Copywriting is called both a science and an art, and in reality, it is probably a healthy mixture of both.
To create copy that is truly powerful, some sprinkling of talent needs to be involved. However, there is also a science to the process, and there are rules and best practices you can adopt in order to make your copy that much better.
If your goal is to write copy that converts and take your business to the next level, take a look at our eight tips and six examples, and make sure you take them into consideration when you sit down to write again.
Explain the story
There’s more to product copy than just the features of the product, what it does, and how to use it.
Copy that converts often relies on storytelling to draw the reader in and establish a better and more meaningful connection with the product at hand.
This means that you shouldn’t keep your copy dry and functional – it also needs to be able to tell the reader why you have created this product, what it can do to make their life better, how it will make them feel.
A very good example is this page from Elemental Labs.
Just above the review section, they feature copy written by the man behind the product, providing a backstory to the item you’ve just been looking at. It establishes an instant connection – you, the potential shopper, and him have likely faced the same issues and are looking for a way to overcome them. That’s trust and a conversion for you right there.
Speak the language of your customer
In the world of copywriting, trying to sell to everyone basically equals selling to no one.
While you may be trying to attract a wider audience and appeal to as many people as you possibly can, no copy can actually do that. Everyone is different, and by choosing to cast a very wide net with your words, you risk letting a lot of fish slip through it.
Always try to speak the language of your customer – and you should know what that language is by creating well-researched buyer personas. Figure out what kinds of words will inspire what kinds of emotions and responses in them, and play the right card at the right moment.
Morphe provides an excellent example of this kind of copywriting. Their description of this eyeshadow palette may be short, but it definitely speaks the language of their customers: it is punchy, it is sassy, and it reflects both the product and their consumers.
Highlight the key features
Copy that converts also needs to be easy to access. Who cares if you’ve written 500 incredible words about a product if a visitor doesn’t read them? What if they just want to see the main features, quickly assess the gist of the matter, and then read the whole thing if they find the product is the right fit for them?
This is why you should always include the key features of a product somewhere on the page. Ideally as high up as possible, right next to the rest of your most important information, like the price and the call to action.
You can add all sorts of design features to this element of the page to make it stand out, but as for the copy itself – keep it simple and to the point. You can go into much more detail later.
This is the kind of information that should make a sale, so carefully select what you want to feature – and select only what you know is key.
Here’s a nice example from Each Night, which provides everything you need to know about a mattress before actually choosing one you like. Their words are concise, easy to understand, and there is no muss or fuss about it.
Include copy other than your own
Adding copy that is not technically written by you to a page can be an excellent conversion booster. We’re talking reviews, ratings, and any other kind of social proof you can think of.
It will help visitors learn more about your product from someone other than yourself, which can often go a long way. After all, what company doesn’t want to sell their product, hence, what company will ever genuinely admit to its shortcomings?
This is where social proof can jump to the rescue, lending an extra layer of credibility and trustworthiness to your product.
Here’s a simple example from Tide, which features a reviews section near the bottom of the page. It stands out plenty and it provides extra proof that the product does indeed work.
The best copy you can sometimes provide is copy that answers a concrete question. By adding an FAQ section to your product pages, you can shorten someone’s decision-making process. After all, they don’t need to contact you or to look for an answer elsewhere – they already know what they needed to know before making a purchase.
You can base your FAQ section on the questions your customer service team gets asked the most, or you can do some online research and look at the most googled questions and what people would like to know on blogs and forums. Then provide the best possible answers (making sure to keep them in line with your product and tone of voice), and feature them on all relevant product pages.
Here’s an example from Transparent Labs, who have a very detailed FAQ section.
The section provides answers to more general questions about things like shipping, as well as very concrete answers about the product itself.
Keep it simple
Too much copy is sometimes worse than not enough copy. Pages that run on without an end in sight, going into too much detail about every single aspect of a product, can be a conversion deterrent, no matter how well-written the copy.
This is why you should focus on the important points, and keep your writing to the point and as simple (and short) as possible. You don’t need to write two sentences when one will do. You don’t have to explain how and why you chose a specific feature. All that matters is what the feature can do and how this can help.
You can write blog posts that can go more in depth about specific topics if you feel you need to – but keep the actual product copy light.
Bay Alarm Medical is a great example of a company that has a straightforward landing page with a clear call to action above the fold.
It’s easy to read in under a minute, but it still tells a reader everything they need to know about the product and why they should use it.
Format it right
Another important copywriting skill is knowing how to format your writing. If users can’t skim and scan your words, they might not be interested in sticking around to read the whole thing.
Start by keeping your paragraphs short, and try to vary them in length.
Some of them could be three to four lines long, others could consist of just the single line. This will help keep things dynamic and interesting for the eye.
Use bold, italic, and underline to help make certain points stand out. Use bullet points or numbered lists where it makes sense.
Remember that copy is only half the work
Writing killer product copy is an immense task. But once you have accomplished it, don’t forget that that’s only half the battle won. You also need to think about the design of the page, as well as the images you feature.
Without the visuals to back your copy up, it will suddenly lose a lot of its value. Don’t let the copywriting take over your product page design, and make sure to devote equal attention to both.
Writing product copy that converts will take time, trial and error, and a whole lot of testing and learning. Even when you think you’ve mastered it, keep working on your skills, keep gathering information about your customers and products, and keep coming up with new ways to tell your story. Honing your copywriting sword will always pay off.
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