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Reporting and Essays on Society, Culture, Lifestyle. Plus a dash of creative non-fiction with questionably funny pictures.

How To Write A Winning Product Description: Peek Over My Shoulder

Discover how to create engaging product descriptions with a practical example.

The Internet has made learning new skills an exciting adventure. Whether you’re into programming, Art History, or wine tasting, various platforms have developed an extensive catalog of quality online courses since MOOCs first saw the light of day, in the early 2010s. And when it comes to marketing and more specifically copywriting, the only issue you’ll ever have is taking your pick from an overwhelming sea of choices.

My personal favorite is the Complete Copywriting Course taught by Tamsin Henderson on Udemy. The course covers everything from web copy to product descriptions to press releases; Tamsin herself is a great, enthusiastic instructor and a skilled content writer with a very organized working style. She’s also created a companion course for those who want to build a portfolio from scratch.

One of my latest articles, 4 Amazing Saunas To Survive Winter In Berlin, was written for the first assignment, “The Passion Project.” (I’m rather passionate about the sauna, blame German culture.) The second assignment requires the students to pick an object in their vicinity and write a winning product description. My Bluetooth loudspeaker has been chosen for the honor and is quite excited about it.

I’ve decided to be a bit more creative with the assignment: indeed, this is a good occasion to share my learnings and review the fundamentals of product descriptions, complete with a practical example. Whether you plan to specialize in e-commerce content or just want to sell a thing or two on Amazon, this blog post is for you.

infographic-product-description-fundamentals


# 1 Emphasize benefits over features

One frequent issue with product descriptions is that they can be too dry and technical, bombarding us with details that sound about as exciting as unflavored tofu.

One simple way to avoid losing your customer halfway is to focus on benefits rather than features. This is probably the Holy Commandment of product description writing; Amazon recommends it to stand out. Remember that people want to know what’s in it for them. It’s what Tamsin calls the What’s In It For Me principle (WIIFM for short.)

A simple way to achieve this is to uncover the benefit that corresponds to the feature, and list them side-by-side. In the case of our Bluetooth loudspeaker, let’s say it’s shock-resistant and waterproof. So you might write something like this:

SHOCK-RESISTANT AND WATERPROOF: listen to your favorite music while hiking, swimming, fighting a few zombies! You don’t have to worry about a thing – this loudspeaker has been designed to live through your wildest adventures.


# 2 Use ‘you’ language

Copy tends to be more persuasive when using ‘You’ language: we want to be noticed, we want to be seen, we want to know that our desires are being attended to. (The company is only interesting to us in-so-far as it fulfills those desires.) One of the best parts of the Copywriting course was seeing Tamsin modify a few snippets of copy by inserting ‘You’ and bringing the focus back on the reader. This simple change made a big difference, to say the least.

# 3 Create a buyer persona

A buyer persona, as defined by Hubspot, is “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”

Buyer personas allow you to reach out to your customer in a more personalized, authentic way. Thanks to buyer personas, you are in a position to understand precisely what customers are searching for through your products and you can tailor your message and marketing efforts accordingly.

A quick illustration. In the case of our hypothetical Bluetooth loudspeaker, let’s imagine our customer is Phillip: a man aged 25 to 34, college-educated, partnered, no kids, living in a big city, loves to camp and hike. He’s not a DJ or a sound enthusiast: he wants a simple device to provide quality sound so he can enjoy his favorite music at home, with friends, on trips. Therefore, he’s not looking for anything too fancy or specialized: good sound quality and practicality will be the most relevant criteria.


# 4 Do your SEO research

SEO, short for search engine optimization, is far too vast a subject to be tackled in one short blog post – there are entire websites dedicated to the thing, such as Moz. I recommend you read their excellent SEO guide for beginners, as well as Neil Patel’s guide, for more information.

To put things simply, SEO is what allows your website to rank among the first results of Google Search Results Pages (or SERPs). It’s a complex, delicate discipline that requires constant research, monitoring, and adaptation. Keyword research plays a big role in SEO: it helps us know which keywords people are searching for at a given time, and therefore which ones we should use.

There’s a number of tools you can use. I favor Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest. It’s simple and it’s free. When entering “bluetooth loudspeaker,” for example, we see that those keywords are heavily sought after and that the top phrases are “bluetooth loudspeaker”, “best bluetooth speakers,” and “bluetooth speaker ue“. So we should ensure these phrases appear in our copy.

# 5 Insert a Call-To-Action

Hubspot defines Calls-To-Action (or CTAs) as follows: “an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action.”

It’s a well-known fact that Calls-To-Action (or CTAs) improve conversions: according to Wordstream, for example, emails with a single CTA increased clicks
371% and sales 1617%, while Brafton found that adding CTA buttons to a client’s article templates increased revenue by 83% in one month.

Note that a Hubspot study found that personalized CTAs (tailored differently according to customers) perform even better (up to 202% better, in fact.) But when starting out, a basic CTA is fine.

I won’t elaborate much further – experienced copywriters have written far more and better about the subject. Rest assured that following these fundamentals will improve the quality of your product descriptions. Now, time to craft some copy!

(It should be noted that the following description describes a completely imaginary product. Features were snatched here and there from a variety of items. Unicorns are mentioned because unicorns are cool.)

XCD’s Ultimate Unicorn Bluetooth loudspeaker


Discover new realms of sound with one of the best portable Bluetooth loudspeakers on the market!


It may be small, but it packs a mean punch. This Bluetooth loudspeaker has a 70Watts max power output and offers true 360-degree sound, so you’ll get flawless sound quality no matter where you are. Goosebumps are to be expected.

Thanks to the compact, lightweight model, you can bring this Bluetooth loudspeaker everywhere. The silicone housing and port cover make it extremely durable and resistant, so don’t you worry about shocks. And since it’s waterproof, you can listen to your favorite music at the beach, at pool parties… or in the shower for an impromptu karaoke session!

Last but not least: the loudspeaker’s battery life, which lasts up to 20 hours. No need to stress when you embark on your next hiking trip: music will follow you all day long.

With this bad boy, you’ll become the life of the party in no time. Order today for free shipping in the EU.

You can see here how I picked out a few features such as sound output, design, durability, and battery life, and paired these up with their corresponding benefits, which amount to a fun and stress-free sound experience both indoors and outdoors.

Of course, there are many ways to do this. Studying successful product descriptions is a good way to find inspiration. And remember: keep monitoring consumer behavior and conversions. Product descriptions aren’t static – they can always be improved!

What about you? Do you have further insights for beginners starting out? Do you think this description could be improved, and how? Share in the comments!

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