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by Stephen Logan on 9th July 2009
People who aren’t natural writers don’t always have the easiest time when it comes to producing persuasive sales copy. Econsultancy yesterday featured an interesting look at how e-commerce site owners often toil with the concept of creating product copy that will really sell.
The aforementioned article raises some important points, not least about how you can overcome that initial fear or even ambivalence towards copy and its role as a sales device. But it also got me wondering how we can simplify the process and remove more of the misconceptions surrounding sales copy. Here is Koozai’s simple(ish) guide to creating perfect product copy.
Copy can be like the last bastion, doing everything it can to prevent visitors moving from your product pages to the checkout. Those 100+ words that you describe your items with are what could ultimately seal or lose a sale. A door-to-door salesman may be able to rely on the gift of the gab, but you have to convey that same power in your copy; otherwise you could be needlessly waving goodbye to customers.
Overkill on sales language can be just as dissuasive as dour, uninspired copy. So it’s all about striking a balance. Product copy is some of the most important on any e-commerce site; so if there’s one place you want to get it right, it’s here. Whilst adding vital SEO weighting, showing those search engines exactly where to find your products, it also serves the vital role of completing the sale.
Professional Copywriters occasionally have issues generating that final killer copy. We can all probably recall a few sites where after visiting you’ve felt distinctively nonplussed. So if you’re a site owner and don’t have any copywriting training, what chance do you have?
Well, plenty really.
Fundamentally with any product copy people just want to know three things:
1) Why do I want it?
2) What is it?
3) Why should I buy it from you?
‘Why do I want it’ is the first thing you need to address. A short paragraph, a sentence or two in length, should be enough to extol the virtues of any product. Get the reader hooked before moving on. “This toothpaste will change your life! Say goodbye to bleeding gums, sensitivity and discolouration…say hello to Permasmile!” Basic information, but if you’ve got sensitive teeth you will probably want to read more.
The ‘what is it’ part is basically the filling. It sits neatly between two sales pitches and provides the real meat of your product copy. “Permasmile contains only natural ingredients. It helps prevent tooth decay with a special plant extract…” you get the idea. Two or three decent paragraphs should usually be more than enough.
Finally you need to have one last sales pitch. This is your call to action. The part where you finally convince potential customers that this is the product and you are the company for them. “Protect your family from tooth decay with Permasmile, available now for the incredible price of just 99p right here at official stockist, DentalDelights.com”. Sell yourself, sell the product and sell the benefits of buying from you.
Be sure to break up your copy (if it is of sufficient length i.e. above 150 words) with sub-headings (H2 tags). These just need to be short sharp overviews that will catch the reader’s attention and not make your blurb look quite so daunting. One or two will suffice and they can be anything from “For Brighter, Whiter Teeth, Use Permasmile” to “Four Natural Ingredients for Added Freshness”. On their own they may not add much, but in collaboration with your sales text, could work wonders.
Being emotive comes naturally. We always try to convince others to do things, whether it’s something mundane in day-to-day life or making a sale online, it’s what we do. You just have to find a way of converting that into copy that will inspire people.
But this is just one possible solution out of many. It’s one that is widely used, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. Copy has to be something you’re comfortable with, but that can’t be to the detriment of your visitors. Find a style that suits you and works for you, then apply it throughout.
Sales copy is a challenge, but it’s by no means an impossible one. Too often emphasis is shifted away from the importance of copy. In truth though it is still one of, if not the most important things you’ll have on your site.
If you still don’t feel confident, why not ask the professionals? Check out our SEO Copywriting services, we do everything from full site re-writes to short articles and everything in between.