Why Your Product Descriptions Aren’t Converting — And How to Change That

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To write an effective, interesting product description, you have to take basic information about the product and make it both relevant and engaging to your target audience. When you’re just starting to write product descriptions, or stretching your skills in a new topic area, this can be difficult to do. You might not know the purpose or potential market for that gizmo. And if the client hasn’t provided contextualizing information, you’re flying blind. Knowing why product descriptions don’t generate sales helps you avoid common pitfalls and improves your freelance writing.

Common Reasons Product Descriptions Fail

Top reasons that product descriptions fail include:

  • Excessive jargon: When you aren’t sure what a product does, it can be easy to rely on client-side jargon to create product descriptions. Unfortunately, the target audience is apt to be just as confused as you are by the product if you haven’t unpacked the jargon for them.
  • Poor use of story: A good product description tells the story of the product, sets out a use case, and explains how the product will benefit the end user or perform better than related products. Sometimes it can be difficult to drum up a good story about a common item, like yoga leggings. Yet this is precisely what you need to do to create a product description that converts.
  • Using too many nothing words: Nothing words are those generic catchphrases you see everywhere — words like “state-of-the-art” or “next-generation.” These phrases attempt to function as shorthand for high-level concepts, yet rarely communicate anything that would motivate a purchase.
  • Only using data: If your copywriting services client gave you a 100-word bulleted list to use in writing product descriptions, it makes the work easier. However, simply converting the list into a paragraph of descriptive text will not make a compelling product description that connects the item’s use case with its target audience.

How to Create a Product Description That Sells

Before you write your next product description, envision the ideal buyer (this is easy if the client provides a persona for you). Then think about what would lead this person to buy that product and combine the data you’ve been given about item with the motivation.

For example, maybe that work-at-home mom who struggles to fit fitness into baby’s nap hour needs stylish yoga leggings that make her feel like a fashionista at the grocery store and are quick-drying so she can easily hand wash them after a spit-up from baby.

Then, pitch the product using clear, descriptive language in a way that would motivate this buyer to purchase. If you can create effective descriptions that move inventory, you’ll be rewarded with repeat business.

Product descriptions are deceptively tricky to write, so don’t feel bad if you struggle with them. Use these tips to steer clear of common mistakes and improve your skills in this area, one pair of yoga leggings at a time.

Lindsey D is a freelance writer who specializes in creating unique, engaging content on technology, mobile, marketing, green living, and style. She spends her days writing for clients and reclaiming the sofa from beagle sprawl. Her best ideas come up when a notebook is not at hand, as is common for writers.


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