“My product descriptions are boring!”
“I have no stinkin’ clue what to say about this collection.”
“My jewelry descriptions all sound alike.”
I hear these comments pretty often, and one of the most common requests I get from my clients who have product-based businesses is asking for help with product descriptions.
With just a few simple guidelines, you’ll be on your way to writing product descriptions that sell and are far from boring:
Keep the focus on your ideal client.
- What are their problems, pain points, or desires?
- What makes them feel comfortable or cared for?
- What matters to them?
How you answer these questions about your ideal client will dictate your next steps when writing your product descriptions. By addressing these fundamental questions, you’ll be able to use just the right language to grab their attention and convert sales.
Talk about benefits first, features next.
Benefits will speak to how your product will make your customer feel or how it will solve their problem and then make them feel. They’ll care less about features if they know your product will fix something or make them feel better. So focus on benefits first and features later.
Here’s an example for a shower drain screen:
Are hair-clogged shower drains drowning you in a soggy puddle of soapy water?
Crossing your fingers and counting your pennies to see if you can afford that $150/hour plumber?
No need! We’ve got you covered (and your drain too) with our NEW drain screen, designed to stop hair from clogging your pipes and draining your kids’ college fund.
If you sell a luxury item, the benefits are not quite so easy because the customer doesn’t really “need” what you’re selling. So it’s even more important to figure out what matters to your customer or what emotion you need to appeal to and then start by leading with benefits.
Avoid using superlatives just because.
Superlatives like: easiest, fastest, best, most improved sound like you’re stretching the truth unless you have clear proof of these things. It’s essential to build trust with your audience, so avoid these words unless you can back them up.
Tap into your ideal client’s imagination.
When you’re selling online, your customer cannot pick up your products, touch, feel or smell them. So when choosing how you describe something, find words that insert your customer in the exact scenario you want to create.
Here’s an example for an apple-spice scented candle:
You’ll never forget those summer picnics in the backyard when the highlight of the day was plunging your fork into Grandma’s homemade apple pie. It was warm and crusty, not too sweet and not too tart, with a touch of cinnamon spice. These apple-spice scented candles feel like visiting grandma.
Use storytelling to overcome practical or rational objections.
This is most important when your product is a luxury item rather than a necessity.
Some of the resistance you might face may sound like this:
- Do I really need another pair of athletic shoes?
- I already have 2-pairs of hoop earrings, do I need another pair?
- The wine glasses I have are dated but they’re good enough.
By interjecting a story with your ideal client at the center, you’ll get them to look past their objections by painting a picture and appealing to their emotions. Use sensory words to elicit feelings.
Here’s an example for a leather backpack:
You’ve had your fill of “rules” for now. The weather forecast is showing sun for days. You gas up your machine, pack your Gridiron Black Leather Backpack and start misbehavin’ a little. You are daring. Dazzling. Unpredictable.
Back it all up with social proof.
Use testimonials and reviews as much as possible on your product pages. Most customers want to see social proof and know that others have tried and loved your product or service.
Make your descriptions visually scannable.
This applies to other parts of your website as well. Here are the most important components:
- Name of Product as a Subhead: Make sure this is bigger than the rest of the description or in a secondary color.
- Great Photography: This is a must. Your imagery is the first impression of your product. If your images are dark, fuzzy, unclear, or too far away, your clients might just skip right over them.
- Storytelling Intro: This is where you talk about benefits and tell a story for your customer, and put them at the center of it.
- Features and Facts: Here’s the nitty-gritty about the product. Materials, size, and any specific and pertinent details. List these in bullet form for easy scannability.
Use words and phrases that sell.
With your choice of pretty much the entire dictionary, don’t reinvent the wheel. Use words that have been tested and proven to convert sales:
Urgent words – limited quantity, for today only, don’t wait, while it lasts
Words about your audience – you, your, yours
Newness – introducing, launching, brand new, be the first
Reassurance – guaranteed, easy, simple
Build a word bank.
Store it in Google Drive or whatever system you use like Asana or Trello, and consider the following:
- List the words that best describe your product or service.
- Don’t be afraid to use a thesaurus to expand on your initial list.
- List words that you use in everyday communications when writing or speaking
- Make a note of words you would never use or that are just not you. This is helpful if you are working with a copywriter.
- Your word bank becomes your go-to when you’re writing anything for your business, not just your product descriptions.
Test. Test. Test.
As with everything related to your product, sales, and marketing, nothing is set in stone. If you feel like your descriptions could be improved or could use a refresh after a while, go for it!
The same is true for your emails, blog posts, and website content. Make a plan and then test it to evaluate your results via actual data. Keep what’s working, and revise and retest what’s not.
Need a little help with product descriptions? Let’s set up a 30-minute complimentary discovery session to dig a little deeper and get you on your way to some kickass product descriptions that sell!