve got it done, and you nailed your customer profile, you can really create copy that sells. It should be your first step in writing any kind of copy!
Now that you’ve got a great customer profile, you have to think about their pain points. What troubles do your ideal customer have in their life? What do they want to be like, who do they want to be like? We’re going to use these problems and pain points to sell our product to them, because our product solves their problems!
A good strategy is to write down your ideal customer. Then underneath that, write down every possible pain point or problem she has in any aspect of your life. Even if it doesn’t exactly relate (in your mind) to your product, write down that pain point. Take a break. Now come back and look at your pain points. Which pain points and problems does your product solve? Write out how they solve those pain points. That’s what your product description is going to be about.
2. Plan the Basics
Alright, you’ve gotten all of your pain points down. You know who’s going to be reading your description. Now it’s time to plan out what’s going to be in your description. After all, Abraham Lincoln says if you gave him six hours to chop a tree, he’d spend four sharpening the axe!
The first thing we need to do is take inventory of everything we need to tell about our product. What are the important things that your customer needs to know? What are the key features that makes your product the one that your reader needs to buy? Write all of these down. Don’t forget the small details either – sizes, colors, etc.
Now you should have everything you need to tell about your product and who you’re going to be selling the product to. Go back through the list you created of features of your product. If a feature doesn’t directly relate to the target audience, whack it. It’s irrelevant. Now you’ve got the skeleton of your product description – what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to. Now it’s time to get to the HOW we’re going to sell it.
3. Ensure Your Product Description Provides Benefits
This is the key to writing effective copy, bar none. Without benefits in your copy, you’re not selling anything and your copy just won’t work. I wrote a whole mini-blog post about it! Telling you to write benefits is one thing. Showing you how is another.
The benefit is what your product provides that will make someone’s life better. The problem that your product solves. Think about it like this – if you’re selling a hamburger, don’t tell someone you’re selling a piece of beef between two buns. Tell them you’re selling a full stomach, the satisfaction of a good meal, a meal that’s throwing a party that your taste buds are invited to. Your product solves problems and makes lives better. The ‘how’ is your benefit.
So now you know what benefits are and that they’re important. But how do you incorporate them into your product descriptions? It’s a lot simpler than you think. All you have to do is follow one simple rule I’ve created. This rule is called the 1:2 rule – for every 1 feature you have about your product, you should have 2 benefits. Of course, this is a guideline, but following it will ensure you bring the right amount of benefits. Alternatively, you could keep it simple – if it doesn’t have a benefit, don’t include it (or you could include it at the end in the form of a list. More about that later).
Go back to that feature list you created for your product. Beside every feature, write two benefits. If you can’t write at least one benefit, ask yourself if you really need to include it.
4. Create an Emotional Connection
Alright, you’ve got copy that has benefits that matches your target market. If you stopped now, you would have good copy. But you came to this site not looking for good copy. You came to this blog looking for great copy that sells your products!
So how do you go from good copy to great copy that sells? You have to use emotion! Your copy should create an emotional connection with your reader. Your reader shouldn’t just be reading text on a screen. The worst possible thing would be for them to think that they’re reading sales text! Doing that is actually a lot easier than you think.
You should already have your target market listed. What drives their emotions? Think about the important parts of their life, their fears and their desires. The easiest example is a mother. She obviously wants her children to be safe and successful. So how can you connect emotionally using that information? Use the knowledge you have!
Of course, the idea that you should incite emotion is easy to understand. Actually doing that in your writing is the tricky part. The first step to doing so is to take a hard look at the imagery you’re creating in your product description.
In your product description, you should be painting a picture in your reader’s mind. Use strong (but relevant) adjectives that light up the eyes of your reader. Don’t just tell them that you’re selling a great product, show them by detailing your product with vibrant word choice.
Stories are also a great way to create emotion. Tell a story about someone who would use a product. Tell someone what it feels like to use your product, what kind of person they can become. Create a commercial in your copy with story.
There’s a limitless number of ways to create emotion. Each piece of copy, target market and product is different, too. If you’ve banged your head against your desk for 13 hours and still can’t come up with something, feel free to visit here.
5. Don’t Prevent Sales
So now you’ve got some great copy. Not just text, not just okay copy that has benefits, but great copy that pulls people in, makes them feel a connection with your product and buy it. Unless you don’t. The worst mistake you can do in copywriting is to have sold someone and then dissuade them at the end of your product description.
You’re probably freaking out now, but don’t worry. If we know what to look for, we can easily get rid of any doubt in our product descriptions.
It pays to be a cynic in some situations. For example, in copywriting. I assume that everyone shopping online is looking for a reason NOT to buy your product. They’ve clicked on it, so they’re interested in buying. Now they’re looking for a reason they shouldn’t buy. Time to check our copy again.
Think about reasons people get scared to buy. It won’t fit, it won’t work, it’s too expensive, they don’t need it. Yeah, you’ve heard it (and said it) before. People are thinking it when they’re viewing your product description. You’ve built it up and they’re one step away from buying. They’re just looking for that excuse to say ‘No’.
Are you providing any of those reasons to say ‘no’? Think about it. When you’re detailing the size, how are you doing it? Could it be a possible negative? Remember when I said if it doesn’t have a benefit, not to include it? That sounds great, but you can’t leave out important details that need to be known, such as size, shipping, etc. So what in the world should you do?
When you have something that could be a negative, or something that doesn’t have a benefit but needs to be included, simply list it. That’s all you have to do to avoid turning someone off of your product. They’ll see it and not put too much attention to it – because you’re not paying much attention to it. Call it a hack, call it a trick. You’re the copywriter, the wizard, the grand maestro. You determine what people pay attention to. Simply don’t allow them to pay attention to what could be negative.
This is an actionable guide to producing killer product descriptions. Follow the steps, spend some time practicing and in no time you’re going to be ramping up your sales. Need some help? I can create a product description for you so you can see what I do for your products and use that as a guide to crafting more descriptions for your site or you can ask me questions on Skype and we can work through it together!
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