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How to Write Great Product Copy and Product Descriptions

Chapter 23 by Nicole Martins Ferreira

Your copy has the power to convince a total stranger to buy something from your store. From the way your describe your product to the way you use words to drive urgency, your words can move customers into action. Copy shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s just too powerful. Avoiding product descriptions or writing generic taglines won’t do your business any good. Learning how to be an effective copywriter is essential in the world of ecommerce. Words, pictures, products and relationships. Those are the four main ingredients to running a successful online store. If any of of them isn’t of the highest standard, the brand begins to fall apart. Fortunately, we’ve compiled some of the best examples and tips so you can learn from the best.

Product Description Example: Beachbody is probably one of the best examples for copywriting. While they sell some of their products in stores, they also sell fitness DVDs online. Pay attention to how what words they use to describe how they’ll solve your problem.

For Core de Force an MMA workout DVD, it says they’ll ‘Knock out the belly fat in 30 days.’ If a person has belly fat, this can be a very enticing offer. This one sentence is a play on words since MMA fighting has ‘knock outs.’ However, the sentence also mentions how little of a time commitment it is to solve their problem. It’s only 30 days. And they understand that their audience is likely trying to eliminate belly fat and add emphasis to that problem area. Even their call to action uses the same language from that first sentence. The CTA reads ‘YES! I want to knock out the belly fat!’ If you know you want to eliminate belly fat how can you say no to that offer. However, as you scroll through the product page, you’ll see the effectiveness of the copy. You’ll also notice how they enlarge the font for words they want to add emphasis to. With copy like ‘How good are the results? PRETTY. DAMN. GREAT.’ It captures attention. The copy is also effective because of their use of imagery which complements the copy. While your copywriting needs to be on point, you need to make sure that all of the aspects on your product page are working together cohesively.

Product Description and Copywriting Tips:

Frank body effectively uses copy throughout their product page. Their product description solves a problem ‘chapped, flakey lips’ and unveils the result from using their product ‘soft, plump pout.’ However, they also make use of copywriting on the product’s About Me and Inside Me sections. In the About Me section, the product is given it’s own about me detailing what the thickness of the lip balm is, what it does, why it’s better than competitors, and it’s multiple uses. The Inside Me section details the ingredients in a unique and fun way.

PooPourri has an awkward product. Naturally, when you sell a product of that nature you’ve got to make it humorous. And that’s what PooPourri does with their copy. All of their product names either have the word ‘bum,’ ‘potty,’ ‘crap,’ or some other variant in the name. Under product details, they use a variety of play-on words to make the copy more playful. By injecting humor and playfulness into the product, it helps make customers less embarassed about using a product like this. The copy is also aligned with the company’s branding.

Modcloth is one of those online retailers who you can always count on for fun copywriting. Take a quick look at how the brand describes this sweater. They use words like ‘snuggling,’ ‘coziness,’ ‘super-soft’ and ‘comfortable’ which all work together to create the exact feelings you want from a sweater. They also use alliteration with ‘comfortable….cocoon of coziness.’ The copy is playful and fun which works well within the fashion niche.

Tipsy Elves is another example of playful copywriting. Their copy plays well with their products of ugly Christmas sweaters. This product in specific is a sweater that allows you to play an interactive drinking game. In the first sentence, the product description clearly states the key benefit of this sweater, ‘…it’s fun for the whole party!’ If you’re attending a holiday party and want to liven it up or need help breaking the ice, this sweater will likely do the trick. It even talks about some of the honest challenges you’ll face with this sweater but ends on a positive note,  ‘ …as the game goes on, it will become increasingly hard to hit and hopefully that means everyone is having a blast!’

Bed, Bath & Beyond channels a strong and diverse vocabulary for their copy. For a holiday themed shower curtain, they used words like ‘bright,’ ‘bold,’ ‘festive’ and ‘glorious.’ These words all have positive connotations and in combination they showcase the product in a fun light. While shower curtains aren’t a very exciting product to write product descriptions, this brand shows that you can still create great copy around any product.

The best copywriters don’t just whip something up without doing their homework. Whenever I write product descriptions or do a bit of creative writing, I often have several websites open. When I wrote the category copy for Burst, I wanted the copy to be playful so I used several idioms, rhymes and puns. I share the exact sites I used in the tools section. When it comes to blog content, I usually do a lot of research before hand. For some of my articles on Oberlo, I browse hundreds of ecommerce stores to get the best examples to use. It’s that level of detail and effort that separates the best content from the worst content.

Make your content easy to read. When writing product descriptions, I usually stick to a short paragraph of 3-4 sentences and a few bullet points. Having only bullet points limits the amount of personality you can inject into your description. Having a bit of a write-up can help create a positive experience around the product the customer is about to buy. It’s also a chance for your brand to shine!

Focus on the benefits. What’s the main thing a customer gets from your product? Will it make her happier? Will it solve his problem? Does it make life more fun? Whatever your customer is going to get out of this product, you need to make that the focus in your copy. If it solves a pain-point, empathize with their desperation to solve this issue. If it brings a sense of joy, inject playfulness into the copy as you write about how their life will be enhanced. Your product features aren’t as important as what it does and how it’ll make your customers feel.

Use emotion. Online stores can use scarcity and urgency to compel customers into actions. Words can do that too! Use words like secret, unbelievable, magical, missing out, and trustworthy if you’re trying to create an emotional response from the reader. Here you’ll find more high emotion words.

Focus on what a customer gains. A lot of time people focus on what a customer loses. For example, ‘buy three, save $10’ is focused on the customer’s loss. Instead, it should be ‘buy two, get a third free.’ With the second example, the customer gains something with their purchase. Even if the value is the same, the customer is likely to find the gain more valuable.

Copywriting Tools:

Idioms is one of my favorite tools to use when copywriting. If you’re writing about a certain product you can use an idiom to make the writing more fun to read. Many are common expressions you may have heard before that people use in their everyday conversations.

Words to Use is another amazing copywriting tool that helps you find great descriptive words for your copy. Their website features words for various niches such as clothing, jewelry, beauty, and pets. You can browse their words to enhance your copy. For clothing, you’ll find words like ‘romantic, boho chic, and glamorous’ which can be used in different product descriptions.

Rhyme Zone can be used if you’re writing fun copy. While product descriptions doesn’t typically include many rhymes, you may choose to include it on certain products. All you need to do is type the word you’d like to rhyme and you’ll find a list of suggestions. You’ll want to make sure that the rhyming word you choose makes sense in the context of your copy.

Copyscape is a plagiarism checker tool. If you hire freelancers, want to ensure your content isn’t copied or want to double check for duplicate content, this tool is great.

Keyword Planner is Google’s keyword tool. When you type in a keyword, you’ll learn what the monthly search volume for that word is. If it’s too low, you can browse a list of other recommendations on the same page. You’ll see each keyword’s search volume and competition level to know if you can rank organically for it.

Hemingway App is a tool I regularly use for readability. On average, copy should be written at a 6th grade level. If you write at a much higher level than that some of your readers might not understand what you’re saying. Your content needs to be readable. The app highlights which sentences are hard to read and very hard to read. It also gives a few grammar suggestions.

Word Counter is a copywriting tool I use for SEO. You can add the link to competing websites to find out how many words are on their webpage. While word count isn’t necessarily a factor in SEO, comprehensiveness is. If you write blog content on your store, you should look at the word count of the top 5 websites for the keyword you’re trying to rank for. Whichever has the highest word count is the one to beat.

Headline Analyzer is a tool that indicates how compelling your headline is. The closer to 100 the more compelling your headline. This works great for stores that sell impulse buy products or want to clickbait their fans to visit their website.

Grammarly is a grammar tool. It corrects typos, grammatical issues, punctuation and style. Before you add content to your website be sure to run it through grammarly to ensure you don’t have any major issues in your copy.

Product Description Resources:

How to Write Epic Product Descriptions that Sell details why you should write product descriptions, how to find the right words for your copy, and tips for product descriptions. It also includes a few examples of some of my favorite product descriptions on popular online stores. If you’re looking for a product description template, you’ll find the exact format I use to write product descriptions on my stores.

20 Inspirational Examples of Product Page Copy contains a list of 20 examples of amazing product descriptions. You’ll find examples from a variety of niches which will show you how different copy needs to be for different audiences.

Everybody Writes by Ann Handley is one of the most popular copywriting books frequently read by content marketers and professional writers. Handley’s book walks you through how to write better, easy to remember grammar rules, content tools you’ll love and more.

next: Chapter 24

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