Writing to Sell: Product Descriptions

Selling is a big part of every copywriter’s job. We are virtual salespeople, barking vendors marketing products to an unseen audience. Product descriptions aren’t new, but they’re more prevalent than ever. Catalogs from Sears Roebuck and a host of boutique mail order brands have been flooding into mailboxes forever, or at least as long as most can remember. Now, product descriptions are even more important. Great swaths of the Internet are dedicated to selling stuff–we’re talking EVERYTHING! Land’s End doesn’t just have a mail order catalog packed with clever, concise descriptions. They have an entire website and then some.

Drawing people in and getting people to click is something that we never had to deal with in paper catalogs where readers turn the page or chuck the whole thing in the trash. The web has changed product descriptions and made effective writing just as important as it is in a tightly packed catalog. Teasers are one invention of the internet age. Almost 10 years ago, we were writing tantalizing descriptions for lawsuits. Today, we’re doing the same thing for plastic surgeons, entertainment concierges, antiquities, promotional apparel, wine cabinets and whatever. The demand for product descriptions is so strong that, at times, we have written them continuously for a whole month. Whether a description is 50 words, 150 words or longer, it takes a formula to successfully sell items, to outline the special features and to make each one fun to read without seeming repetitive and redundant.


If product descriptions make your head ache, you’re not alone. Fortunately, we’ve made it our business to put the hammer down and conquer the format. Sadly, the only way to do that is by writing so many a year that you totally lose count. So if products that need describing are bringing you down, leave it to a pro. You can have your text delivered in an Excel-friendly format that is ready to be uploaded. Product numbers, teasers and full descriptions can all be uploaded together. How easy is that?