How to Write Product Descriptions That Convert
Ah, product descriptions. As a marketer, the verbiage used to describe your goods or offerings is one of the last pieces of copy on your website to get looked at.
You test, tweak, and test your landing pages until you’re blue in the face. But what happens when people browse through your website in search of something to buy? Are you confident that the description of your product will get your interested visitor to become a loyal customer?
Ask any copywriter, and you’ll know: Product descriptions are some of the toughest pieces of copy to write. If you’re stuck in a rut, here are a few tips to help you craft product descriptions powerful enough to convert the lurkers on your website into fans.
Create an Avatar for Your Target Market
The first thing you need to do is speak the language of your target market.
Traditionally, marketers create a persona for the type of person they want to market their products to. Many times, the outline of a persona includes age, income level, gender, location, education, marital status, and more. Coming up with these demographics is a great place to start, but they won’t get the job done.
To write a product description that sells, you need to get a lot closer to your target audience. You need to know what keeps them up at night, what their inner voice sounds like, and what motivates them to buy. Creating an avatar, or an in-depth story and image of what your target market looks like, helps you do that.
Here are a few examples where you can tell the company knows, and understands their customer on a deeper level.
Before you begin writing your product descriptions, copy, or content, sit down and create an avatar. Write a story about the person who you sell to. Describe what it is that makes them tick, what gets them fired up, and what their deepest fears are. Knowing this deep information about your target customer puts you in a better position to harness their emotions and reel them in to buy from you.
When you write to a broad audience, you weaken your message. Strengthen your product description by keeping your message conversational, interesting and on point.
Begin with the End in Mind
Once you have your avatar in place, jump to the end of the sales process and ask yourself this: What transformation will they see after they buy from you? Car companies tend to nail their product descriptions by focusing on the experience their buyers will have with the vehicle. Toyota is particularly good at conveying this. As can be seen in their product description of the 2014 Toyota Highlander.
Although you need to describe what the product does and its features, you need to do so in a way that will show the reader the benefit of choosing you over your competitor. For example, Toyota did this by saying, “The all-new 2014 Highlander was redesigned with excitement in mind… Highlander gets you there in style.”
As you begin writing your product description, focus on the end of the journey. What will happen when your customer clicks the buy button? How will their life change? Why is your product a better choice than a competitor’s product? What’s in it for them? By focusing on the outcome of buying from you, your message becomes targeted at the benefits your audience will see when they do business with you – not on the features and specs.
Use Your Seductive Voice
As your product description comes together, it’s time to spice things up!
One company that did this extraordinarily well (some think, a little too well) is a vineyard just down the road from me in Sonoita, Arizona. Their wine, a sparkling sweet white wine, is called “The Fluffer” Here’s how they chose to seductively describe this wine (which happens to be one of their most purchased bottles).
The Fluffer: A wine that starts off soft and relaxed, but finished bold and firm, bursting in your mouth with flavor. Fruity and crisp, this wine is easy to swallow. No spitting required!
Your product description should be alluring enough get people curious, and excited about buying. Add expressive language to each description to jazz up what you’re selling. Not only will the benefits stand out even more, but your company will look more enticing too.
But be warned, never, ever fill your sales copy with fluff (no pun intended).
Using a seductive voice does not mean making flowery claims about what you sell. Instead, it means to sell using a voice that resonates with your target audience. Choose a tone that will get your customer enthused about your brand. When you speak in a way that lights a fire in their belly and makes them look forward to hearing from you, you’ve created a loyal customer for life!
Case in point: Who’s looking forward to reading the next wine bottle label from AZ Hops and Vines?
Back Up All Bold Claims
Marketers are notorious for putting big, bold (empty) statements into their copy.
Product descriptions that include phrases, such as “the best”, “highest-quality”, and “innovative” sound good in theory, but in reality they turn buyers off. These statements make your customers roll their eyes and stop trusting you, and as a smart marketer you know that without trust, it’s almost impossible to persuade them to buy what you have to sell.
If you make a bold claim in your product description, it is critical that you maintain the trust with your audience by backing it up with a fact. The easiest way to do this is to incorporate features with benefits.
They differentiate their product from other devices up front and say that they’re the best in the same sentence. Then, they back up their claim with facts about why they’re the best and why readers should use their e-reader over a tablet. The claim may be bold, but it is validated by the enormous benefits (and features) listed immediately after.
Incorporate Social Proof
Another great way to back up your claims is to use social proof. Let your customers do the selling for you! If your product got a raving review, or if your product consistently receives a five star ranking, show that off in your product description.
By using social proof, you deepen the trust around what you sell. By hearing stories from your other buyers, your prospects will instantly be able to imagine their life with your product. For example, did your customer rave about the dress you sell making them feel beautiful on the night of their engagement? Show off stories like that and others from your customers next to your product description to bolster your claims and build your trust.
Optimize Your Description for SEO
After you crafted the seemingly perfect product description, you’ll want to make sure that you have a keyword in there that helps search engines direct interested buyers to your website.
NOTE: There’s a reason why this is the last step. It’s because all product descriptions should be written for people first, and machines second.
As you go through each product description, see if there is a keyword in there that will help boost your position in search engines. If not, try to incorporate one so that it sounds natural. If you can’t, leave it alone.
The Gist of It
Every product description you craft should be written with your avatar in mind. Consider how buying your product will improve their life. Consider how the transformation they will take as they use what you sold to them. With this in mind, your product descriptions become much less about the features, and much more about why a person should buy from you.
When the benefits outweigh the features in your product descriptions, your message becomes more persuasive, and much more alluring. What are some of the best product descriptions you’ve seen that have intrigued you enough to hit “buy”?
Author Bio: Kimberly Crossland is a copywriter and content marketer with an unnatural obsession with figuring out what makes buyers open their wallets and make a purchase.