If you can answer this one question in your catalog and web descriptions, “How will this product make my customer’s life better?” you have a piece of the formula for a successful promotion. Whether your line is hardware supplies, medical supplies, quilts or rustic furniture, focus on how the merchandise fulfills a need or desire for your customer.
Remember, you are creating copy to sell goods or services! Great copy is just another tool you can use to run a successful, profitable business. Copy that successfully combines a product’s features/specifications and offers unique benefits to your customer makes the sale. So let’s take a closer look at these two components – features and benefits. Both are necessary for a copy description that generates sales.
First, what exactly is a feature? In short, it is the physical description and specifications of your merchandise. You can find features in the instructions or user guide that come with the merchandise. Some examples would be:
material ( stainless steel, cotton, plastic, etc)
function (tells time, toasts bread, slices meat, etc)
size and dimension
# of pieces
Would the above specifications alone sell your wares? Most likely, they wouldn’t. A copywriter takes the basic features, searches for benefits to the customer and then creates a catalog or web description that not only engages the customer, but compels them to purchase your goods. In other words, appeal to needs, wants and desires!
So next, let’s look at the second component. Incorporating benefits into your copy description promotes the desire to “buy.” They make an appeal to the customer emotionally and fulfill a need. Benefits show your customer what he stands to gain by purchasing your product. They answer questions such as:
Will this merchandise make life easier or provide a convenience?
Does it solve a problem?
Will it save me time or money?
Does it alleviate a fear?
Does it flatter?
Is it exclusive?
What need does this product fill?
If your descriptions can answer one of the above questions, and believe me this is just a select few, you are more likely to make that all-important sale. Just don’t forget to intermingle catalog features with benefits to answer all customer questions. Dimensions, material and sizes all help the customer make informed choices. Customers don’t want to pick up the phone and wait for a service rep to get detailed information on a product. Copy must provide the customer with the information they need to convert a casual shopper into a satisfied customer.
Can’t seem to find the right words to sell your product? Denise McGill is a freelance copywriter specializing in catalog product description, copy makeovers, landing pages, promotional materials, sales letters, articles, press releases and more.