How to Write a Product Description that Sells in 11 Simple Steps

Have you ever read a product description that made the product irresistible? You found yourself unable to imagine life without that product because of the compelling copy.

It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's almost magical. Great product copy entices consumers to click the "buy" button before they can even begin to rationalize the purchase in their own minds.

If you want to sell more of your online courses and other digital products, you need amazing product descriptions. Learning how to write product descriptions will make your sales pages more effective and will reduce the time you have to spend on marketing.

But what makes a great product description? And how do you know if you have reached your goal when you complete writing your copy?

Those are the questions we're going to answer today. More importantly, we have created a blueprint to help you write your own product descriptions so you don't have to second-guess yourself.

 Just remember that all product descriptions must be unique. You don't want to follow a specific template that looks like every other product description you have ever read.

When a consumer lands on your sales page, you want them to realize that they are reading something they have never seen before. As a result, they will assume that your Knowledge Commerce products are just as unique.

What Is a Product Description?

A product description is a piece of marketing copy that entices and persuades your target audience to buy your digital product. It uses minimalist copy to convey features and benefits while helping the consumer to imagine him or herself using the product after purchase.

A product description leaves no doubt about what a product does, why it's important, and how the consumer can benefit from it. It also paints a realistic picture in the consumer's mind that illustrates exactly what he or she can expect after buying the product.

That sounds like a pretty lofty goal, doesn't it? After all, product descriptions are often no longer than a couple of paragraphs. How do you set all of that essential information into so few words?

Remember that a product description's goal is to sell the product. If you overwhelm the consumer with too much information, you risk losing his or her attention.

Consequently, great product descriptions captivate the audience and to sell the product without sounding overly promotional.

Some of the best product descriptions combine no-nonsense information with personality-driven prose. Dry product descriptions tend to bore the reader, while overly flowery copy will turn off consumers. You have to find the delicate balance between those two extremes.

Why Does Product Description Copy Matter?

You might have seen bad product descriptions in the past. They likely made you click away to find something else that might seem more useful, enjoyable, or relevant.

Consider this product description for a pair of earbuds on Amazon:

 

It's not terrible. The bullet points are short, sweet, and scannable. However, the description lacks any personality or USP. Why should a customer by this set of earbuds over all the others?

Adding a paragraph or two of copy to the product description could bring it alive. Additionally, it could use a dose of personality that might help consumers visualize the product's specific benefits.

With a product as pervasive as earbuds, marketers need a way to set themselves apart. Hundreds of options exist, which means that lackluster product descriptions can have a real impact on the business's bottom line.

The same concept applies to Knowledge Commerce. Lots of people sell digital products related to your industry, so you need to show consumers why your online courses or other Knowledge Commerce products are better than those of your competitors.

Yes, product description copy matters. It can mean the difference between a sale and a lost customer.

Think about the ways in which you present your digital products. You likely offer video, text, images, and other assets to help teach your knowledge to others.

Prospective customers will judge your products based on the descriptions you write. They will assume that your products feature similar content.

For this reason, you need to think of your product description as a taste of what your customers will get when they buy your products.

11 Steps to Writing Product Descriptions that Sell

Now that you are familiar with the importance and basics of product descriptions, it's time to learn how to write a product description. We've outlined 11 simple steps to help you through this process.

When you write your own product descriptions, remember that revision is just as important as the initial writing. Nobody creates perfect copy the first time around.

You might have a vision in your mind of what the copy will look like after you are done. Don't worry about producing perfection on the first try.

Instead, as you write, think as though you were a customer. What would you want to read? What words or phrases would convince you to buy your own product?

It's difficult to achieve this level of objectivity. That's why a beta reader comes in handy.

Ask a friend, colleague, or family member to read your product description when you are finished. Tell that person to provide you with their initial impression of the copy.

Make sure you choose someone who will tell you the truth. You don't want a beta reader who will exclaim over your exquisite prose. You need solid constructive criticism.

With those tips in mind, let's explore the 11 steps required to produce compelling product copy.

1. Nail Down Your Target Audience

Think about two very dissimilar products. A child's toy, for example, and a high-end television.

The target audience for each of those products is very different.

In the case of the child's toy, your product copy needs to target both kids and their parents. It should speak to a potential  customer who wants to keep the child occupied with imaginative and perhaps educational play.

The product description for such a toy might contain elements of whimsy. It would likely include images of children playing with the toy as well as information about its safety for various age ranges.

Now, let's consider the television. Your audience would likely be well-off consumers who want a superior viewing experience and an electronic gadget that offers more features than your standard television.

To appeal to that audience, you would likely use persuasive copy that describes the quality of the picture, the feature sets that make viewing more enjoyable, and illustrative words that combine specifications and benefits without being too dry.

You can see why your audience matters when you write product descriptions. If you write for the wrong consumer, you'll never make any sales.

Take the time to develop a buyer persona. How old is your target audience? What do they do for a living? How do they spend their time? What experience do they have with the subject that you teach?

The more you know about your buyer persona, and therefore your target audience, the more effective your product description will become.

2. Brainstorm Features and Their Benefits

You already know what you teach through your online courses and other digital products. However, when you write product descriptions, you need to think less like an entrepreneur and more like a consumer.

Consider your product to the eyes of someone who might want to buy it. What features and benefits would appeal most to them?

Brainstorm a list of features that you offer through your digital products. These could include recorded videos, webinars, interactive experiences, quizzes and tests, gamification, and more.

Under each feature, brainstorm a list of at least three benefits a consumer could derive from it.

Let's say, for example, that you created an online course  on learning to draw. Your teaching people with no artistic experience how to draw simple objects using pencil and paper.

One of the features you list might be a walk-through video on drawing a cartoon bear. That sounds enticing enough, but what about the benefits that come from the feature? They could include:

  • Learning how intersecting lines interact with one another
  • Discovering the best ways to give a cartoon animal an expressive face
  • Following along with your hand to maximize the learning experience

Features are great, but benefits help consumers visualize exactly what they will get from the product. They can begin to imagine themselves following along with your online course and becoming better at something they love.

3. Settle on an Effective Tone and Voice

We already discussed the importance of writing for a particular target audience. Once you have outlined your buyer persona, you can decide on the right tone and voice for your product description.

Ideally, your voice and talent will reflect what you use when teaching your online courses. Presenting and consistent talent or voice can confuse — or even irritate — your customers.

Don't be afraid to show off your personality. Write your product description as though you were speaking to a prospective customer.

This doesn't mean that you need to be unprofessional. Just don't be afraid to inject personality into the words and phrases you write.

Check out this product description from Penguin Random House for Anna Faris's new memoir "Unqualified:"

 

Faris's book is part memoir and and part instruction, and the product description conveys both through humor and storytelling.

If you read the book, you'll find that the product description and the book itself mirror one another in terms of tone and voice. Faris's quirky sense of humor and self-deprecating prose come through in both.

You can use this example to set your own tone and voice for your product descriptions. Unite elements of personality and instruction to boost your credibility and to convey that your online courses or other digital products are neither boring nor dry.

4. Avoid Sensationalistic Copy

While a product description is designed to motivate people to buy, you don't want to oversell your product. Writing sensationalistic will turn off potential customers because they will know that you have exaggerated.

Consider this example:

"This online course will revolutionize your life and change the way you do everything from the moment you start the first module. Each breathtaking, mind-altering section of this course contains unbelievable knowledge and insights. You won't find better or more comprehensive material anywhere in the world, and your friends will be instantly jealous of your incredible new skills."

This is the type of product description that contains lots of words but doesn't say anything. What is the course about? What specific benefits can the customer expect to gain? We have no idea.

Not only is it generic, but it also makes incredible claims that nobody will believe. Words like "unbelievable," "breathtaking," and "mind-altering" are called superlatives. It's a form of exaggeration that uses hyperbole to express an idea.

That's not what you want to do to get people to buy your digital products. Consumers have become products. Consumers have become increasingly sensitive to marketing speak. They don't want to feel like you're selling to them.

How do you avoid this? Focus on features and benefits without exaggerating through sensationalistic adjectives.

5. Tell a Compelling Story

Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to sell a product. You create a narrative in the consumer's mind that helps him or her imagine using your product and reaping the benefits.

Consider a product description that starts like this:

"Have you always wanted to take photographs like the ones you see in magazines? You have the vision necessary to capture people and scenery, but you don't know how to use your camera to bring your vision to fruition. This course will show you how to take advantage of your camera's settings so that your photographs match what you picture in your mind."

In this product description, we've set the stage and told his story. Most importantly, we've made the consumer the hero of the narrative.

You can do this with any online course or other digital product. The goal is to paint a picture in the consumer's mind and sell the end products based on that story.

Obviously, you don't want to write a novel. Telling a story in just a few short sentences can prove difficult, but with practice, you can make each word more impactful so you don't need as many words to get across your ideas.

6. Write Your First Draft

It's finally time to begin writing your product description. Open a new Google Doc or other word processing file and begin writing your description based on the benefits and features you brainstormed earlier.

Keep the voice and tone in mind as you craft each phrase and sentence. Start with a question, an idea, or a story that helps set the scene.

Make sure to mention the most important benefits and features of your digital product as well as any other important information that prospective customers might find useful.

Don't worry about editing at this stage. Instead, focus on getting the words on the page without fear of how they might sound because you know that you will revise it later.

Additionally, don't forget to include sensory details that might spark your readers' imagination. You can do so without resorting to superlatives and flowery adjectives.

7. Predict Questions and Doubts

As you are writing your product description, think about objections or questions your prospective customers might voice. What about your product might cause them not to buy?

Objections can involve details like price, breadth of features, the time a user might have to spend on the course, the existence of cheaper alternatives, or a lack of familiarity with you and your business. If you can answer those objections in this product description, you'll increase the chances that your prospects will actually buy.

Similarly, people who land on your sales page might have questions about your product. A F.A.Q. section can reduce the amount of incoming email you receive and help consumers make up their minds faster.

Your goal with objections and questions is to put prospective customers' minds at ease. You want to address these issues in such a way that they no longer present a barrier to buying your product.

For instance, if consumers might worry about the time-consuming aspects of your online course, you could say something like this:

"You are more than welcome to take this course at your own pace. There is no right or wrong way to work through the material, and your access to the materials will remain open even if you need to spread out your learning process." 

That way, prospective customers won't worry that the leaders access to your course before they can complete the materials.

8. Edit Your Product Description Copy

After you have written the first draft of your product description, let it set for a few hours or even a few days before you return to it. This is called a cooling-off period.

If you let your copy cool, you can return to it with fresh eyes. You'll find mistakes and problems that you might have missed if you'd attempted to revise it right after you first completed it.

During the revision process, you're looking for any phrases or sentences that could be improved upon. You also want to find any holes in the copy that should be filled to make sure that you relay as much information as possible.

Check your copy for grammar and spelling mistakes as well as any inaccuracies. Poorly written product descriptions send the message that you don't really care about your online business and that similar mistakes will appear in your course materials.

9. Optimize Your Copy for Search Engines

A revised product description is not a complete one. You haven't created product copy for a print catalog or a television commercial. You want your copy to attract search engines.

Optimize your copy for search by including keywords related to your online course. Choose a primary keyword as well as LSI keywords so that you rank well for those terms.

Include SEO-optimized title tags and meta-descriptions for every sales page you create. The title tag and meta-description should include the primary keyword you chose for your product copy.

Consider adding images with alternate text, as well. Images not only keep consumers on the page longer, but can also help your SEO if you include descriptions in the alt-text field.

After you've published your sales page, you can consider to boost its SEO. Link to it from internal pages on your website, such as blog posts, to give it more weight. If you can attract external links from high-authority websites in your niche, the page will rank even higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

While SEO might not be the most fun way to spend your time, it's essential if you want people to discover your digital products.

10. Add a Touch of Social Proof

It never hurts to include social proof in your product descriptions. A testimonial or two from someone who has learned from you in the past, for example, can go a long way toward convincing other consumers to buy.

Of course, social proof can come in many forms.

Maybe a known expert in your industry has endorsed your online course. Make sure to mention that fact with a link to the expert’s website and a quote from him or her.

Additionally, you could post statistics related to purchases. If a consumer knows that 5,000 other people have bought your online course, they’ll feel more comfortable investing their own money in the product.

Reviews can help, too. People tend to trust recommendations made by other people more than they trust sales copy. They don’t want to think that they’re the only people who have bought a particular product.

Link to product reviews on other websites or include the reviews you’ve collected on your own Kajabi website.

11. Format Your Product Description for Readability

Formatting is almost as important as copy when it comes to product descriptions. On the Internet, people don’t like to read big blocks of text. In fact, they usually won’t. Instead, they’ll click away and find something else to read.

Consequently, your product description needs to be scannable and attractive to the human eye. Include lots of white space, such as big breaks between paragraphs and other elements, so you don’t overwhelm the reader.

Adding bulleted and numbered lists can also help with readability. Break up the most important pieces of content so your readers can easily scan it. If your product copy runs longer than a paragraph or two, use subheadings to draw the reader down the page.

Use Kajabi to Turn Your Knowledge and Content Into Products You Can Sell

Let’s face it: You want to teach people your knowledge, but you also have to make a living. Kajabi helps you turn your knowledge into products that your target audience will buy. You just need the right product descriptions to convince prospects that they want to invest with you.

It all starts with a platform like Kajabi. We make it easy for you to set up a website that contains a blog, sales pages, landing pages, videos, and other content. Plus, we host your online courses and provide you with multiple payment options.

If you take advantage of all the tools we offer (as well as our many integrations), you won’t have any problem with your Knowledge Commerce business. Don’t believe us? Just ask our Kajabi Heroes.

Once you’ve created your online course, you can also make other digital products. Just make sure that you optimize your product descriptions to appeal to both readers and the search engines. Otherwise, prospects will find it difficult to locate your products.

Conclusion

Product descriptions are notoriously difficult to write. You have to convey significant information in very few words. Our 11 steps to solid product descriptions will help you navigate this process.

Learning how to write product descriptions will make your Knowledge Commerce business much stronger. People who land on your sales pages will find your products irresistible thanks to the descriptions you provide.

Start by learning the definition of a product description. It’s a series of paragraphs and other copy that entices people to buy your products.

Next, understand its importance. Realize that poor product descriptions are worse than no product descriptions. You’ll chase away prospects before they can understand the valuable knowledge you sell.

Then create your description. Start by defining your target audience, brainstorming features and their benefits, and selecting your tone and voice. Remember to avoid sensationalistic, hyperbolic copy.

You’re ready to write your first draft. Incorporate storytelling, questions, doubts, and objections. When you edit, make sure the copy contains no mistakes or omissions.

After you’ve optimized your copy for search engines, added some social proof, and formatted the copy for easy scanning, you’re ready to publish it.

What’s your best tip for writing product descriptions?

 

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