AddThis Academy

An ever-growing library of resources to help you become a better online marketer.

5 Best Practices on Writing Product Copy that Sells

In the United States, ecommerce accounts for almost 10% of retail sales, with an annual increase of almost 15%. In 2018, 14.3% of purchases were made through ecommerce and digital advertising.

This creates a highly competitive market – and businesses must learn to navigate it to stay operating. The sheer number of competitors also selling similar products or services doesn’t help businesses either. Customers may research for days before they make a purchase.

This is why you have to keep your writing skills sharp to make sure you deliver the right message to your customers. Here’s how you go about writing product copy that sells.

Know your audience

Effective product copy starts with knowing your audience. You can’t sell anything if you don’t know who you’re talking to.

Before you start working on any of your product descriptions, you have to do a lot of prior research. Form user personas, define who they are, how much do they earn, and what their core values are.

It’s the story that sells

You cover all the product specifications for the customers who care about precise research and add photos for those who buy with their eyes. But why do you need to write a product description?

Because for many, it’s the story that sells. Your job in creating great product copy is essentially writing a short story that would move customers to make a purchase.

Treat this as one of those six-word stories that manage to create a compelling narrative in a limited number of symbols. You have to craft a story that tells something about your brand and appeals to what customers want to see in your product.

But you don’t have to write fiction. You have to base your story on facts.

Base the story on facts

Write your copy in a brief and accurate manner. You shouldn’t overestimate or hyperbolize the qualities of the product, just present them in a favorable light. Base your product description on facts and spice up with emotions, not the other way around.

This Redken description tells you everything about the ingredients and tells a story at the same time.

Product copy example
(Source: Redken)

Cut out bland phrases

When you write your first draft, you can find there bland phrases like “it’s a great product” or “this product has a superb quality.” That’s a big no-no. It doesn’t tell the customer anything. Delete the phrases that provide no information, and replace them with facts that would illustrate why it’s great.

Fjallraven copywriter could have stated that the backpack is super sturdy and incredibly handy. That would be a given. Instead, they write it’s made out of hard-wearing fabric and describe all the elements that make it handy.

Fjallraven product copy example
(Source: Fjallraven)

Describe the value

Here’s when your customer research comes into play. Focus on the things that the customer holds valuable. For instance, it is important for an office worker that a sweater from the new collection still retains its softness and beauty after washing. For a person who looks for organic cosmetics, it’s safe ingredients that match their skin type.

Redken product copy example
(Source: Redken)

Use psychology

Despite what many customers say, the choice to make a purchase is often based on emotion, and not logic. Many companies create a link between their product and positive values. For instance, getting a pair of Nikes is not just buying good shoes, it’s a decision to start achieving great things.

In a product description, you can go for smaller tricks. Here’s how Fjallraven copywriters appeal to social pressure and authority, stating they solved a huge problem and millions of people like them.

Fjallraven product copy example 2
(Source: Fjallraven)

There are many other tactics you can use. For instance, you can create a sense of urgency and describe what the customer is losing if they don’t use your products. Or, you can share a success story of how your product helped solve a customer problem.

Keep the main elements scannable

Not all customers have the time to read the whole product description.

This is why you have to make sure the product copy is also optimized for skimming. Include every key element of the product in a bulleted list and make that list easily visible for customers.

Fjallraven product copy example 3
(Source: Fjallraven)

You can create a bulleted list with the synopsis of your product copy as well as the specifications list.

Fjallraven product copy example 4
(Source: Fjallraven)

Don’t forget about SEO

While writing for humans is your main goal here, you make sure to include keywords to make it easier for people to find your product on search engines. That’s one of the basic SEO techniques you can use to make your website optimized for Google search.

A/B test everything

There’s no magic formula for creating stellar product copy. Each product and each niche requires a different approach, different choice of words, and different styles. And what may work in one campaign may not work in another.

If you want to achieve sales with your product copy, you have to create and test multiple versions to see what performs best.

But don’t stop there. Split test everything on the product page. Test the photos and the specifications to see what helps reduce bounce rate and shopping cart abandonment. Split test different email subscription tools as well, as this helps you bring your marketing efforts to the next level.

Conclusion

Product copy is essential for selling your products online. It’s even more important than coming up with the right domain name. You can build a brand from scratch, but you can’t sell with poor product copy. A good one, however, can lead to sales even when your website name doesn’t matter.

Effective product copy is a major contributing factor in increasing sales. Create engaging copy that will tell your customers a story that resonates with them. Break up the information so those who want to read the description or scan through it can get what they need in one glance. Add best SEO practices, and your job is done.


James Riddle is a writer at WhenIPost.com. He’s passionate about new technologies, marketing trends and branding strategies.