Is 2011 the year you’re going to come out with your first book – eBook or print? How are you going to make your words stand out from all the others?
Whether you’re developing a product as a free download, or as something to sell for actual money, you need copy that will compel readers to want what you have to offer. Even for free products, readers have a lot to choose from online today. That means whether your goal is to increase your blog’s readership, or just to get your helpful words out, it’s worth spending some time with your product page copy.
Powerful effective product page copy will not only help the people who could benefit, find it, but well thought out content will give you a competitive advantage and help establish you as a go-to resource in your field.
Tips for Effective Product Page Copy
1. Mix short, scannable sentences with paragraphs
Most people (in fact as much as 80%) only scan the copy on blogs and webpages so you need to have your important information accessible for that reading style.
To create scannable copy:
- use informative subheadings
- use bulleted lists
- highlight important phrases or keywords
To create paragraph copy:
- use paragraphs to connect on a deeper level with your readers
- keep your words and sentences simple and easily understood
- give more in depth information for those readers who like to deep dive
2. Don’t let your product speak for itself
In the online world readers can’t touch and feel what they are going to buy, or download, so you have to give them enough information so they are comfortable taking the next step. This is where you have to use your copy to persuade them why your book will help them.
3. Don’t oversell
Trust is key to success online and the continuing good will of your personal brand, so don’t do anything that will misrepresent what you are offering. The last thing you want is a viral Twitter conversation about how they were promised rags to riches in 30 days if they bought your book but they didn’t make a dime.
4. Blend convention with creativity
Being creative is great. But if you go completely outside convention it can throw people off. So aim for keeping some aspects, such as the download or buy process, “the usual,” but spice up your words and offer with your creativity. Remember, there’s a reason so many ecommerce sites imitate Amazon – it works.
5. Have flawless copy
You must have flawless copy – no mistakes. Potential buyers tend to wonder how good your product is if you can’t even take the time to edit your copy. It always helps to have a fresh pair of eyes read over what you’ve written.
6. Don’t forget to explain the obvious
Explain the obvious regarding how to download, how to pay, shipping procedures and costs, returns, etc. This is where your copy needs to lay it out so readers don’t have to spend any amount of time wondering or questioning the basics. If they need to give you their email for the free download, let them know up front – don’t slide it in at the end – and let them know what you’re going to do with their email address once they give it to you. (According to one study, 20% of people have abandoned a purchase because shipping costs were unclear. )
7. Ask for only what you need
How many times have you been interested in something, even a free download, but you stopped part way through the process because they suddenly wanted to know the name of your firstborn, or some other seemingly unrelated bit of information? Only ask for the information you have to have. Period.
8. Do more than give details
Of course it’s important to tell readers what your eBook is about, or what your product is. But don’t stop there. Explain why the book or product will matter to them – how it will affect their life – make it better or easier. Tell them why each detail matters to them.
9. Be true to you
Your copy needs to be a reflection of you, your brand, your voice, your words. If you have someone else write copy for you, make sure you make it your own before it goes public.
10. Repeat yourself
We like repetition. In fact, our brain feels that important things are repeated things. So, repeat some of the more important aspects in your copy – not word for word – but don’t be afraid to say how your book will change their life more than once. For a great article on the power of repetition and consistency, read “How Your Prospects Brain Becomes Your Secret Persuasion Partner.”
2011 brings with it the optimism of things new and shiny. That makes it the perfect opportunity to develop your passions and interests into books or other products that can help improve lives. And once you do, use these tips to develop a product page that is as awesome as your product.