Remember the story of Sisyphus?
He was a figure in Greek mythology known for rolling a boulder up a hill for eternity (only to have it roll down every time he reached the top).
All of that effort for naught.
Selling can feel like that. Unfortunately, too many affiliate marketers wind up in a similar predicament (especially in the early days). You put forth so much effort promoting your links in product boxes, but nobody clicks.
One common mistake is only listing the product features without translating them into how they’ll benefit your reader.
This post explains how to write a product description and shows what effective marketing copy looks like (so you can increase your conversion rates).
How Do You Write Effective Product Descriptions?
There’s no hard and fast rule. However, you can use a few simple techniques to present your affiliate links to your target customer in a more attractive way.
Your niche will also determine the answer to this question.
Things to consider:
- Your potential customers (or buyer personas)
- Your niche
- Tone of voice
Why Product Descriptions Are Important
The best product descriptions use words to get people to take action and move them closer to a purchase decision.
If you’re promoting products on your affiliate site, understanding how to use those words to sell will be advantageous.
— Sean Brison (@heyseanbrison) September 8, 2021
What Does A Good Product Description Include? (+ 11 Tips)
There are several ways to write copy, but what I’ve found to be most effective (and fun to write) is copy that includes two key ingredients.
I’m talking about writing copy that’s:
When you write as you talk with friends (e.g., having drinks during Happy Hour), it’s more fun to read. And when your readers are having fun, your odds that they’ll click an affiliate link increase.
You can use the below tips mad-lib style and mix-and-match. Try weaving one element at-a-time into your product description until you find a winning combo.
1. Compare Your Reader to the Product with Similes and Metaphors
Comparing your reader to the product lets them make a mental connection to it. Using similes is a figurative way of comparing two things using the words “like” or “as.”
A simple example would be, “you’re as strong as an ox.”
A metaphor omits the use of “like” or “as” while still comparing one thing to another.
“You’re an ox.”
Try using this approach when writing your next product description. The more you paint a picture of them with the product, the more likely they’ll click.
Take a look at this example for a kissing mugs product description:
A framework you can follow: product attribute + “like”/”as” + connect it to their life
2. Empower Them with the Words “You” and “Your”
Speaking directly to your reader feels more personal. We’re more likely to listen to someone when we feel like they’re talking to us.
And when you weave the product into the narrative, it can raise your chances of getting a click while letting them imagine using it.
For example, “you can choose what your personalized wallet will say” is a stronger choice (compared to only saying “choose what this personalized wallet will say.”)
Here’s an example from a folding chair product description:
Or this one from Daiya:
Sidenote: Daiya also uses the word “you” while communicating a benefit with the “so you can” hack (more on that in the next section).
3. Turn Features into Benefits with the “So What” Method
Do you struggle to equate features with benefits? The next time you’re looking at your product’s specs, ask yourself, “so what?” at the end of every feature.
Let me explain…
Imagine you’re looking at a bulleted features list that reads:
- Detachable holding tray
- Made from Textilene fabric
- Freely adjustable back and footrest
How do you make your readers care?
By asking yourself, “so what?” with every feature.
- Comes with a detachable tray. So what? It keeps your belongings nearby.
- Has Textilene fabric. So what? Textilene is a tightly woven polyester fabric coated with poly-vinyl chloride, biocides, and heat set. So what? This protects it against mildew, abrasions, and sun damage. So what? Extremely durable and withstands the toughest outdoor elements
- Freely adjustable back and footrest. So what? Find the perfect angle for ideal comfort
Turning features into benefits informs your reader how the product will help them in the real world. Asking “so what?” gets to the bottom of why it matters.
Take a look at this bath mat example:
“Made from extra-plush 100% cotton (Feature). They’re super absorbent (Benefit).”
Tip: You can also try the “so you can…” approach. Similar to “so what,” except at the end of each feature, add the phrase “so you can…” For example, “this chair features a detachable holding tray so you can keep your drinks and personal items close by!”
4. Use Trigger Words
We’ve already written about this topic which you can read about here, so I won’t go too much into detail. But, using trigger words (aka power words) should stir your readers into action.
These are words that capture your attention by spurring specific emotions to make you feel or think a certain way. Some pique curiosity while others cause excitement.
Our toolbox page employs the trigger words “should,” “proven,” and “free” in both the product descriptions and CTA button copy:
5. Steal Clay Hebert’s “Perfect Intro” Formula
I learned about Clay Hebert from an informative workshop I took with expert copywriter Abbey Woodcock. She was speaking about getting clear on the solution you provide (I highly recommend her, BTW).
Clay Hebert is a Keynote Speaker and Marketing Strategist who distilled what he found to be the base components of a perfect intro into four parts.
- I (you’re the person introducing yourself)
- Help (or a variation of it)
- Who you help (whoever you help. i.e., clients, customers, your audience)
- Get desired result (what you help them do or become)
For example, “I help clients optimize their emails so they can sell more during their launches.”
Here’s how you can model this for your product descriptions:
- First, replace “I” with whatever your product is.
For example, if you’re an Active Campaign affiliate, part of your product description could say:
Active Campaign helps you optimize your emails, so you sell more during launches.
Sidenote: If you’re looking for affiliate programs to join, head to our database here.
6. Use Future Pacing
Great product descriptions employ various tactics to get your readers to click. For example, future pacing is an approach using words like “imagine,” “what if,” and “think about.”
Crafting a well-written story taps into your reader’s imaginative powers. They’re now envisioning a world where your affiliate product should make their world better.
Don’t try to paint a picture with your words; instead, call on the power of their imagination to think about their future.
See how this product description employs the word “imagine.”
“Imagine the social media bragging right possibilities.”
If your target audience is social media influencers, this copy speaks to their core needs and desires.
Or this one from PC Mag about the best board game apps:
“What if you made Risk actually fun and also set it in a fantasy realm?”
Tip: Think about what’s important to your audience and then leverage that in your descriptions.
The more aligned your products are with your audience, the higher conversion rates you should see.
7. Mine Product Reviews to Find VOC
VOC (or voice-of-customer) is one of the best ways to find out how people talk about your product.
Your product copy will appeal more to your potential customers when using their language. You’ll also find catchy phrases that highlight how people think about the product.
Customer reviews are fodder for writing excellent product descriptions. Try reading user product reviews for the items you promote on your site.
For example, here’s one from the Figs website (socks):
Or this one:
If your buyer persona is someone who spends a lot of time on their feet (e.g., a nurse or bartender), comments like these will resonate with them.
You can reword memorable phrases like “the most important thing to me during my 13-14 hour days” or “perfect for 12-hour night shifts” and tailor them into your product description.
Amazon Review Mining Hack
Here’s something I got from Copy Chief Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers, which we covered in this article here.You can read Joanna’s original post here for more details.
Instead of sifting through numerous product pages to find out customer pain points, try this search operator hack:
site:amazon.com inurl:product-reviews “tired of” keyword
So, it might look like this if you’re in the beauty niche:
site:amazon.com inurl:product-reviews “tired of” dry skin
Then you’ve just scored a goldmine of comments made by people who’ve already spoken with their wallets. Their words and phrases now become part of your product details.
8. Tell Stories
Storytelling is a timeless art form. You can make your product descriptions more interesting when you tell a story.
Sometimes providing your readers the details about your product’s origin is a way to communicate its benefits.
Check out this example from Drinklab:
This example uses the backstory of the champagne glass’s designer so you can get a clear idea of his expertise.
Takeaway: Establish the product’s credibility by citing the expertise level of its creator.
For example, the designer of the above champagne glass is the chief sommelier of a renowned 2 Michelin-starred restaurant and overseas a 55,000 bottle wine cellar specializing in champagne.
That’s worth noting in your product copy!
He’s sipped champagne from hundreds of different glasses and knows what constitutes a “good” glass.
Stories are anecdotal and establish credibility.
9. Demonstrate with Social Proof
Telling your readers how many people purchased a product can entice your website visitors to click. The fact is we’re prone to copy others.
Marketers know this, which is why social proof is a key persuasion principle used in copywriting all the time.
Check out how PureWow uses it in a post about the best winter boots for women:
Citing how many customers gave the boots a good rating signals to your reader that people like them. The thought goes that, “If lots of people like them, then I’ll probably like them too.”
This description opens with, “Over 900 customers gave these boots a 4.5 out of 5 stars on Nordstrom.”
If you don’t have a direct testimonial from a specific person (or a quote paired to a customer picture), a high number of positive customer reviews is the next best thing.
Sidenote: This post also addresses a pain point buyers may have in the article’s title, “Best Winter Boots for Women Who Are Tired of Having Cold Toes.”
If you’re tired of buying winter boots that leave your toes cold, this copy should resonate with them.
Call Out Pain Points Early
Check out how this product description addresses the objection people have about comfy chairs being unfashionable:
If you’re in the market for a comfy chair, but you’ve never found one that’s both comfy and stylish, you’re in luck.
Noting the pain point that not all comfy chairs are “frumpy” puts the reader’s mind at ease. You’ve just signaled to them that this chair is different.
These are excellent tactics you can to get your reader to “yes.”
Takeaway: Challenge objections in your posts either in the headline or your product description’s first sentence.
10. Use Outstanding Product Images
Though not technically “writing,” ignoring this is a common mistake. Providing the most visually appealing imagery in your product descriptions is essential.
Part of what makes for great content marketing is well-placed imagery that passes the skim-test.
Because your readers skim.
A great image is another layer that can help increase sales (as people are more likely to click your product affiliate link).
Here’s a great example from a post about the best skin care products using excellent imagery:
A few things to consider:
- The image text is readable
- The product is in focus
- Good image alignment (i.e., it’s roughly the same height as your text description from product title to the bottom of text like in the above example)
11. Write with Search Engine Optimization In Mind
Search engine optimization is the best way to ensure your articles get found on the internet. We wrote an entire post on how you can optimize for SEO which you can read here.
Here’s a quick primer:
- All product images include alt text: This makes it easier for people to understand your content using screen readers (which is also a ranking factor).
- Includes a well-written meta description: Oftentimes, Google will display your post’s meta description beneath your headline in the SERPs. It’s a good idea to have something for your web visitors to read that will entice them to click your link
- Your headline’s keyword phrase displays near the beginning: It’s been a best practice to place your keyword phrase towards the beginning versus the end of your headline.
- Target a specific keyword: Whatever keyword you’re targeting, make sure to sprinkle it throughout your article in subheadings, meta descriptions, headlines, product copy, and alt text.
How Many Words Are In A Product Description?
If you’re writing product descriptions for eCommerce sites or other online stores, the number can range between 150-300.
However, if you’re a blogger or affiliate marketer writing “Best-list” posts (or using a tool like Lasso to showcase a single box in a product review), a good word count can fall between 35-55.
Here’s the thing:
There’s no hard and fast rule for this. However, if your product description’s length looks good and properly formatted, you should be fine.
Creating Product Descriptions with Lasso
Informative displays enhance your blog post’s readability (and provide your reader with additional product details).
Writing product descriptions using a tool like Lasso is simple. And you can see how it’ll look on your website in real-time as you create yours (more on that in a minute).
Let’s say you were writing a product description for your “Credible Student Loan Refi” affiliate link. All you’d need to do is enter “Credible” into the saerch field:
Lasso brings you to your Credible affiliate URL product page. Then, just start typing:
And one way you can make displays stand out along with your helpful description is to add star ratings and custom fields. The more information you can provide to your visitors, the more you increase their click confidence.
For example, let’s say you wrote a product A vs. product B comparison post, and at the end of your article, you wanted to declare product “A” the winner.
One way you could do that is to use a product display featuring:
A winner’s badge
Bullet points of the pros and cons
Star rating of the product
If you’re an affiliate for the winning product and you promote it in an attractive product display, you should get more clicks on your affiliate link.
For example, here’s a display below of how we did it with
WordPress comes out ahead thanks primarily to unlimited flexibility, a lack of commitment to a particular host or company, and powerful themes and plugins available through the community. While there's a bit of a learning curve for new WordPress users, the unlimited potential more than makes up for it.
- eCommerce & SEO-friendly
- Flexible hosting options
- Extensive template library
- Lacks "official" customer support team
One of our customers cited another reason she wanted to use product displays: she needed to make her longer blog posts more interesting without filling them with stock images.
Sidenote: Check out her case study here.
Simple Product Description Templates
There are unlimited frameworks you can use for writing product descriptions. You can mix and match the tactics mentioned in this article until you find some that work for you.
Here are two worth knowing now.
PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solve) is an old-school copywriting formula. You address a problem your customer has, agitate it, then position your product as the solution.
The below example uses it for a blog post intro but if you’re writing it for a product, mention the product as the solution in the third segment (Solve).
FAB is an acronym for:
- Features – what your product can do
- Advantages – why it’s helpful
- Benefits – why your reader should care
Check out how this writer uses it in a description for an odor eliminator:
Here’s a monster postwith every copywriting formula on the planet if you need more ideas.
Or try this 5-point checklist the next time you write yours:
- Did you relate the product to your reader’s life in some way? Example: “This coffee mug set is utterly adorable and fits together like you and your significant other.”
- Can you tell a story? (e.g., the product’s origin story or the creator’s background)
- Does it use power words that stir your reader to take action? (head here to see our list)
- Can you debunk a common misconception or pain point related to your product (e.g., “Not all comfy chairs have to be frumpy”)
- What do customers say about it? (read other product reviews to find gold nuggets of copy you can add)
Try A Product Description Generator If You’re Still Struggling
Sometimes you need a prompt to get your idea juices flowing. I get it. If that’s the case, you can try using a product description generator.
There are popular versions, including Conversion.ai and Copy.ai. I’ve tested Conversion.ai before.
All you have to do is enter a few product features, and it generates multiple product descriptions.
You can adjust the tone to sound casual, witty, professional, and more. You can also input people’s names into the “tone of voice” box, and it will try to match it. For example, Oprah or Tony Stark.
While it can help you with your writing, it won’t spit out a perfect piece of copy – you’ll still need to edit and make it your own.
But it can save you time when you’re struggling to start writing.
Caveat: Not all product description generators are created equal. Your best bet is to try one using GPT-3. Short for generative pre-trained transformer 3, GPT-3 is what many AI copywriting assistants now use. It creates text using pre-trained algorithms.
Hopefully, these product description examples have shed some light on how you can approach yours to boost affiliate commissions, conversion rates, and sales.
All you need is the right words paired with a beautifully designed product display. Ready to see how you can achieve this with Lasso? Sign up for a free trial.
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