Guest Post by Lisa Forester –
Compelling copy, particularly with product descriptions, will increase your client’s e-commerce conversion rates significantly. When crafting content that will eventually wind up on an e-commerce page or website, your copy should essentially strive to achieve two objectives:
- 1. Establish trust; and
- 2. Prove to visitors that your product is right for them so that readers to buy whatever it is you’re offering.
Here’s a look at certain elements you should keep in mind when writing ad copy for e-commerce sites:
Know Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience sets the tone from word one. Your words must immediately resonate with your target audience. For example, if you’re writing copy for easy-to-use software marketed to a mature target market, less computer-savvy users, the last thing you want to do is use a lot of technical jargon. It’s not what they’re after and they may be likely to bail from your website and find one that does speak their language – laymen terms.
Remember, the language your audience speaks is the language you must write.
Craft Unique Ad Copy
When the copy is unique, it’s not uncommon to see significant increases in website traffic – 30-100%, provided it’s unique for each of your products. Don’t be tempted to use the dull copy provided by the products’ manufacturers. Your job is to create a unique competitive advantage for your clients. When you craft unique, quality e-commerce ad text you create that advantage for your clients.
One always triumphant and guaranteed unique feature of e-commerce is user-generated content in the form of product reviews. In addition, it’s a good idea to persuade your client to index their reviews for search.
Show, Don’t Tell
All good writing is about showing your readers what you want them to know. This is particularly effective when writing e-commerce ad copy because readers, shoppers really, want to make their own decisions about their purchases and when they feel like they’re being told what to do, what to buy, which options to select, etc., they may push back.
If you sell cookware packages, simply describing each pot, pan, and skillet won’t work. Shoppers know about Teflon, and non-stick surface, and heat transference. They can also see what you’re offering. What they would be more interested in learning is how customer feedback on your excellent products resulted in the creation of this particular package. How it became important to add one additional sauce pan because customers were letting your company know that food preparation requires more sauce pans than skillets.
This is actually a true statement about cooking and cookware, and your potential customers will appreciate that you’ve responded to your customers’ feedback which resulted in a better cookware package. You showed them the value of your particular cookware offering and they’ll draw their own conclusions about your competitors’ products.
Establish the right verbal character – a balance between being engaging and informative while showcasing your product’s usability, functionality and convenience.
Remember, don’t bore your audience with stuff they already know. Show them the value of your client’s product.
Don’t Over-sell Your E-commerce Products
Today’s consumers are smart, and above all things, they do their homework. Your client’s website might not be the first website they’ve visited, but it’s your job as the copywriter to make sure it’s their last one. Getting your products into their shopping cart is the goal, but unless you’re selling a one-of-a-kind product available only through your website, this can’t happen by being pushy. Flashing constant “buy now” buttons all over the place can get old . . . fast. Overwhelming them with constant pop-ups, for example, is another turnoff for a variety of reasons, the least of which is your potential customer’s ability to sense BS. Don’t make them suspicious or skeptical. Provide the information they need, show them the value of your product, explain the advantages, features and benefits, and close the deal.
No one likes the equivalent of the high-pressure salesman.
When writing your e-commerce marketing copy and putting your web pages together, use the following tips:
- Write short, concise sentences
- Use bullets and numbers where appropriate
- Avoid corny marketing clichés
- Use the active voice and action verbs
- Limit your use of modifiers
- Write in simple, easy-to-understand language
- Don’t use any unnecessary words
Consumers often skim a web page, which means you need them to see, and ultimately read, your words. Bullets, short sentences, and action verbs will not only draw and hold their attention; they’ll also encourage them to read more of your copy.
Remember, presentation is everything. Boring your readers with a lot of long sentences, paragraphs or too much content will send them to your client’s competitor.
Nothing you’ve read above will matter at all if your writing is unprofessional. If you use poor grammar, over-punctuate, and supply inconsistent copy from page to page, product to product, you’ll lose more potential customers than you can imagine.
Unprofessional writing will show your site visitors—right or wrong—that your client’s products must also be inferior. After all, they couldn’t be bothered to write professional copy or have it proofread. You’ve given them no level of comfort about your client’s company and their products.
Remember, your ad copy is the window to the company. Write the best professional content possible and potential customers will become customers.
About the Author: Lisa of DRIVE NETWORK MARKETING has worked with many e-commerce sites helping to perfect their copy. She most recently helped Satellite TV revamp their copy for an Internet page.