CRAFTING THE RIGHT MESSAGES Pt. 3: WORDS THAT SELL
Copywriting is about using words and phrases to persuade and motivate the consumer. You should choose your words so that they:
· convince shoppers you are offering something that has value for them
· motivate them to purchase it
These are the two overarching principles for creating copy, i.e. “Words That Sell.” Keep them top of mind at all times. Three more concepts that can guide your writing are:
· Don’t write propaganda. Overstatements cluttered with words such as fabulous, amazing, once-in-a-lifetime” have a negative effect on your credibility.
· Stay factual and avoid claims you can’t support. For example, for jewellery, there is a big difference between ‘silver plated’ and ‘sterling silver’.
· Be detailed where it counts. For example:
Long lasting hardwood cutting boards
Durable multi-coloured cutting boards made of jointed reclaimed cherry, maple, ash and walnut.
· Be systematic. What you write should flow logically from your top-line to the conclusion you would like your shoppers to draw. Even though what you write is short, it should have a beginning, middle and end. That is what the shopper’s mind is expecting.
· Be clear. Avoid cluttered phrases and convoluted sentences in which the reader’s mind becomes trapped. Few people read or retain complex wording because it is too difficult to understand.
Perennial Best Sellers
These words always seem to percolate to the top of ‘most powerful words’ lists:
· Thank You
· “The customer’s name”
Your text has to create interest and invite the shopper to read further. Here are 8 phrases to help you accomplish that. Use them at the beginning:
· Explore the…
· Experience the …
· Think about…
· Today more than ever…
· Believe it or not…
· What is the safest…
· Are you curious about…?
Words that make your creations appealing
· sunshine fresh
· the way nature created it
· untainted by…
Words that give your work authenticity
People who shop for hand-made look for authenticity because they associate it with ‘well-made’ ‘high quality’ and ‘genuine.’ These concepts distinguish artisan products from mass produced items.
· original (recipe, formula)
· time tested
· made to last
· no shortcuts
Sensory words are descriptors of how we experience the world: how we see, hear, feel or taste something. At first glance, one could assume they are only used in poetry and fiction. However, they are also of high value for makers and artisans. In the world of handmade, sensory words confer warmth, personality and flavour to your communication and your product. They captivate and they sell.
For example, compare the promotional text below. On which product would you spend your money?
“Velvety, buttery, almost-melt-on-your-skin all organic cleanser”
“A nice organic bar of soap”
Many artisans worry about finding the right words that sell their products. It is true that the first and even the second attempt at writing advertising might be less than perfect. It is equally likely that the first, second and even third iteration of the product you are selling now were not flawless at the beginning. In the artisan world it is worthwhile to invest time to get things right.
However, support for your writing comes from an unlikely source, i.e. the consumers themselves.
“The greatest thing you have working for you is not the photo you take or the picture you paint; it’s the imagination of the consumer. They have no budget, they have no time limit, and if you can get into that space, your ad can run all day.”
Don Draper (fictional TV character, Mad Men)