Perfect Product Descriptions: My Secret Formula

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Copywriting | 12 comments

Perfect Product Descriptions:  My Secret Formula

Writing product descriptions is a struggle for a lot of my clients. More often than not artists stare at a product, or a blank Microsoft Word document, or piece of paper and fall to pieces. They just can’t translate what they have made into words and I’m here to tell you that it is OK. I am a copywriter and I make my living writing product descriptions, business biographies, resumes, brochures, and really anything else for my clients but I also teach. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you already know that.

One question that comes up over and over again is, “How do you write a description?”

Honestly, I could write a book dedicated to the subject. Maybe one day I will. For now, though I’d like to give you a breakdown of how you can structure a description to get you started. This is my (not so secret now) formula. This is a general overview of my formula for writing descriptions so please realize this is not the ultimate in writing. You will have to use common sense to modify the content to your needs, your products, and the platform to which you are selling but this will at least get you going in the right direction.
I like to use a three paragraph format:

1. Introduce the project and the solution it provides.

2. Identify the specifics of the product in an easy to read format.

3. Close with final details and a call to action.

You are not selling a product; you are selling an emotion. Let me repeat that: You are selling an emotion. One of the cardinal rules of sales is that people purchase based on their emotions and it is a means to an end. Do they want to be more comfortable? More influential? Popular? Pretty? What do they actually want when they use a product? If you can find a way to tap into those needs, wants, and (sometimes) fears you can start to move your product. I’m not a big fan of tapping into negative emotions when writing but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention it. Start off with a strong emotional hook. Get their attention.

I always encourage my clients to separate out key features in single sentences if possible on their platform. The reason is because many people have short attention spans and if you are selling online they need to be able to scan the text and see what they want quickly. Rather than bury measurements or materials in a paragraph similar to this one, instead write it out like this:

This orange scarf measures approximately 60 inches long.

Finally, you want to seal the deal. Final details are things like care instructions, safety disclaimers, or instructions for use. A call to action is calling the customer to do something. Invite them to be an active participant in this experience. This is especially important for online sellers because it is all too easy for them to scroll by passively and move onto the next best thing.

Here are a few examples:

If you would like to continue shopping, you may return to our shop home by clicking this link THE WRITE ASSISTANT LLC SHOP

If you would like to be the first to know about exclusive promotions and discounts you can join our VIP group here:
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See what I did there?

Now let’s see what you can do. If you really can’t get past that blank page hop on over to my shop. I would be honored to write a product description or two for you to get those creative juices really going with a personal example.

12 Comments

  1. 11-14-2016

    I joined “Copywriting for Creatives” FB group awhile ago,but somehow it was lost in my timeline. Tonight,I FOUND it again-yay! Anyhow,I’m thankful to have stumbled across this that you’ve shared about constructing product descriptions. Thank you SO much for all of your wisdom and ideas. I’ve certainly learned a lot and plan on using the info to incorporate into my shop. Thank you!

    • 11-15-2016

      You are very welcome and thank you for your kind words!

  2. 9-19-2016

    Got some work to do! Thank you!

  3. 8-22-2016

    I love this! Thanks so much!

  4. 8-22-2016

    Very interesting and informative! Thank you for sharing!

  5. 8-22-2016

    thank you, this was very helpful.

  6. 8-22-2016

    Thanks for all the advice Kateland. I am in the middle of re-writing my descriptions and putting a little bit of me in them, instead of them being a keyword packed, boring, choppy description. I am finding that as I reread what I already wrote, that changes that need to happen are just popping up everywhere. I am excited to see what the changes I have made with all your sound advice are going to do.

  7. 8-22-2016

    Thank you so much for sharing your secret formula.

  8. 8-22-2016

    Thank you Kateland!

  9. 8-22-2016

    awesome thanks! i need to put more emotion into my listings. working on those now!

  10. 8-22-2016

    This is extremely helpful and breaks the description writing process down into easy steps that are easy to understand – thanks!

  11. 8-22-2016

    great tips as I’m about to really try working on individualising my listings.

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