This blog post on product copywriting is part of the Website Copywriting Dissected series.

You have a great product. You have spent ages dreaming about your idea, finding investors, putting it into design, prototyping, and finally getting your first product shipped to you, ready for the ‘real’ world.

Now you need product copywriting for a page on your website that tells people about your product, and convinces them to purchase it. But, where do you begin?

Let’s go back for a moment, and think about that time when you were dreaming.

Begin with a story

In an interview with Business Week on his book Elements of Persuasion, Robert Dickman explained why storytelling and selling work together in the business world. In a business context:

“…a story is a fact wrapped in an emotion that compels an action which transforms our world.”

I like this idea because it succinctly explains the chief elements of persuasive copywriting, and why telling a story is the greatest way we humans have of getting others to follow along with our vision.

We respond to emotion, and by focussing your story on the problems that your product solves – why you made it in the first place – you will be knocking down doubts, building up reasons to believe and creating an emotional link between your reader’s needs and your solution.

Product copywriting should focus on the pain

Why did you develop your product in the first place? What need does it fulfil? What problem does it solve? This is why you made your product. That is your prospect’s pain point too.

As a product copywriter, you need to focus on that pain, understand it, and then make a promise to your reader that can take their pain away.

Structure of a sales page

The structure of your page will have many similar elements to the pages we have already discussed in the Website Copywriting Dissected series, and they all need to work together on this sales page to get your reader from interest to purchase. Beginning from the top:

A headline grabs attention, and makes a promise
(address that pain point and promise to change or remove the pain)

Begin your product copywriting with an opening paragraph that explains the pain, re-states your promise and persuades the reader that you have a genuine solution (and to keep reading).

Good copywriters give emotion to the facts. We tell a story that reveals the truth behind the product and your offer.

Find emotional reasons for your design choices, explain your ideas, tell the reader all the difficulties you had in bringing the product to fruition.

Give details in your story that build rapport and create credibility (and believability). Be genuine in your sentiments, and expose early trials and how you overcame them. As a species, we love hearing about the adversity others face and how they succeeded in the end. This is good storytelling!

Don’t forget to use subheadings

Subheadings make it easier to read a page online. They also give you a way of outlining your main points and stopping page scrollers in their tracks.

  • Include the features of your product that relate to this story
  • Add benefits too; explain how your product removes the reader’s problem

By this point in your product copywriting, you are building a persuasive case for your product. But there is still anxiety in the mind of your audience, and now is the time to address that.

“Testimonials are a great way to help to reduce anxiety in the purchaser and build the credibility of your business.” ~Steve Kellas

Add in some additional proof that your product actually works. A case study, white paper, video, a demonstration, and others discussing using your product in their testimonials goes a long way to providing this proof.

Now it’s time to make your offer

Make it your best offer. An offer they can’t refuse.

Provide a way for the prospect to enjoy a risk-free purchase, smashing down that last barrier to going through with the purchase. Maybe it’s a free trial, or free credits. Maybe it’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Whatever it is, make sure you give a solid close and a clear button that says what you want them to do: buy, try, sign up, download, add to cart. A good call to action.

For more inspiration, look at the sales pages for your favourite products and study how they got you to buy.

Coming next in the series: Copywriting a service sales page

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