Killer product descriptions that induce sales aren't necessarily hard to write. On the contrary, once you know the formula and key ingredients that make one up, you can follow a simple series of steps every time you write a new one for a product.
Just so we're clear, product descriptions are not always the entire copy for a product. They are just short sections of text that basically describe a product, its features, and its function.
Keep it Short
Product descriptions are meant to be short and quick to read. You can't write about every single benefit your product offers and every reason why it's a better choice than a competitor's.
Instead, you have to pick and choose the product details you describe (more on that later on in this post).
One of the most important traits of a solid product description is its scannability. Any reader should be able to skim through it in a matter of 30-45 seconds. Indeed, product descriptions are just like blog posts in this aspect.
Scannability is improved when you:
- use bullet points to catalogue features and benefits
- shorten paragraphs to 2-3 sentences each
- bold headings
- write like you talk (avoiding long-winded sentences and big words)
An important thing to keep in mind when writing bullet points, however, is to make it as comprehensive as possible. In the product descriptions, use the heading "Features", and then write down as many features of the product you can think of. The longer the list is, the higher the value of your product in the scanning reader's eyes.
Expound on Important Features
The major features/benefits of your product should be expounded upon in your product description. By all means, include them in the bullet point list of features as well. But if the feature both significant and too complicated to fully explain in a single sentence, go ahead and use a 2-3 sentence paragraph to highlight it to readers.
But again, don't get carried away with this technique. Too much detail on too many features can be a real put-off. 2 detailed features (maybe 3) should be the very maximum.
Identify Pain Points
Pain points are things that make your customers annoyed, angry, or inconvenienced. They are problems that your customers want solved -- pain points are the very reasons why people buy your product.
But remember, when you're writing a product description, you've only got a few 3-sentence paragraphs. So when you explain why your product is the perfect solution to their problems, you need to zero in on only the pain points that matter most to your clients.
Superlatives are words like best, most, and greatest, etc. -- essentially, adjectives that say the word they are describing is the number one in a certain aspect. Here's an example of a typical sentence you would find in a product description:
The new Kamikaze S300 is the most advanced smartphone in the world.
However, there is a problem with using superlatives -- they can make your description sound artificial, insincere, and downright dishonest ... unless you justify the superlatives. To show you how that works, here's the above example rewritten to justify the included superlative:
The new Kamikaze S300 is the world's most advanced smartphone, with higher resolution, a super-sensitive touchscreen, unparalled sound quality, and lightning-fast processing speeds.
Hint at Social Proof
Social proof is big in copywriting, as it's known vastly improve your copy’s persuasion. Unfortunately, a lot of writers believe that including social proof in a product description would make it too long.
And they're right. But the way to fix that problem is to hint at your social proof, and not necessarily describe it in detail. Want an example?
Our smartphone has won worldwide acclaim with features on CNN, The NY Times, and Wired.
See? Instead of actually saying what each media channel said about the product (which would be a conventional example of social proof), I'm just hinting at the fact that they have said something positive about the product, which is pretty much all people need to hear.
To recap: killer descriptions are short, scannable, solve significant pain points, use justified superlatives, and hint at social proof.
Besides proper English and a touch of persuasive writing ability, that's pretty much all there is to crafting product descriptions that sell.
What do you think? What techniques to do you employ in your product descriptions to drive sales?