Adventures in Cataloging: The Vital Importance of Good Copy
6. Copywriters also need good organizational skills. Catalog copywriting involves coping with a vast array of details. A copywriter who can’t keep track of things is a headache you don’t need.
“I see a big black blob above and a small white blob below.”
Cataloger: “We have a new clock. We need you to write the copy.”
Copywriter: “When can I see a sample?”
Cataloger: “You can’t. It’s not built yet.”
Copywriter: “How about a color photo?”
Cataloger: “I don’t have one.”
Copywriter: “Do you have a manufacturer’s sheet?”
Copywriter: “Can you at least describe the product to me?”
Cataloger: “I haven’t actually seen it. All I have is a sketch. It’s on your fax machine now.”
Copywriter: “I’m looking at your fax now. All I see is a large black blob above, and a smaller white blob below.”
Cataloger: “Have the copy here tomorrow.”
A weak copywriter can’t produce good copy no matter how much information he or she has. But a good copywriter can produce a reasonably effective string of words from almost no information. Indeed, a strong copywriter working with good information can produce remarkable copy that will substantially boost your sales.
To achieve that result, consider giving your copywriter the following:
*a product information sheet for each product, filled in by you with basic information (e.g., price, SKU, dimensions, country of origin), plus key feature and benefit data about each product;
*any available manufacturer’s sheets; and
*a product sample; if that’s impossible or impractical, a good photo or several photos if you need to show various features of the product.
It’s important that the copywriter has access to an actual sample of the product. Your customers can’t actually touch, taste or smell the product from just looking at the photos. But a good copywriter can embed the sensory impressions directly into the copy in a way that makes readers want to buy.