Catalog Doctor: Sell More With Catalog Copy That’s Kind to Customers
PATIENT: The copy in my catalog has always been good. But the young people on my staff say it needs to be way shorter — that no one reads anymore. My older staff says I need to keep copy long so customers get all the information they need to buy. I want to keep up with the times, but I don’t want sales to go down. Who’s right?
CATALOG DOCTOR: They’re both right, but you don’t need to choose. Your copy can be short and informative. The key is to organize copy in ways that make life easier for your customers. To see how, let’s look at some typical “old-style” copy.
Stainless Steel Burner Covers
Until smooth-top ranges came along, the electric range was the least attractive feature in most of our kitchens. Burner covers were the traditional solution to protect your clean burners (or conceal dirty ones). Ours do their traditional job perfectly, plus we’ve updated them to more closely resemble a modern smooth-top range top. The low profile design rises just half an inch above the cooking surface and this, combined with the highly polished stainless steel surface, gives your kitchen the clean, modern look of a smooth-top range without the expense. In four sizes, to fit most burners.
#1234 Two each 6˝ and 8˝ $6.95
#1235 Two each 6.5˝ and 8.5˝ $7.95
#1236 Two each 7˝ and 9˝ $8.95
#1237 Two each 7.5˝ and 9.5˝ $9.95
What’s good about this copy?
• It’s clear;
• has a friendly voice;
• no hype;
• explains why burner covers are good;
• explains why these burner covers are even better; and
• says they’ll fit most burners.
What’s not good?
• Features are buried;
• benefits are buried;
• long — 99 words!;
• it looks like there’s too much copy on the page; and
• it’s hard to scan and therefore won’t draw the interest of enough readers.