5 Tips for Writing Product Descriptions That Sell

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By Boris Dzhingarov

Product descriptions are a vital component of any digital marketing strategy. Yes, your descriptions should aid potential customers in deciding whether your product is right for them or not, but they should also guide them in the right direction. If you write your product descriptions the right way, they will prove to be just as effective at selling your products as describing them.

Know Your Target Audience

You will find it much easier to write in a compelling and persuasive way if you know exactly who it is that you are talking to. Market research is important to businesses for a number of reasons, but it is hard to overstate how important understanding your target demographic is from a marketing perspective.

With an understanding of who is likely to be reading your product descriptions, you can ensure that you are targeting all the most effective pressure points in order to make a sale. For example, if you have some idea of what the reader’s other interests are likely to be then you can mention how your product complements these interests.

It is important, however, to appreciate the distinction between the people who are likely to buy your products and the people who are going to be reading your product description. If you’re writing a product description for your own website, these two groups might be more or less the same. However, if your product descriptions are going to appear on a third-party website then you need to tailor them for that audience.

Focus on the Product Benefits

Anyone can write a list of features that a product has. This might even be an effective way of selling it in some cases. However, for most products, the majority of the features it has are going to be mundane and unremarkable. For example, the ability to review photos that you have just taken on your digital camera is definitely a useful feature, but it is also something that pretty much every digital camera does. Your users will expect this feature to be present and aren’t going to think particularly highly of your product for delivering on something seen as a core feature.

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Instead of wasting precious words on features that your audience will assume are there anyway, focus on the benefits that your product offers over your competitor’s. If possible, present these benefits to your audience as solutions to common problems.

Let’s say that you’re selling a smartphone case that has a compartment for storing money and bank cards. A common problem that people have is the need to carry their phone, bank cards, money, keys, and everything else separately. Instead of just telling your audience that your phone case enables them to store stuff, tell them that your phone cases will make it easy for them to stay organized and reduce the amount of stuff they need to carry. This elevates the compartment from a mundane feature to a practical solution to a real and common problem.

Give the Product a Story

Emotive language is an important part of salesmanship. When it comes to product descriptions, the goal is to sell your product to a reader using as few words as possible. In the constraints of the average product description box, you won’t have time to write a detailed backstory for each item. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t suggest a story to your audience. Sometimes, this is even more effective than spelling the story out for them.

Let’s use a piece of jewelry as an example – a necklace and pendant with an amethyst in the center. You don’t have to tell your audience exactly where the stones and metals have come from, you might not even know yourself. However, by highlighting a single component of the piece, you can bring the whole product to life. All you have to do is include a little bit in your product description about amethysts in general and how some people believe that they have healing powers.

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By simply mentioning these things, you add an aura of mystery to the product. The reader will subconsciously begin to see the amethyst as having more value than before and will be willing to invest more in it.

Keep it Natural

One of the most common mistakes that businesses make with their product descriptions is to overload them with sales words at the expense of the actual description. Your product descriptions should sell the product to a reader, but they should do so in a way that is subtle and naturalistic.

If a reader feels like they are reading a short advert instead of a useful description of the product, their guard will instantly go up and they will be resistant to any sales techniques that you employ. By contrast, if you can write naturally and be subtle about your attempts to guide the reader towards making a purchase, your words will have a much greater impact.

Use Power Words

We touched earlier on the importance of making your language emotive. To this end, there are certain words, which we will be calling ‘power words’, that give you the most emotional bang for your buck. These are words that don’t just convey a specific meaning, but also elicit a particular emotional response.

A good example of a power word would be ‘staggering’, which is a more powerful way of saying ‘impressive’. By describing something as staggering, you are almost anthropomorphizing it. The word staggering conjures up a much more vivid mental image than more mundane terms like ‘impressive’. Once you start thinking of examples of power words, you will no doubt be able to come up with plenty. You should try and use these words wherever the opportunity arises.

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Writing killer product descriptions isn’t easy, don’t expect to get it completely right the first time. It will take you a couple of runs and some feedback data to work out what works and what doesn’t for you and your customers. Each time you sit down to write a product description, be sure to keep those five things above at the front of your mind.