Writing product descriptions is a big deal. They are the last thing standing between your customer and a sale. If you're boring, they'll bounce. If you're engaging, they will be excited to get your product in the mail. If your description is effective, they will be so entranced that they will be enticed to select priority shipping.
- Who are these people?
- Dirty words & Golden words.
- The big feels
- Social proof
- Tech, but not too much
- KISS: Keep it simple stupid
- Hip, but not too hip
- Who are these people? Again.
Ten tips for writing product descriptions
1. Who are these people?
You want to sell to your Ideal Customers. But WHO are your Ideal customers? This is the most important information you need to write any copy, to do any design and to write any product description. You need to know the basics: gender, age, lifestyle, income, where they live, etc. More importantly, you need to understand deep in your bones: what do they care about, what are they afraid of, who do they love, how do they feel, what is their burning desire? Don't move forward with any product description until you know your customers like you know your children, your life partner and your BFF.
2. Dirty words & Golden words
You've known since you learned to talk that there are good words and bad words. You were punished for saying certain words and praised for saying good words.
In product descriptions, what are those words? Again, it really depends on the context.
Are you using scarcity, fear, and insecurity to sell a product and is that appropriate? If your product is safety gear, it's entirely appropriate to sell to the person's fear, otherwise, why would they want it? Still, throwing some golden words like safe, secure and confidence should balance out the copy. First, you identify their problem, then you tell them how your product will be the solution.
This would be a gross approach if you were using fear, scarcity and insecurity if your product is jewelry, though, when writing product descriptions. Can you see the difference? If you try to get a customer to salivate over that gorgeous ring you don't want to tap into their insecurity, you want to tap into their desire: stunning, gorgeous, on-trend.
The Golden-est of Golden words: YOU.
When writing product descriptions get into the zone by pretending that you're looking into someone's eyes or you're sending a letter to a dear friend. What would you tell them about the product and how would you address them? You will benefit, and here's how. You will experience this feeling. You. You. You. You. You.
I, we, us makes the product about you, not your customer. They don't care what you're getting out of it. They care about what they will get out of it. So focus on that. Your About page is where you want to share what motivates you and what you care about.
3. The big feels
You want to give your customers the big feels, which means you are going to tell them how to feel. Tell them how your product will make them feel. Give them a description that makes them feel a certain way. Tell them what their experience will be. Tap into their deeper emotions by describing a feeling you know they already have through metaphor. For instance, this skincare product will make you glow like a teenage prom queen. Perhaps they were never a prom queen, but they probably imagined at one point what that would feel like.
People love stories. One basic human need is connection and belonging. Tap into that and tell them how your product will make them part of a community. Give them a story that they can relate to. The story is one of the primary ways that you can induce feelings in your customers.
5. Social proof
You love your products or you wouldn't be selling them. I hope. But, that's not enough. Customers want to know how other people experience your products. Posting testimonials on product descriptions is a huge selling factor. Include an image with your testimonials to create more connections.
6. Tech, but not too much
For certain products, technology is important. You don't want to sell a technology app or a computer without including some specs. You don't want to sell a pair of jeans without telling how long the legs are and what the waist size is. People want to know what things are made of. They care how much storage their phone has.
What they don't care about is the nitty-gritty details that you concern yourself with. For example, ThirdLove has a new bra based on new technology and extensive components. They have an app that will measure you for an exact bra fit. They will tell you that on their website. What they don't tell you is the boring technology behind it. They don't tell you what the numerous components of the perfect fit is. They don't tell you how exactly the app works. Because they know your eyes will glaze over and you'll click away.
7. KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
We scan. We see headlines and taglines. We see the price. We see discounts. We see bullet points. We see color. We see graphics. We see images.
And our attention spans are about 10 seconds long if we don't see what we're looking for in a product description. Picture writing product description which is five paragraphs long of just copy. There's nothing to scan to. There's nothing that reaches out and grabs your attention. There's nothing compelling you to spend 10 minutes on the page reading about the product. Boom. You're out. There's a 30-second cat video on Facebook to watch.
8. Hip, but not too hip
Some of the best product descriptions out there are hip, witty, funny and insightful. When you read it you feel like you've been brought in on a secret joke or have been giving some new way of thinking. This is totally great. Use it.
But, don't overuse it. When writing product descriptions, being too clever can backfire if your customers feel excluded from the inside joke. It can backfire if you're selling to 40-something women and your product description would be more appropriate to a Millennial crowd. You would do better by creating two product descriptions for the same product, using language suitable to each demographic. One example would be innovative period underwear. Thinx has a product line addressing the use for menstruation. Yet, they sell the exact same pair of underwear addressing a totally different audience in their marketing for incontinence underwear. Same product, totally different product descriptions, both hip enough to make their customers feel like they are part of an inner circle instead of dealing with embarrassing problems.
You want your customers to buy NOW. You don't want them to click away thinking, “I'll think about it.” Because they probably won't think about it. There are bills, carpools, work, and Netflix to think about. What you want is to create a sense of urgency in the product description which makes them want to buy NOW!
To do this you want to go back to the big feels. You want to create a sense that they can't live one more day without this amazing, innovative fix to all of their problems. You want to make them feel like they have to wear that dress THIS Saturday night.
Throw in urgency phrases like supplies limited, order now for a free gift, only three of these left in stock, 200 other people are on this website looking at this product right now, we're not making any more of these so buy it now, order in the next five minutes and get 30% off, we're selling this for a limited time.
10. Who are these people? Again.
Once you've written your product description go back to your worksheet and ask the questions again. Who are these people? What do they want? What do they need? Have I made them feel something? Have I incorporated a story that will make them feel like they are in an inner circle? Have I used the appropriate language for this demographic? Then edit it to make sure that you are talking to the right group of people about the product in ways that make them drool.
Now, go scan your website and see if your product descriptions have most of these components or, if there is anything you're struggling with in particular, leave a comment below and we will help you figure it out! Good luck with writing product descriptions.