If you're selling products online, you probably already know there are various techniques you can use to boost sales. Optimizing your website design (our favorite!), distributing ads, and testimonial placements are a good start, but to truly accelerate sales, you will also need persuasive copy.
Quality writing is extremely undervalued — start-ups will inevitably decide they'll “throw something together for the copy” in a misguided attempt to save money. Larger companies will have their marketing associate type the copy up on her phone between meetings. Copy is voice of your company and your product description is your best salesperson, don't brush it off!
Here are nine powerful techniques for writing persuasive product descriptions to influence readers and increase your sales:
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, in 2015, the average human attention span was 8.25 seconds. This is why you need to repeat the product benefits throughout your product page. Select the most obvious benefit of a product and include it in your headline, intro, subheadings, bullet points, and conclusion. The more people hear it, the more believable it becomes.
Anyone searching for a product online has a primary psychological need. You can tap into these feelings by using emotional language that addresses people's concerns and desires.
For example, people looking for make-up want to improve their self-esteem, so you can use words like "beautiful," "happier," and "youthful." People looking for security cameras want to feel safe, so use words like "vulnerable," "secure," and "protected." Consider the benefits of your product and how it will make customers feel.
According to research, rhymes have the power to make statements sound more believable. People react to the sound of the copy as well as its meaning. The smoothness of rhyming sounds also aids memory and makes copy easier to read.
Find rhyming phrases for the product or its benefits, and add them to the beginning or end of your product description. For example: "An invigorating shampoo that smells great too!"
When it comes to product descriptions, the details are what make you sound more trustworthy. What exactly is your product made of? Where is it made? How is it made? What extra features does it include? Answering these questions will add credibility to your copy and minimize buyer anxiety.
If you can include a mini-story about your product, customers will temporarily forget they're being sold to. Stories have the power to connect with people on a more emotional level. Ask yourself the following:
- What inspired you to create the product?
- Who are the people behind your products?
- What obstacles did you have to overcome in product development?
Forums related to your industry and products can help you discover what customers are saying about your products, the concerns they have, and the language they use. Search Google with the following phrase: "your product (or niche)" and "just bought (or should I buy)," inurl:forum
The results should point you toward real customer comments. Discover why people bought your product, what concerns they have, and what they use the product for. Use the language from these real-world examples in your product descriptions.
Adjectives that refer to the senses of sound, sight, touch, smell, and taste make your copy more vivid because they activate different areas of the brain. Just look at any restaurant menu and you'll see how sensory words are used to entice customers to buy.
One description from chocolate maker Green & Black's refers to taste, sound, and touch: "... [C]runchy toffee, smooth dark chocolate. Treacly and savory flavors ..." What sensory words can you use to describe your products?
There are many power words you can use in product descriptions to make copy more persuasive. Here are four powerful words to use throughout your product page:
"You." Talking directly to your reader builds trust and helps customers focus on how your product will benefit them.
"New." This word instantly makes your product seem more attractive and desirable.
"Because." Research has shown that giving people a reason to do something is more likely to trigger a positive action.
"Imagine." When you encourage readers to imagine themselves using a product and enjoying its benefits, they're more likely to want to own it.
Simple changes to the layout and format of product description pages can make a big difference to their readability. Ultimately, this means that your messages are more likely to hit home. To make product pages more readable, use compelling headlines, bullet points, plenty of white space, and increase the font size where necessary.
The best product descriptions use a combination of these strategies to increase the persuasiveness of copy and turn potential customers into actual buyers. You don't have to use every technique, but if you start with these suggestions, you'll be well on your way to increasing product sales.