Each line of copy has one job: Get people to read the next one
And the next one
And the next one
Until they’re ready to take action. — Katelyn Bourgoin
Copy is all too often an afterthought or a nice-to-have. But it doesn’t have to be. Great copy has the power to motivate, educate, and persuade. (It also helps you rank better on search engines!).
Maybe you don’t have the budget to hire a full-time copywriter. Or maybe you’re the founder, marketer, and head of operations. We don’t judge—and you’re not alone.
Wanna know a secret?
You don’t need to be a professional writer to write copy that converts. Here are 5 copywriting tips that will help you boost your ecommerce sales.
What is ecommerce copy?
Ecommerce copy is any text used for your online store. Headlines, product pages, your about page, ads, landing pages—these are all places where your words help bring in more sales.
If your email conversion rate isn’t great—or your return on ad spend just isn’t up the par—you may need to revamp your ecommerce copy. In the ecommerce world, it’s all about connecting with your audience, and to do that you need to choose the right words.
Here are 5 tips to instantly improve your ecommerce copy and boost your revenue.
Write the way your audience speaks
After every sentence you write, ask yourself a simple question: would your audience actually say that? To connect with people on a personal level it’s best to use casual, conversational language. And using familiar, everyday words is more likely to persuade your audience to take action.
Poo-Pourri does a great job of using easy-to-understand, authentic, and non-technical copy throughout their website—and it works.
Do I need toilet spray? Absolutely not. But do I want one based on the way they write about their products? Yes.
How do you write in a more conversational tone? Here are a few tips:
Use shorter sentences and fewer words.
Always use active voice, avoid passive voice.
Take out fluff & modifiers—make every word count.
Don’t bury the lead
This old chestnut is being taught right now in someone’s Journalism 101 class. And it’s still taught for good reason. In journalism “the lead” is the main point of the story. The golden rule: don’t bury it deep in the story for readers to pick out themselves.
Lead… with the lead! The same applies to your ecommerce copy.
Poo-Pourri leads their welcome email by telling you exactly who they are, and what they do. Whether it’s an email, landing page, or ad—lead with the lead.
Pro tip: Having trouble paring down your words? Write your sentences out and then rearrange them so that the most important words and ideas are at the beginning of each sentence. Keep what’s important, and eliminate what’s not.
The grammar rules you learned in school? Break them.
Yep. You read that right. Start that sentence with “And.” Start multiple sentences with “And.” Use italics to add your own thoughts and humor. Make a single sentence its own paragraph to add emphasis.
Sorry not sorry, spell-check.
Breaking traditional grammar rules like never starting a sentence with “and,” “but,” or building toward the main point instead of leading with it allows you to sound more conversational, and connect with readers better because it adds personality to your copy.
Write about benefits, not features
A gentle reminder for anyone who sells things: what your product does doesn’t sell. How your product improves people’s lives does.
Writing about the benefits of your product (how your product can help), versus the features (what your product does) is ultimately what motivates people to make a purchase.
Parade does a great job at showcasing the benefits of their underwear. Sweat-wicking, edgeless, and quick-dry are all ways that their product helps consumers while wearing it. We all know what underwear does—but what problems does it solve?
It can be tricky to determine a benefit from a feature, so here are some questions I ask myself when I write:
What problem does my product solve?
How does it fit into people’s lives?
How does my product improve people’s lives?
- What's the outcome of using my product?
Tell people without telling people
Recently, the “tell me without telling me” challenge has been going around on TikTok.
Tell me you’re a Millennial without telling me you’re a Millennial.
Tell me you live with your girlfriend without telling me you live with your girlfriend.
Tell me you’re from Florida without telling me you’re from Florida.
And it’s the best writing advice.
Content marketing queen Ann Handley writes: “Tell Me Without Telling Me is the fastest way to give your writing or copy a living pulse. It’s the best way to paint a picture in the mind of the reader, to use action, senses, and feelings… versus basic, bloodless description.”
Look at this subject line copy example:
Tell Me: New limited-edition face mask designs are here!
Tell Me Without Telling Me: Make Covid fight through skulls and switchblades to get to your face.
Which one is more persuasive?
What about this one:
Tell me: New dog crates dropping today!
Tell Me Without Telling Me: Your summer companion! ✈️ Meet your dog’s new home away from home. (via Wild One)
Tell Me Without Telling Me is more compelling because it shows instead of tells. Your ecommerce copy is much more likely to convert if you show instead of tell.
Just like writing about features vs benefits, writing to tell has its time and place. With ecommerce copy, the goal is to persuade and motivate people to buy. And if you can show prospects the benefits of your product, your products will be flying off the shelves in no time.
Using these 5 tips, you can instantly improve your ecommerce copy and boost your revenue (without hiring a copywriter!).