Writing effective product descriptions that sell is a learned system you can repeat over and over for your products and services. Question: How well do your product descriptions sell?
The secret to writing effective product descriptions is to engage, persuade and sell. Does your copy encourage readers to try or buy? Or, do you solely describe your product or service and tell prospects what it does? Here’s a proven system to help you move prospects “off the fence”…
1. Define Your Likely Buyer
You not only need to create your target audience with knowledge of demographics, etc. but you need to know what makes your prospects laugh, become skeptical, become convinced…the psychographics of prospects and customers.
Think about what your prospects and customers read, websites they visit, what keeps them up at night, how they make decisions…because knowing this will enable you to create copy that “speaks” to your prospects and tap into their emotions.
Knowing your prospects and customers intimately will transform product-centric descriptions into customer-centric descriptions, with vivid, personal and persuasive product descriptions. Here’s how this system works:
2. Create a Comprehensive List of Features and Benefits
You know all about your products and services and want to tell the world everything, but wait…
Prospects and customers don’t care about intricate details, but they do care about what your product or service does for them. How does your prospect or service make life easier? Which problems does your offering solve?
List all features and details about your products and services and then translate them into benefits. Features are facts. Benefits are explanations of what features do for the customer, phrased as a positive (e.g., improves productivity) or as a problem solver (e.g., reduces payroll). Try to mix positive benefits with problems that are avoided in your copy.
Many people are risk-averse, so it’s smart to include references as to how your product or service avoids solve problems.
3. Create Your “Personality”
Creating your “personality” entails coming across to prospects and customers as authenticity. With an “authentic voice,” you have a good chance of engaging prospects and customers.
Your “personality” can differentiate you from your competitors, giving the public a strong impression of your organization’s culture. Rather than say you’re fun to be with, illustrate this fact in your content using professional humor. Rather than saying your customer service is above reproach, show that you’re friendly, approachable and interested in upright business practices.
4. Create Rapid-View Copy
People read a small fraction of the words on a website. To encourage people to buy your product or service, people need to read your copy. How do you bring prospects and customers from skimming your copy and start reading your content?
Create an easy-to-scan and easy-to-read format with subheadings having a large font size and the body of content having an easy-to-read font size for prospects of all ages.
Subheadings typically focus on a benefit, while the body verbiage provides a more detailed explanation. Adding pictures and simple animations provide comfort, increasing the prospect’s possibility of testing.
To make your product descriptions rapid-view and easy to read, use:
• Subheads to encourage scanners to start reading
• Bullet points to attract attention to key points
• Larger fonts than usual to improve readability
• Video or photography to create “authenticity”
• Ample white space to guide readers through your content and make your content a pleasurable experience
5. Write a First Draft
Once you’ve done your target market research and have pinned your content outline, writing your first draft becomes relatively easy.
Outline your list of features, benefits and objections and rank each one of them in a systematic way that your prospect will find easy to follow.
Create comprehensive and persuasive copy by conveying all of the benefits of your product or service, making sure you cover all the common objections.
6. To Be Persuasive, Product Descriptions Require Editing
Editing is more than correcting typos and grammar mistakes. Professional editing makes your copy more readable, engaging and persuasive:
• Review your list of features and benefits to be sure you didn’t miss anything.
• Review your “engagement” level. Is your copy focused on your prospect and customer? Highly engaging copy uses the word you more often than your brand or product name and the words I, we, and us.
• Replace difficult words with simple words and reduce the average sentence length.
• Replace clichés and generic phrases with specific details. Specificity increases your credibility. Include numbers where possible to bolster credibility.
Picture yourself conversing with your prospect and read your copy aloud. Do you stumble on words or phrases? Is your copy engaging and persuasive?
Keep editing your copy until you feel certain your buyer will purchase.
7. Emphasize Two to Three Key Phrases for Search Engines
When you write to engage your prospects and customers, using phrases they use, you’ll be optimizing your product descriptions for search engines.
• Leave the jargon at home and use words your prospects understand
• Use your key phrases in your headline, subheadings and body text
• Use your key phrases in your images, along with file name, image description and alt tag.
Think about your prospects and customers. Consider how you can make his life easier. Speak in specificity with appropriate benefits and turn your product descriptions into sales.