If you’re writing copy, you’re doing your darnedest to make it as compelling as possible.
But you might be going about it the wrong way.
It’s tempting to hype up the product or service you’re selling. That’s natural.
But if you praise it too much, without offering some evidence or concrete data to back it up, you might be turning customers away.
Of course a company is going to say that their own products are the best thing ever. Customers know this. They’re not necessarily going to just take you at your word.
There are two very common mistakes copywriters make. One is the use of what we’re calling “yeah, yeah phrases.” This is basically generic praise that isn’t specific enough, or well supported enough, for ad-savvy audiences to believe you.
The other common issue is the overuse of superlatives.
If everything’s “the best such-and-such,” or “the ultimate such-and-such,” then nothing is. Superlatives lose their meaning when they’re overused. If every single vendor claims that “our widget is the best widget,” the word “best” becomes meaningless.
And your customers start tuning it out.
In a recent blog post, ecommerce platform Shopify offers some great advice on how to play up your product’s benefits in a way that actually convinces consumers.
Avoid yeah, yeah phrases
When we’re stuck for words and don’t know what else to add to our product description, we often add something bland like “excellent product quality”.
That’s a yeah, yeah phrase. As soon as a potential buyer reads excellent product quality he thinks, yeah, yeah, of course; that’s what everyone says. Ever heard someone describe their product quality as average, not-so-good, or even bad?
You become less persuasive when your potential buyer reads your product description and starts saying yeah, yeah to themselves. To avoid this reaction be as specific as possible. Zappos, for instance, doesn’t describe the quality of a pair of shoes as excellent. Instead they describe each technical detail plus its benefit.
Each point also follows an easy pattern of highlighting a feature plus a benefit:
genuine hand-sewn construction (feature) >> durable comfort (benefit)
Product details add credibility. Product details sell your product.
You can never include too many technical details in your product descriptions. Be specific.
Justify using superlatives
Superlatives sound insincere unless you clearly prove why your product is the best, the easiest, or the most advanced.
Amazon explains why the Kindle Paperwhite is the world’s most advanced e-reader.
[image source: Shopify]
The word patented gives the reader the impression that this is something special. Amazon goes on to quote several percentages to show why the Paperwhite has better contrast and brilliant resolution; and it provides a killer benefit: Even in bright sunlight, Paperwhite delivers clear, crisp text and images with no glare.
If your product is really the best, provide specific proof why this is the case. Otherwise, tone your copy down or quote a customer who says your product is the most wonderful they’ve ever used.
You can find more helpful tips for writing effective copy in the full post from Shopify.