You’ve written your headline using the 5 steps outlined in our previous blog post, and now you’re ready to write your product description – get excited! Product descriptions are a great place to show off your creativity and copywriting prowess.
Just like with headlines, you want to incorporate keywords where you can, use sensational words to engage the reader, and write in an active voice. Here are a few more suggestions for writing powerful product descriptions:
Define Your Buyer
The first step to writing a product description is to define your target audience. Remember a few posts ago when we were discussing buyer personas? Now it’s time to revisit the buyer persona and use it to your advantage.
Your buyer persona will help you understand which product features will be most valuable to your customer, and which product benefits you should highlight.
In addition, your buyer persona should help determine your “tone of voice” in writing the product description. Think about how you would speak to your buyer if you were face-to-face with him.
Would you be direct? Would you use technical jargon? Would you use colorful language? Would you use humor?
Next, address issues that are important to the buyer as defined in your buyer persona, including:
- Demographic (age, education, socioeconomic status)
- Shopping Habits (online or brick-and-morter)
- Location (is he or she willing travel? How far?)
- Job role / Description
- Interest in Product/Service
- Need for product
- Challenges or frustrations as related to your product/service
- Goals – What is he or she trying to accomplish as related to your product/service?
Take a look at this product description from Caswell Massey. You can tell that this product isn’t geared toward just anyone looking for a body cream. The buyer is likely interested in all-natural products with an emphasis on well-being and self-care.
This description also does a great job of storytelling using illustrative language. You can envision yourself applying this after a bath and feeling simply wonderful!
Focus on Benefits Over Features
You’ll also notice in the description above, that there is a callout for product benefits. While the unique features of your product are important, even more important are the benefits resulting from those features. How can your product improve the buyer’s life?
In the example above, some product features are that the lotion is plant-based, fragrant, and paraben free. The benefits are that is comforting, non-inflammatory, hydrating and soothing.
This product is going to improve the buyer’s life by relaxing her and alleviating her physical maladies.
Before you begin writing your product description, write a list of your customer’s pain points. Then make a second list outlining the features and benefits of your product. The benefits should directly address the pain points.
Write Like a Real Person, Not a Robot
If you read your product description out loud, does it sound like a real conversation you’d have with a friend? Or more like a robot droning on?
It’s best to describe the product as if you’re telling a friend about it – in a conversational tone.
Zabars does this exceptionally well. How would you tell a friend to prepare a bagel? You’d tell him to “pop it in the toaster, top it with some schmear and bite in!”
Spice Up Your Word Choice
Shopify suggests that certain words and phrases naturally elicit an emotional response in humans and haven been proven to increase sales for Shopify shop owners.
According to Shopify, by being mindful of these words and phrases, you can more easily convince your customers to take the leap and make the purchase.
Jon Morrow at Smart Blogger describes these as “power words.” He has an entire list of words that can help make your product copy more enticing.
In another mouth-watering example from Zabars, words like glorious, jumbo, sparkling and explode are effective in convincing the buyer that these just might be the most exciting fish eggs on earth and certainly worth the purchase!
Now, there may be some features or benefits that are just plain boring. It’s hard to jazz up “chip-resistant” or “dishwasher safe.” A great way to showcase these features is with an icon instead of a sentence.
Wayfair does a great job of illustrating product features in an attractive way without bogging down the description.
Tempt with Social Proof, Exclusivity and Sense of Urgency
There are other ways to gently nudge your readers to make a purchase.
One way is by using social proof like customer reviews and testimonials. According to Shopify, most buyers are attracted to buying something that’s popular, so highlight products that are customer favorites. Include a customer’s 5-star testimonial and photo next to a product description to give it a boost.
Another effective tactic is exclusivity. Everyone loves to feel special! According to Impact, exclusivity elicits psychological rewards including a sense of belonging and importance.
In this example from Calyx Flowers, the company is highlighting the fact that this wreath is one-of-a-kind and there are only a few available.
Leverage the psychological power of words like “exclusive, debut, premiere, select, and VIP” to help close the sale.
Lastly, create a sense of urgency to drive a potential buyer to purchase sooner than later. Phrases like “available for a limited time only” or “only 9 left in stock” can be effective.
Yes, You Still Have to Think About Search Engines
Just like with headlines and subheads, product descriptions need to be written with SEO in mind (which means keywords need to be included.) As a reminder, keywords are the search terms that buyers are using to find your product.
In preparation for writing your product headline and description, you’ve probably already created a list of important keywords to include, but if not, you can use free tools like UberSuggest or WordTracker to help you come up with keywords and phrases.
In this example, Sharper Image includes the keyword “air purifier” in the headline, the subhead, the video title and twice in the product description.
It takes a combination of strategy and creativity to craft a powerful product description, but remember to keep it conversational, and have fun with it!