The road to more sales in your shop
How to write winning product texts!
Writing about “competitive prices” is not what good product texts are about. It’s about to selling to people’s subconscious. You can learn here!
No one wants to read online, unless they are interested in spending money!
When people are looking to buy something, every word counts!!!
Good design, search engine optimisation and advertising can only get you part of the way. If you really want to make a sale you need good, persuasive copy. However, most of us forget that the actual decision to buy lies in our subconscious minds.
So instead of working against the way our brain’s work and making unfounded claims, learn to speak to your visitors’ subconscious minds in your writing. Of course, it’s important to give customers the necessary facts needed to convince the rational part of the brain that it’s a good idea to buy from you – once you have managed to convince their subconscious.
Scroll on and learn how!
Drop the buzzwords!
When you need to sell something, writing about benefits and examples of usage is more credible than marketing buzzwords!
Your product text must seem credible to be convincing. Every day we are bombarded with marketing waffle such as as “cut price”, “value for money” and “superior quality”. Most of us have built a filter that blocks this kind of claim and the more the text is filled with them, the less credible it becomes.
What we are looking for are details about the product’s benefits together with examples of how it can facilitate our daily lives or solve our problems. This kind of product text makes you much more credible than claims that your shop sells a certain product at the best price.
So use the product details to describe the benefits of your product. Ask yourself questions like those below to find the relevant details about the product and then describe the benefits these details can give.
- What is the product made of?
- Where is the product made or designed?
- How is the product manufactured?
- What are the product dimensions?
- What are the main characteristics?
- How many people have purchased or use the product?
Advantages before features!
Never talk about a feature without explaining the advantages!
Once you have listed the main characteristics of the product, describe the benefits they provide to customers. The benefits of individual product characteristics may seem obvious to you, but for your customers the benefits provided by the product features might be precisely the information that gets them to buy it.
Never mention a product attribute without describing the customer benefits it provides!
Fire up a spreadsheet – or use a good old-fashioned notepad and pen – and build a table listing each feature with the advantages it provides, the problems it solves and how it makes life easier for the customer. It could look like the example below:
Repeat the key benefits
Reiteration increases the credibility of your message!
It may sound surprising, but repetition adds credibility to your message. This has been proven in several studies where people have heard different messages and then had to identify the most credible message afterwards. Those statement with the most repetition were those they considered most trustworthy! It does not have to be an exact repetition to work – just that the point is the same!
The technique works best when people aren’t paying attention. As attention spans on the internet are around 8 seconds it is a good idea to repeat your message several times.
But what is it that you need to repeat? Obviously it’s the key benefits of your product. For example, if a bike is lightweight, preferably incorporate it in several places in the text: In the title, intro, subheads, product description and conclusion.
Identify the product’s key benefit
Using the list of individual product attributes you created to identify the main benefit of the product.
Repeat the key benefit 3-5 times in the product text
Most people scan before jumping into the details so make sure you repeat the main benefit in the heading, intro, subheadings, body text and conclusion.
Break the mould
Write something unusual, introduce something new or present a paradox and then give the solution.
Most of us scan the product texts before we decide whether to read. Many of us also have an expectation of what it is we are going to read.
So if you want people to stop and delve into the text, you must break the pattern of people’s expectations. You can do this in several ways:
- Introduce an intriguing concept in a subheading and then explain it the body text underneath.
- Introduce a paradox in a subheading or the beginning of a paragraph and give the explanation in the rest of the section.
- Write something that grabs the reader’s attention the first paragraph or in a subheading and use the rest of the section to unravel it.
- Make an unusual connection with the product and give the explanation somewhere in the body text.
This is a possible example:
It may sound strange that our compatible printer cartridges are of equally high quality as the original branded manufacturer. But if the quality is the same, how can we sell them cheaper?
It’s simply due to fact that printer manufacturers sell their printers with virtually no margin. They do this to be able to earn more over the life of the printer by selling expensive ink, photo paper and other supplies with extremely high profit margins.
You will not have to pay that extra margin when you buy the compatible ink cartridges from us. For that reason alone, our printer cartridges are cheaper!
Use hierarchy of needs
Every search relates to a need – and if you know the intent, you can better attract customers.
Most of us have come across Maslow’s hierarchy of needs at one time or another in our studies, and fulfilling a primary phycological need is the basis of any product search on Google.
When you write a product text and particularly your meta-description when setting up your SEO, it’s important that you understand which of the phycological needs your product fulfils. If you understand that phycological desire you can write a more compelling product text and meta-description, which will increase the number of people who click on your product in the search results.
By targeting the text to substantiate or explain how the product covers one of the five fundamental needs all humans try to fulfil through our actions and purchases, your text will be much more persuasive.
Let’s take a few examples:
- Do you sell household repair services? Then you fulfil people’s basic physiological needs and needs for shelter and protection.
- Do you sell insurance products? Then the text must turn on people’s need for safety and security.
- Do you sell bikes or other sporting goods? Then you fulfil people’s needs for esteem and self-realisation.
Connect the product with people’s senses
Get people to imagine how the product feels, smells and sounds! Then it becomes easier to imagine owning it!
Not all of our five senses are catered for by the Internet. Sight and sound are pretty much the only ones. But the smell, taste and sense of touch is a bit more difficult to satisfy. Therefore, you need to describe the product in such as way as to covered all five senses. Don’t just limit yourself to the two you can transmit over the internet.
For example, by referring to a product’s visual appearance you can give your text more credibility because the reader can see that there is consistency between the image and what you write about the product’s appearance. Or you can draw their attention to detail that could otherwise easily be overlooked.
So instead of stating that the product is of high quality or produced from the finest materials – as everyone else does – describe how it feels, smells or sounds in a way that allows people to sense the quality from the description.
Observe your product
Start by looking at your product and build a table like the one below, where you describe how the product is perceived by the five senses. How does it smell, taste, sound or feel?
Of course not all the senses will make sense to every product. For example, few people will be convinced it’s the right bike for them by how it tastes!
Read product reviews to understand which senses matter
Go through the most relevant online product reviews to dig out what senses matter to buyers and how they use the product. For example if a bike feels stiff but responsive or is confortable but has heavy handling it may be important to address in the product description. A tip is to always include a less positive attribute to make the product description more credible.
Also note the environment where people use the product. Are there any sensory factors that could be useful to include in this connection? For example a mountain bike might also be used to go to town on to do some shopping. You could write about the feeling of freedom, of beating traffic or not having to look for a parking spot.
We’ll provide more tips on where to find this kind of information later on.
Add sensations to your product descriptions
Once you’ve got a good grasp of the different sensations your product provides and maybe also found out what matters to people, you must incorporate this in the product text. Make sure to use them in appropriate places! For example, when writing about the saddle you could mention the suppleness or you could talk about the smell of new rubber from the grippy tyres, the smooth feeling of shiny new paintwork as you pass your hand over the frame.
Say something negative about the product!
Normally product texts are rosy. So anything negative you say about the product will increase the credibility of your product text.
As a seller, writing anything negative about your product or even drawing attention to any negative details or characteristics of the product may be a red line.
But only giving 100% positive publicity arouses people’s suspicion.
Customers will notice when you only write positive spin can put customers off as you lose their trust.
Several studies show that you give credibility to your product text – even if it’s just a simple statement like a warning that a garment can shrink in the tumble dryer. By adding something negative to product description makes it seem more truthful.
People are going to do a quick Google search to research any negative product attributes anyway, so why not address them directly in your product text?
Maybe you can even provide a guide about how the customer can avoid negative attributes such as hand-washing only or line drying in the shade.
Of course negative attributes won’t get people to actually choose a product if it’s bad. But then again, do bad products even sell well in your shop?
Overcome buyer’s reservations and answer their questions in their own words!
If you can answer buyer’s questions and overcome their objections, you’re well on your way to selling your product! But how do you find out about people’s doubts and questions – and the words they use when describing your product? Let’s take a look!
Use Keyword Planner to discover the questions people have about your product
A good place to start your search for people’s questions and objections is to type the URL of your product page in Google Keyword Planner and add words like “How”, “Where”, “Why”, “Tips” and similar as keywords to include. Click the Suggested Keywords tab and you’ll discover which questions and objections that pop up in search results.
You can also use tools like Long Tail Pro or similar tools to dig out the so-called long tail searches from Google or hunt for them in your Google Analytics report.
Find issues, reviews and objections on forums
Another great way to unearth lots of questions about your products and related or competing products, is to use use Google to trawl through online forums. Depending on what business you’re in, your language and location you might get the best results from the English-language forums. Fortunately, customers have the same reservations, no matter what language they speak. So if necessary switch to English and become much wiser about what people ask about or have problems with.
Try these searches for example:
- [Keyword | product name] OR [niche] “just bought” inurl:forum
- [Keyword | product name] OR [niche] “should I buy” inurl:forum
- [Keyword | product name] OR [niche] “should I buy” “because” inurl:forum
- [Keyword | product name] OR [niche] “just bought” “because” inurl:forum
- “Need help with” [keyword | product name] OR [niche]
Where, the keyword is the type of product you are writing about or product name and niche is either the industry or the subject or the subject area where your product is used.
Skim through search results in the various forums and read what concerns, questions or reservations people have – and how they have solved the challenges they have come across.
Use the forum profiles to build a persona
In the article about Content Strategy http://webtextshop.eu/content-strategy/ we explain the benefit of writing your product texts with a fictitious person in mind – called a persona. A persona describes a typical customer in terms of gender, age, demographics, and many other factors.
While you’re at it on the forums, check out the individual profiles of people who ask or answer questions related to your product. You can dig out plenty of nuggets for your persona from these user profiles.
Check Quora for questions
Another great place to snoop around is the the Quora.com service. Here you’ll find questions and answers to just about anything you can imagine – just ask a question like “What problems have you experienced with [product name]” and then see what pops up.
Find answers to five key questions you should always be on top of
If you need to write a compelling product text, you should always know the answers to these five key questions about the product you’re writing about:
- Why do people buy the product?
- What problems do they solve with it?
- What’s important to them when buying the product?
- What do they use the product for?
A lot of the questions can be answered by your customer services, but remember to jot down both questions and answers when you start to surf the net for them.
Use buyers’ own words
When was the last time a friend recommend you a product as being “cutting edge” or “best-in-class”. Probably never – so why would you use this type of language in your product text?
So while you’re trawling through the forums write down words and phrases people use when describing your product and use the most descriptive ones in your product texts.
This makes it much easier to connect with customers. Remember you want to sound like a customer and not a corporate marketing department.
5 persuasive words that get people to buy your product!Much has been written about which words seem most compelling and are most persuasive. We've been all through the reports and found the five most persuasive words of all!
- YOU – Talk directly to the reader. Never use third person!
- FREE – Everyone reacts well to something that’s free!
- BECAUSE – Because it gives people a reason or cause!
- IMAGINE – Get them to imagine what it would be to own the product!
- NEW – Everyone wants to own the latest and greatest!
More ways to convince!We still have many more tricks about good product texts up our sleeves...
Kill off people’s concerns!
Make sure to dispel any concerns shoppers could have about certain product properties.
Let’s take an example a text your writing about a merino wool jacket. It’s a good idea to provide cleaning and care instructions to inform customers about how to keep it looking good.This will address people’s concerns about buying merino wool because they think it might be difficult to wash or dry. So simply turn the concern into a benefit with a simple bullet.
Merino wool is a natural, odour-free fibre. Wash at a low temperature on the wool cycle and line dry for best results.
Furthermore, you can make cross-sales of special wool detergent or a specific garment care product. So by thinking ahead you can help your customers, kill off some reservations about your product and increase the likelihood of repeat purchases.
7 out of 10 Nordic buyers rate good product descriptions over price or free shipping.
It pays to have great product texts and decent pictures.
Scarcity always encourages people to open their wallets!
The need to acquire a product grows with the prospect of limited supplies or some kind of shortage.
It’s an age old trick, but it works! Just look what people hoard for Christmas or other holidays when many shops stay closed for just a day! Shopping trolleys abound at the prospect of a few holidays!
So it is with products sold on the web. If there only a few items left in stock, limited time sales, discounts or temporary price reductions, it gets people to reach for their wallets. Banners with “Limited time only” a countdown clock or low stock labels get people to act.
It obviously requires that there is in fact a form of a shortage of the product. When the limited time sales expires, you MUST raise prices again. When there are no more items in-stock you can’t replenish a few minutes later. You only need to game the scarcity concept once and the word will spread at breakneck speed on web forums or Trust Pilot.
So only use it when you really do have some kind of scarcity – and remember to draw attention to the shortage! Either by using one of the methods we have already mentioned, or for example by displaying a special counter or low-stock label when very few items remain in stock. This functionality is available as plugin extensions for most shop systems.
Get inspiration from the best!
When writing product texts, you can easily get lost in the details and forget about the big picture. So be sure to check out the competition and see what you can learn from those who spend the most money on advertising in your industry.
It’s always a good idea to check what your competitors write about the same product. This way you can ensure you don’t overlook any of the most obvious advantages of the product. While you’re there find out how many words they use. This will give you a benchmark as to the length of product texts to write. But that’s another story.
Obviously you can’t copy someone else’s product texts. Not only is it against the law it’s also plain stupid. First, Google will penalise you for it and second, you want your product texts to stand out from the competition. So let yourself be inspired but never rip off someone else’s texts!
Get inspiration from the best!
Do you have a big competitor in your local market or are there any big players in the international market, who spend buckets of money on advertising and marketing on the web? If so it may be a good idea to look at the product texts they have written. They can often afford some of the best and most highly paid copywriters. So you’ll be guaranteed to get some great inspiration.
When the biggest players invest in product texts it’s for a reason. Not only does it result in compelling and persuasive copy, but it also because Google rewards great copy on your pages with better returns on AdWords spend.
Find competitors who spend the most money on ads
Type the product name or a related keyword into a tool such as SEMRUSH and add (adwords_historical) after it. This gives you a list of websites that have churned out most advertising dollars in Google Adwords. NOTE: For your local country market, make sure you select the local Google website in the search field before you seek.
Check out their product texts
Now look for the specific products or related products and read their product texts carefully. Note the words and phrases they use, the way they order their sales arguments and which “calls-to-action” they use when they want customers to buy the product – and get inspiration from it.
To earn a dime it helps to rhyme!
Puns, alliteration and other lyrical quirks can make your product texts seem more believable.
According to an interesting American study, alliteration and other play on words in your product texts can make them seem more credible. At the same time sales arguments are easier to remember, and the message you are conveying has a longer time to penetrate the mind and embed itself in the subconscious.
It doesn’t mean that you should go crazy and convert all your product texts to crack prose. But find the most important words in your sales arguments, benefits and product features and see if you can squeeze an alliteration, rhyme or pun in the text without making it seem unnatural or off-putting.
Use the influence of others!
We all seek social acceptance – also through the products we buy. We like to do the same as others – especially if they share our tastes.
Therefore, it’s important for your customers to be able to read other customers’ product reviews and see what other customers also bought. This allows them to easily see what others believe and others have done.
It plays an important role for many, and belonging to a group is an important part of our social needs. It’s the third level in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
So by making it easy for your customers to see what others have do in your shop it allows you to use social influence in a non-patronising way. As your customers can’t actually see or interact with each other in an online store, in order for your clients to mirror each other you have to use the social mirror by:
- Displaying product reviews from other customers.
- Giving the opportunity to share products on social media.
- Show what products others have purchased together with the product.
Product reviews are especially important because other people’s opinions are extremely important for buyers. For your shop to have credibility with visitors, it’s important to have some product reviews to show.
But don’t be tempted to fake them – people can tell the difference. If you can’t get shoppers to write a product review by without prompting, you could try sending them an email and offering them a discount code if they write a review for the products they purchased.
The trick of sharing products on social networks is to give your customers an opportunity reveal their identity on their networks by sharing the product they have purchased or are considering buying from you. You get the added benefit of possible visits to your site from friends and family members.
Employ a used car salesman trick to sell more!
How expensive something seems is relative to the price it’s being compared to.
This trick is not really about how you write product texts. It’s more about the layout – where to place individual products on the page and where to place related products.
Have you ever bought a new car? Then you know that once you sit down to sign the contract the car salesman runs through a lot of equipment options, accessories and extras. Why not purchase an option pack for a few hundred Euros? Well, after all what’s a few hundred Euros compared to the few thousand you just took out in finance for the car – and spread over 8 years? Well, that’s peanuts.
If the salesman really good, he ends up doing this trick with you several times – just with a smaller and smaller amount each time. Your brain interprets the smaller amount as not nearly as expensive as the larger amount you have just said yes to!
You can use the same little mental trick in two ways in your shop: To deliberately place the product you are selling alongside more expensive products in the “Related Products” so it seems cheaper, and to make additional sales once the product is in the basket.
Get your product to look cheaper
You can get your product to look cheaper by the displaying it together with similar products that are very expensive. How expensive is a watch for €120 if the other watches you can see under “Related Products” or “Users who looked at this watch, also look at” cost significantly more. It’s about what you compare prices with. If the other products on the page cost 3-4 times as much, the price seems almost a trifle.
You can actually use a similar concept in the product description if you compare two products, even though you state that the product in questions is nothing like the product you’re comparing it to “Well, this watch is not a Rolex, but it weighs almost the same and the strap looks spot on“.
What you are doing is to prepare people’s brain with a more expensive product and then draw comparisons to it. It makes a cheaper product seem more exclusive – even if you write that this is not the case! It may seem a trifle disingenuous. If you have an ethical problem with it then do not use this trick.
Make higher sales of additional products that cost less
In the same way you can easily generate additional sales if you recommend options or accessories for the product you are writing about in descending order of price. Always start by describing the most expensive item and take them descending order.
Each extra item offered at checkout seems cheaper and cheaper – just a fraction of the cost of the item they just looked at. Yes, it’s cheaper by comparison and therefore seems more affordable. Into the basket with it!
This is also why the car salesman begins to sell you optional extras when he has already closed the sale on the car. First come the expensive equipment packages and then each optional extra he offers becomes cheaper and cheaper. At best, he might only sell you some of the cheapest items. But the additional sales are additional sales.
Take care of your vocabulary!
Your choice of words can get people ready to buy – or do the opposite. So choose your words and phrases wisely.
So if you choose negatively charged words, you create a negative atmosphere and if you use positively charged words, you create a positive atmosphere. Actually simple and obvious.
Choose your words and phrases wisely – so you do not scare customers away.
Say the negative in a positive way
If you create too much negative sentiment, it goes without saying that people are negative towards what you write. But often with a little bit of thought you can invert the negative so you can describe it in a positive way.
Let’s take an example. The text below sets a mood that you can not rely on SEO agencies at all:
“Do not believe the SEO agencies that tell you that they’ve found a way to game Google by focusing on the number of words on your site or stuffing your pages with keywords to get you top rankings.”
Instead turn the text on it’s head and focus on the positive – there is hope again for all sorts of SEO agencies:
“The good SEO agency has a nuanced view on Google and makes sure that your site meets Google’s guidelines. This also gives your visitors the best on-site experience and reflects well on your company.”
The choice of words in the second text is positive throughout and the SEO agency becomes your friend instead of a cowboy who just want to cheat you out of your money.
Think about the order in which you compare items
Sometimes it’s also about the order in which you compare things, what you compare against and what words you use for your comparison.
Read the two sentences below and try to see how the compatible printer cartridge somehow seems more enticing text B. We also use the tip from above by saying something surprising or unexpected.
Which product is best?
A – Our compatible printer cartridges have the same high quality as the originals.
B – Original printer cartridges are not better than our compatible ones.
How to build the best product text!
Actually, there is no magic recipe. But if you start and end by providing the key selling points and follow the guidelines we provide here, you’ll be well on your way to convincing your customers that they should buy from you!
Our minds are programmed to recall the first and the last things we see. Therefore, you should place your most persuasive and most impactful text at beginning and end of your product texts – and remember to always finish with a clear call-to-action.
This structure fits perfectly with the most modern and mobile-friendly web shop designs, where it’s all about about limiting how much users must scroll before they get to the price information and Add to Cart button.
So by splitting your text into two parts – one above and one below the Add to Cart button and price information, you’l build a really effective product text. The text below should be slightly longer and more in-depth, state the benefits again, end by repeating and emphasising the key benefits and provide a new call-to-action.e de vigtigste fordele og give et nyt call-to-action, får du bygget en rigtig effektiv produkttekst.
Text 1: The only text visitors have to read
Start with the most important benefits first. What is it that this product has that no other product has? Keep the text short, factual and avoid the use of marketing waffle such as “low price”, “high performance” and the like.
The text must stand alone and be enough to convince most shoppers. Remember, it’s important that the text is concise and short enough to be reasonable to read and that it doesn’t push the Add to Cart button too far down. If people read nothing else on the page, it should be this one text – so it must be memorable! Finish with a benefit?? and a cash call-to-action. It should not be too presumptuous, but don’t be afraid to ask for the sale.
Tip: Rephrase your short persuasive intro as the meta description rather than using a meta description given by a supplier. It’ll increase the number of people who click on your search result.
Text 2: Must convince those who still have doubts or need more information
After price and the Add to Cart button comes the text to convince those who have still not made up their minds. This is where you need to list more benefits and go into them in more detail. Now remember it’s the benefits that you must amp up – not the product properties. You can cut down on the product features.
Use a bulleted list to give an overview of the benefits and subheads to guide the reader. The copy is most effective if you can arrange your subheads (H2) so that they act as ultra short arguments to purchase the product. This is especially important for those who only skim the text because they are not yet interested enough in the product to the bother to read the body text.
Finish the long text with another call-to-action. If people read all the way to the end, there’s a high probability that they are very interested in buying the product. So, save a persuasive argument, a good quote from a customer review, a good deal or a surprising side benefit of the product for the end and use it to ask for the sale again.
Need help with writing your product texts?
We have written about:
Would you like us to write for you?
Vil du gerne findes på internettet, men synes det er svært at komme til tops i søgeresultaterne, så kan vi hjælpe. Webtextshop producerer content marketing og tekster til din hjemmeside.
© 2016 webtextshop i/s
Tlf.: 29 72 55 73