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I had been wanting to write something about product descriptions, but it’s not really my specialty. I was so stoked when Krista Walsh, a freelance copywriter for e-commerce small businesses agreed to share her wisdom. So without further ado, I hope you enjoy the article from Krista.
Let me be honest here. The product description formula I’m about to share with you is a version of something old-school marketers have been using for decades: AIDA. That is, Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.
But the problem with old-school marketing formulas is that they’re too abstract for anyone who, well, isn’t an old-school marketer.
Grab Attention (how?). Spark Interest (but how?). Create Desire (seriously, how?). Drive Action (okay??).
See what I mean?
That’s why I’ve taken the foundation of this formula and spun it into a simple, plug-and-play formula for shop owners and product creators. Ultimately, you can use the formula to write product descriptions that inform AND delight your customers.
Ready? Let’s jump in.
How does someone’s life get better after they buy your product?
It’s best to lean more toward grandiose than literal. Go for the biggest possible benefit customers experience with your product. And don’t mention a specific feature, not yet.
If you get stuck, it’s helpful to think about the transformation sentence using this structure:
For example, let’s imagine your product is called Amazing Stand Mixer. Your sentence might be… “With our Amazing Stand Mixer, you get to be the Cake Boss of your kitchen!”
The next few sentences of your product description should elaborate on your transformation sentence.
Imagine you’ve just triumphantly told your transformation sentence to a prospective customer. …And they responded with, “Okay, but how?”
Your next few sentences should aim to “prove” your transformation sentence by explaining the key features of your products.
In our stand mixer example, you might write something like, “The five mixing speeds and four attachments allow you to achieve really precise textures. And the built-in timer means you can multitask like a pro.”
You can include anywhere from one to three proof sentences, depending on how many key features you want to talk about.
But be careful: If you have more than three key features, choose three to focus on in the description–any more, and customers will start losing focus.
A never-again sentence ends your product description on a hopeful, aspirational note. Plus, it reminds customers of what they’re facing if they don’t buy.
Think about the never-again sentence using this structure:
If we apply this to our stand mixer example, we could end up with, “With the Amazing Stand Mixer, you’ll never again bake dense cakes or hard cookies.”
With the sentences for your product descriptions in hand, it’s time to edit the description for impact:
Let’s go through this with the Amazing Stand Mixer example.
If we put all our sentences together, here’s what we have so far….
“With our Amazing Stand Mixer, you get to be the Cake Boss of your kitchen. The five mixing speeds and four attachments allow you to produce really precise textures. And the built-in timer means you can multitask like a pro. With the Amazing Stand Mixer, you’ll never again bake dense cakes or hard cookies.”
The ideas here are solid, which means we’re close to being done. But the language feels boring and formulaic. It’s not exciting or memorable. That’s where editing comes in.
First, let’s get rid of any unnecessary language:
With our Amazing Stand Mixer, you get to be the Cake Boss of your kitchen. The five mixing speeds and four attachments allow you to achieve really precise textures. And the built-in timer means you can multitask like a pro. With the Amazing Stand Mixer, you’ll never again bake dense cakes or hard cookies.”
Then, let’s look for places to add adjectives to make our description more interesting:
“Be the Cake Boss of your kitchen. The five mixing speeds and four professional-grade attachments allow you to achieve precise, macaron-worthy textures. And the built-in timer means you can multitask like a pro. Never again bake dense cakes or hard cookies.”
Finally, let’s rearrange some sentences to be more powerful:
“Be the Cake Boss of your kitchen. Achieve precise, macaron-worthy textures with five mixing speeds and four professional-grade attachments. And multi-task like a pro with the built-in mixing timer. Dense cakes? Hard cookies? Never again.”
Pretty easy, right?
Even if you decide not to use this formula for your product descriptions, there’s one thing I want to leave you with: Never, ever list product features without explaining why they exist.
While you may think the reasons for your features are obvious, your customers might have no clue. For example, customers might not understand why you created a stand mixer with four different attachments.
That’s why I suggest, any time you list product features or specifications, you always add a “so that” statement. “Comes with four attachments, so that you can achieve precise, macaron-worthy textures.”
You’ve put so much work into creating your product. Don’t let a vague, confusing, or lifeless product description ruin that.
Still struggling writing product descriptions that aren’t “blah?” No time to DIY? I can help. Email Krista to start a conversation.
This article was provided by Krista Walsh. Krista is a freelance copywriter for e-commerce small businesses. Her writing and messaging strategies help her clients speak to their customers’ values and emotions for more sales. Connect with her at kristawalshcopywriter.com.