Sweet 16 Ways To Boost eCommerce Sales With Copy
When it comes to eCommerce copy it is not just the words in your CTA buttons or very likely dry and boring product descriptions that you took from your suppliers. It is one of the most powerful tools you have as an estore owner to sell well to the people who want to buy.
Copywriting for eCommerce is all about how you say it vs. what you say. Website copy is also one of the most effective elements on your site that does contribute greatly to conversion. Following the imagery, copy is what you should start testing or optimizing with. Plus, it could be so much fun if you give it a try.
Yet, it is very common that ecommerce entrepreneurs go figuratively blind, when staring at their pages and thinking that the language makes sense and speaks to their customers. Does it? Read it out loud again. Try to say your product benefits as if you are talking to your friend on the phone or just met someone in the wine bar. Would they listen to that verbiage spoken as is? Possibly yes? Very likely no. Does your value proposition (the most critical copy piece) pass the slap in the forehead test? Does it titillate as you read what you sell further? Does it sell with ease?
Let’s try again. Look into your value prop and product benefits, the copy that is upfront on your home page. Now, imagine your ideal customer wake up in the middle of the night and slapping herself in the forehead and saying: ” Dang. I gotta [insert your product benefit] …” and say it. Does it ever happen? If it does, congratulations. If not, you have some work cut out for you. Even if you resell the same items that I can buy elsewhere, there gotta be some reason, some enticement for me to buy besides the discounts (to which many people are blind, are expected if given and signal low satisfaction experience from the get-go).
What is a good example of the value prop? Take a look at Bombas socks. Right way, the headline captures your attention and you want to know what is so special about those socks, right?
Now, go and fix your copy. See if you can do even better. Test it with a few people on usability hub for free. Then, implement.
Once you do that, here is a list of 16 tips to make your copywriting sweeter:
1. Add attention grabbers to your headlines
Think of it this way, if you printed a picture of your product with that copy and left it in the subway, would someone pick it up as a flyer or toss it as garbage? Simulate this at home & rewrite with humor, novelty, unexpected pun. Truly put on the Mad Men hat and see what you can come up with.
2. Infuse conversational tone all over
Make sure your copy speaks literally to your audience, even if it is business audience, ditch the corporate speak and marketing pitch, make it sound normal. One good example on the business site is WPEngine.com, see what language they use across the site.
3. Paint picture
Appeal to people’s imagination. Use copy to describe the outcomes of better, happier life experiences they will have. When you do so, you make people desire to own your products. Tell them how subtle the skin will be, how much glow they will have if they used your product as a secret pampering ritual daily. Or like with WPEngine above, paint the picture of not messing with WordPress hosting ever, sold me fast.
4. Polish for brevity
Brevity always converts, so practice the skill of simplification. Cut down on extra words. Try to be eloquent in 140 characters, start with Twitter. Play a game in selling in 3 words in the extreme conditions.
5. Be concrete and evident
Make sure your copy describes the real benefits, or customer pain and desirable outcomes. Being specific always helps us grasp ideas fast. We all love examples, suggested use cases. Bring them into your product pages.
6. Evoke urgency
So, why should I buy from you now? What’s the heat? Being able to paint the picture of increasing losses that incrementally accumulate and affect each aspect of our lives can make any product sold in minutes. Think of a heavy user or a shopper that loves your product. Paint a picture what life would be without it. It is very likely similar prospects will bite.
7. Bring some magic
People respond well to something that makes their problems go away like magic, with a switch of a button. No one wants to hear the truth of how hard one needs to work to get something in life. Think of the ways you can describe your product being that magical button to solve away stress, concerns and what not.
8. Make it sensational, literally and figuratively
What I mean is bringing sensory words into your copy (like “taste, smell”), because inherently they engage more brain power to process what you are saying, hence increasing comprehension.
9. Boost it with emotion
People buy on emotion and rationalize later with reason. So, play up this human phenomenon. Review your copy, does it move with emotion or does it read dry like a detergent ingredients label?
10. Check the sequence, does it flow
Good sales people truly polish the art of sequential selling, the dance that helps them arrive at the closed sale. So, can you with your copy. As you read it with fresh eyes, does it lead to a close or does it overwhelm with too much detail upfront and confuse the heck out of you? Make sure each sentence adds to the sale potential like a brick that makes a wall.
11. Make it stand out, differentiate
When you describe your product does it grab with unique flare? Can you take the same copy from a competitor site? If you compare do they sound the same? If yes, then you simply must bring your own color to the table otherwise, you are the same grey hazy something to the potential shopper.
12. Mix up rational words, stats, and emotional phrases to attract every kind of a shopper
Neuroscientists observed that there are three ways we make decisions: some people weigh in more with stats, numbers and reason, others would like to see experiential evidence and the rest respond to stories that resonate. Use all of these elements in your copy to appeal to all at any stage of the decision making process.
13. Try hypnosis, spice up with the commands
Advertisers long ago and till this day apply this tactic to ad copy to make sure it has legs, literally. They infuse their copy with subtle commands that affect a prospective buyer long after he or she was exposed to it. It also happens in such a subtle way and it works because of it. Recall that ad with Geico that says: “Do you know that a game show man makes a bad wedding officiant? No..” and then, we see a funny clip with a game show man saying: “Do you, Robert take Amy as your wife or..would you rather have a new car? “. Funny yes, hypnotic, also yes. Think of it, the scene is played is typical to what every new person, a guy is experiencing in his mind while going through the thought of upcoming wedding, money spent an all that vs. not doing it and having a new car. To some, this would resonate and stick and they would rather have a new car. And of course, Geico makes sense too to think of after or thank after. Can you do that too? Easily.
14. Check your site personality, does it express itself?
Sites are like people, do have personalities and copy is the language used to express it. Make sure you have a distinct voice, see what BetaBrand.com guys did and see how you can shine too. Because, people with personality sell more, so will your site. Plus, you can do so not only on holidays, but daily.
15. Tell mini stories
Stories sell as they stick in our minds and play for a while afterwards. They make your products memorable. So, think of ways to tell stories in your marketing, perhaps a category page or your about page, can tell tales that sell and sell and sell.
16. Make sure your close is irresistible
Your close is not just the CTA “buy” or “preorder: button, it is the entire copy in your FAQs, in your product page tabs, in your terms and conditions even. Take a holistic look and see if your site pages answer 4 critical questions to make one buy: (1) What are you trying to sell me?, (2) How much, (3) Why should I believe you?, (4) What’s in it for me? Because this is exactly the secret mental conversation everyone is having when they are in a buying situation. If you can get in the head of your prospective customers and address all of their concerns and questions, concretely and with pictures, you will boost your eCommerce sales guaranteed.
Like what you just read? See more useful checklists in my book on Kindle and print.