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Copy Writing Tips to Increase Your Online Sales

Create compelling messages about your items that turn shoppers into buyers.

While you’re right to ensure you’re showing great images along with clear descriptions for every item you sell online, there’s even more you can do to improve your sell-through and revenue results: It’s all in the copy writing.

The copy you use—that is, the words, phrases and style you adopt to present your items—can have tremendous impact to improve your sell-through rates, taking your business to the next level.

This isn’t a case of which is mightier—the “pen” or the digital image—but, rather, of how you can marry the two in a way that informs, entertains and encourages your shoppers to bid or buy. Your copy can make the all-important connection with your target audience. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to harness some simple-but-effective methods to sharpen your sales copy.

Here are some ready-to-use tips to help sharpen your copy writing today and strengthen your profit potential.

Use copy writing to emphasize benefits to your customers

Yep, it’s the long-time question that your customers need to have answered: “What’s in it for me?”

Bells, whistles and fabulous features are all very good, but your copy should tie those to how such specifications matter to your customers, and what they stand to gain from them. In fact, it’s to your benefit when your first line or two of copy presents your items in a way that immediately indicates how customers will gain from making the purchase.

Focus on how your product’s features help your customers get more done in less time, how the item won’t clutter their space, or how they can be up and running in no time

So, rather than boast that your items are the fastest, smallest or easiest to use, focus on how those features result in your customers getting more done in less time, how the item won’t clutter their space, or how they can be up and running in no time. While these benefits might seem obvious to you, based on the features you present, it’s nevertheless necessary to connect the dots for your customers, so they’ll understand immediately why what you offer stands to solve their problems and improve their lives.

If the benefits you offer are more service oriented, call those out, in terms of how that service will make your customers’ experience with you easier, more reliable and more enjoyable than if they shopped elsewhere.

Speak to your customers, not above them

It’s important to speak fluently about the particulars of your items in widely accepted terms to demonstrate your knowledge of what you’re offering. Even so, be sure not to leave your customers floating in a stream of technical terms or obscure acronyms. If you need to use acronyms, abbreviations or modern-day tech babble, be sure to define these terms upon first use, such as “the best RPG (role playing game) of its day.”

Assume that some of your customers might not be as fluent as you, or others like you, in regards to what you offer. This is key to informing and attracting new customers who may be interested in items that are new to them.

Testimonials always speak volumes

Every business is convinced it has the best goods and service—just ask. Naturally, with so many choices available to shoppers these days, it becomes beholden upon you to present what other customers have said about doing business with you. If the competition is fierce in your market segment, be sure to include copy that relays the sentiments of past customers.

Just as consumers seek out review and referral sites or forums, help your customers make the choice to shop with you by presenting testimony within your pitch. And, if you want to gain extra credibility, consider one or two customer testimonials that indicate how an inadvertent problem was solved to the customer’s delight.

Use relevant images to support what you say (and vice versa)

Again, images are highly convincing to customers so they can see what it is you’re offering. Show multiple images (without too much clutter), but be sure your copy writing speaks to those images. This helps customers match what you say to what you show. Be especially attentive to providing copy that calls out important details or features, and possibly even reference an image to help your customer fully understand what you’re presenting.

In the end, ask yourself this: Would the copy you present convince you to make a purchase?

How much copy is too much?

In this day when customers are bombarded with information from all sides, it sometimes becomes difficult for them to sort through the noise. There is no rule of how much copy to present to customers, but be certain that every word you offer is worth reading.

Start your copy with a solid description of the item then immediately provide a statement of benefit. A first paragraph of three to five lines should be able to stand alone in allowing the customer to make a purchase decision. Subsequent paragraphs of copy should be presented only if they provide necessary (or even entertaining) information that helps the reader better understand what you’re offering, and why it might be right for them.

Take care not to overwhelm your customers with so many paragraphs of dense text—it’s tiring on the eyes. Present the most relevant information, clearly and concisely, and offer a link for customers to contact you to “learn more” or “ask a question.”

Without a doubt, copy writing has always been effective in marketing brands, products and services. While many of us had previously only been consumers of well-crafted appeals to our needs, wants and wallets, the e-commerce age has given us the opportunity step on the other side of the sales counter. With that, it’s important that eager sellers learn to engage customers with compelling messages that connect and convert sales.

This is your opportunity to flex your creative muscles and deliver copy that helps your customers find the benefit of what you have to offer. In the end, ask yourself this: Would the copy you present convince you to make a purchase? Sharpen your copy to satisfy your customers and see your sales rise as a result.

About the author

Dennis L. Prince
Dennis L. Prince has been analyzing and advocating the e-commerce sector since 1996. He has published more than 12 books on the subject, including How to Sell Anything on eBay...and Make a Fortune, second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and How to Make Money with MySpace (McGraw-Hill, 2008). His insight is actively sought within online, magazine, television and radio venues. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • Eamon Martin

    After forty years selling in a famous dublin ]ireland] market street i must agree with your views. Retired now but in my day i used the most powerful method of selling a tape recording and speaker which was attached above the window. I always sold the sizzell not the steak [in fact i was a retail butcher] to this day i have never come accross a more powerfull method of local selling. As a matter of fact polliticians use the same tecnique always mentioning the points people want to hear. Sadly for sellers today people may want to buy but most just do not have the extra funds to buy.You can see some of my old photos up on under photoamble see sets moore street . Thank you and remember….the best has yet to come!

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