What makes great product copy?

by Stratton Craig

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Writing product copy can be a difficult business. There’s a fine line between persuasion and being too pushy. One sentence can have disastrous effects and with online copy it can quickly be seen by millions. You can’t just move on to the next sales pitch and leave out that one sentence.

Reading good copy is an enjoyable experience. And when you enjoy what you read you are more likely to buy what’s on offer. It will also help you stand out from the crowd. Of course there is no fool-proof method for success, and your product copywriters need to be versatile – adjusting to what is and isn’t working when necessary. 

Start at the beginning

Your first point of call on a product is the name. Make sure the name reflects how customers will recognise the product. This is not only important for SEO purposes but it enables potential buyers to immediately associate with the product.

Next, and most importantly, you need to address the buyer. How will this fantastic product enhance their life? Address them directly by using the word ‘you’ and make it easy for them to read by using familiar, everyday words. Keep it simple by introducing the product and presenting the facts and benefits to the potential buyer.

Be concise and consistent

Don’t overload on keywords – it is obvious, unnatural and off-putting. Achieving a high ranking on Google isn’t just about keywords, as our previous blog explained. With this in mind it’s important to make the copy easy to read. Put the technical specification details into a table and leave the copy for the juicy information on what makes the product so great. Think about the amount of copy required and don’t overload. Formats like bullet points make the content more scannable and give your busy users the chance to take it all in.

It’s also important to keep the tone of voice the same throughout, making the language immediately recognisable and ensuring it accurately reflects your brand’s messages. Above all, make sure you eliminate errors. If there are mistakes in your copy people will start to lose trust in your ability to deliver a high-quality product.

Two top tips to make you stand out

Social proof – tell your readers about any feedback that the product has received. For example: “As highlighted in…” or “as voted for by…” This way people will be more likely to believe you when you say how good it is.

Example: Mazda3 car. Clear and easy to see that it has been given a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP and a Red Dot design award, immediately instilling trust in the customer.

Direct communication – let the customer hear from the CEO or founder of your company. It allows them to associate your product with somebody in a position of authority, rather than faceless copy. Including an image of them will also add credibility.

Example: Letter from new CEO of EA. When Andrew Wilson took over as CEO of video games developer, marketer, publisher and distributor Electronic Arts, he wrote this letter to customers, which went on their website.

Whether your product is a tangible object, a holiday, hotel or service – the same rules apply. A few of our favourite examples of great product copy are:

·         Groupon – all you need to know at a glance. With carefully crafted copy that makes everything from holidays to mattresses seem irresistible!

·         ModCloth – we came across ModCloth after reading a blog post about great copywriting. And we have to agree – they’ve completely nailed their customer’s personality and mirror it with their own witty repertoire and ‘Unique and Cute’ style, successfully capturing the beauty and benefits of their products.

·         Abel & Cole – the personal touch of Abel & Cole’s product copy makes a big difference. They’ve recognised that their customers like to know where their food is coming from, and through storytelling and producer bios you’re sure to feel like you’ve known Alan the baker or Richard the fishmonger your whole life!


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