Copywriting 101: How to Write Killer Copy that Makes People Buy

Have you ever seen a super sleek, high-end car with a pile of garbage in place of the engine? No? That’s what a website with great product photos and bad copy is like.

Professional photos will draw your customers in. But bad copy will scare them off.

Good copy takes customers from, “Hey, that cactus-shaped spatula looks pretty cool” to “Wow, I NEED that cactus-shaped spatula in my life RIGHT NOW.” Good copy connects the dots between what a product is and why a customer needs to buy it. Good copy converts visitors into buyers.

convert visitors to buyers

Read on to learn how to make your copy as shiny and pretty as your product photos.

Know Who You’re Writing to

Have you created a buyer persona? If not, get on it! Then write your copy for that specific person.

Think about it. It’s much easier to write a letter about your awesome cactus-shaped spatula to your BFF than to everyone in the world who likes pancakes. Plus, your writing will be much more relevant and persuasive if you’re writing to a single person than a giant blob of faceless consumers.

If you’re writing a product description for that cactus-shaped spatula, write it for the vegan hipster dude who loves showing off his vegan breakfast creations on Instagram. Or the Texas ranch-owning mom who loves decorating her house in southwestern décor.

convert visitors to buyers

Find the Tone that Appeals to Your Audience

Copy written for high-end electronics is going to have a different feel than copy written for a store that sells kitten mittens. Some audiences want highly descriptive, jargon-heavy text. Others want fun, playful text. You need to really understand your target buyer in order to write in their language.

Start by looking at your competitors’ copy, whether they’re smaller, niche competitors or giants like Amazon and Walmart. Make a note of things in their product descriptions that would appeal to your buyers and things you can do better.

You can also join groups or forums where your target buyers hang out. Read through their posts and comments. See what kind of language they use. Mirror their language to help build relationships with them.

Make Your Copy Clear and Concise

Most people aren’t going to spend more than about 2.3 seconds reading your product descriptions. So keep it scannable and use bullet points and subheadings to break things up.

Amazon has this down pat. They use a descriptive title (maybe a bit overly descriptive at times), then a few bullet points with the important details. This “above the fold” section contains the most important info. Then they add more text below to provide additional info for buyers who need more details.

product description

Focus on Core Emotions

People don’t buy a mattress because it’s made out of space technology foam. They buy a mattress because they want to wake up feeling rejuvenated. People don’t buy jewelry because it’s made out of fancy metals and rocks. They buy jewelry because it makes them feel fancy.

So focus on your buyer’s feelings – namely their desires and fears. People want to feel loved, admired, smart, funny, rich, etc. They’re afraid of missing out, looking stupid or *gasp* being uncool. Play on that to get an emotional reaction. Get them excited, make them laugh, or make them desperate to find a solution.

good copywriting

Use Good SEO Practices

If you want to get on the Googles, you’ve got to use the keywords customers are searching for when they want to buy your products. This article will tell you everything you need to know about SEO, but for now, focus on putting your keywords in the title and the first sentence of your product description.

But don’t stuff keywords in unnaturally – no spammy robot text allowed. If you’re clearly explaining what the product is and not being too salesy about it, it should be easy to get your keywords in without turning your buyers off.

Use a Copywriting Formula

The great writers of the world have come up with a few tried and true copywriting formulas that will help you cover all your bases. These are the three most common formulas, but there are plenty more. So if these don’t sound like a good fit for your buyers, go ask the Googles for some more examples.

+ Before After Bridge (BAB) – Talk about the buyer’s current situation (the before), then the after – how awesome their life will be once they buy your product. The bridge is how to get there (buy my stuff!).

Example: Copying all your product listings from Amazon to Shopify or BigCommerce takes an average of 10.5 days. What would you do with 10.5 free days? Fly to the Bahamas and learn to kitesurf? Knit an afghan? Take a French cooking class? With ByteStand, moving all your products over only takes about 25 minutes.

+ Problem Agitate Solve (PAS) – Present the problem, poke at it to get it all agitated, then provide the solution: your product. The difference between this and the BAB formula is that PAS focuses on the problem rather than life without the problem.

Example: Stuck using the same boring spatula every morning? Wishing breakfast wasn’t the dullest part of your day? Let morning monotony win again OR fight back with the new cactus-shaped spatula.

+ Features Advantages Benefits (FAB) – This formula includes product features, but it’s not a long list of tedious details. The focus is on how the features benefit the buyer.

Example: Our snuggies have a built-in layer of wookie hair, providing greater levels of insulation and comfort. Which means you stay cozy and warm all night, without added bulk.

Write an About Us Page

The number one mistake people make when writing an About Us page is writing about themselves. Yes, it says “About Us” right in the title, but it’s really about your customers (as is your entire business – they are the reason it exists).

good copywriting

So use the tips above to write about how your business benefits your buyers. Use their language, focus on emotions and be clear and concise. It doesn’t have to be long – just a few sentences to show that you’ve got your buyer’s back.

Conclusion

Don’t focus on your products or yourself or how much you really need these friggin’ people to buy your shit. And whatever you do, don’t just copy and paste the product description from the manufacturer. Write about how your products improve the lives of your buyers. It’s that simple.

About the Author

Gennifer is the Customer Support Magician at ByteStand, where she lives and breathes customer service education while sipping coffee in her pajamas.

ByteStand for Shopify

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