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Writing good product descriptions

     
11:56 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Is there a resource out there for writing good product descriptions for an ecommerce site? Not necessarily seo writing, but actual converion-type writing.
1:21 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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for conversion type writing may be take a close look at your spam mail we love it and itís free
3:12 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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xSitePro could do this for you! But I suggest that you do the description yourself, cause there's nothing better than the description you can make. Trust me
11:59 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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trent:

You are talking about actual copywriting work, which is a sub field of marketing. I am a freelance copywriter and also teach copywriting and advertising at a local 4 year college. You have two basic choices, one is to spend the time to learn copywriting or two you can hire a copywriter. Obviously the former takes considerably more time and requires a serious commitment on your part. However if you are interested in the former I recommend books by Bob Bly, Joe Sugarman, and of course John Caples. All of these authors are/were master copywriters and have excellent books.

Fortune Hunter

9:54 pm on May 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I am aware of copywriting, but am interested in better converting copy for all my products.
12:47 am on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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am interested in better converting copy

Well... that's what copywriters specialise in.

You're not confusing copywriting with copyrighting, are you?

1:58 am on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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My bad:)
3:38 am on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You have two basic choices, one is to spend the time to learn copywriting or two you can hire a copywriter.

Fortune Hunter don't forget choice number three: WebmasterWorld members can answer the question posed in posts, sharing a little of what they know. ;)

We can't really post links to other websites, however I would say that WebmasterWorld is a great place to ask the question and have it answered. That's what makes WebmasterWorld a great place. Instead of being told to read a book or take a class, many members share some of the knowledge they have.

What are the top qualities of good product descriptions?

12:05 pm on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Another option which may sound a bit silly at first but that's just the way it sounds - it is still working fine: you can use some other e-commerce sites as brilliant examples how to write your own descriptions. If their descriptions seemingly attract customers, then they might be working? Experience helps.

Frida

12:50 pm on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld members can answer the question posed in posts, sharing a little of what they know. ;)

Indeed they can, and they have:

Copy That Sells [webmasterworld.com]

Increasing Your Conversion Rate [webmasterworld.com]

Persuasive Writing [webmasterworld.com]

(Tip: the Library section of each forum here on WebmasterWorld has some of the best, or most recurring, threads and subjects. Always worth a quick look before posting questions - often they have been answered before.)

I think Fortune Hunter is right, either take time to learn about copywriting (the threads linked above contain some valuable info for that) or hire a copywriter. There are no quick fixes or short cuts.

1:57 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Quiet man,

Great links. The AIDA formula would definitely work great to write the attractive product description. (it is thoroughly explained in the second link).

Good day, everyone.

12:56 am on June 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Fortune Hunter don't forget choice number three: WebmasterWorld members can answer the question posed in posts, sharing a little of what they know. ;)

Martinibuster, my bad, I forgot to list this, but in my mind this falls under my former suggestion, which is to learn copywriting. There are many great sources for info on copywriting and Webmaster World is one of those places. Use others suggestions and experience in developing your copywriting skills. You never know where the next great copywriting idea will come from is.

FH

1:08 am on June 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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FortuneHunter, you said,
I am a freelance copywriter and also teach copywriting and advertising at a local 4 year college.

And I'm saying, how about a few tips on writing product descriptions? We're here to discuss issues and provide solid information. Not to boast about our professional credentials and suggest the OP should hire a professional.

;)

1:54 am on June 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I second that martinibuster :-)
2:29 am on June 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Third the motion, sharp as a tack. Plus, copywriting for forums is also an integral part of an efficacious, broad-based marketing strategy.

OK, now on to the issue at hand, let's answer the question with a couple of questions:

>How much should a product description address the particular targeted market, if there is one? Or what some would call the persona?

>Does effective sales copywriting rely on appealing to logic or to emotions?

11:00 am on June 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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As I see the topic has spread out of just writing product descriptions to overall copywriting, I have a pair of resources to share (google them) - Copywriters' Board (where copywriters gather and discuss on various hot topics) and The Copywriting Secret (a blog devoted to copywriting matters of all kinds). In my view, these two are some of the best copywriter's starting points online.
11:14 am on June 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We're discussing the topic of writing descriptions right here in this thread, and it's probably possible to inject a few sound selling principles right into product descriptions, though in a limited way.

It's conventional sales wisdom in all venues that people buy benefits rather than features, and product descriptions are basically about features, for the most part. But why can't the language be subtly modified to also present benefits and have an emotional appeal?

Instead of "Machine wash and dry" which is a feature, how about "Machine wash and dry for easy care" which states the feature and also includes a benefit.

11:29 am on June 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Now we're getting somewhere :)
12:34 pm on June 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This is fun stuff. :)

What if this thread title, instead of:

>Writing good product descriptions

Were to say:

Writing product descriptions that sizzle and sell

That's catchy because of using alliteration and still implies that it's informational, but what there was a minor change and it said:

Write product descriptions that sizzle and sell!

Seeing that title on a thread for the first time without reading what's in it, you might think it's been started by a spammer dropping a URL to one of those 3 mile long one page wonder "websites" with yellow background text boxes and a dozen "call to action links" mixed in, selling a downloadable e-book for only $17.99 by PayPal with instant download.

The first is a logical, left brain statement. The last is exaggerated, but is clearly sales-oriented, designed to arouse an emotional impulse to buy.

1:33 pm on June 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This is fun stuff. :)

What if this thread title, instead of:

>Writing good product descriptions

Were to say:

Writing product descriptions that sizzle and sell

The first is a logical, left brain statement. The last is exaggerated, but is clearly sales-oriented, designed to arouse an emotional impulse to buy.

Marcia has beautifully illustrated what the "action" part of the AIDA formula is supposed to look like.
Just chiming in with some theory bits,

J.