Denise McGill

Catalog and web product descriptions can pull consumers in and make them beg for more, or they can be boring and leave consumers unsatisfied or even suspect of the product. To keep consumers reading, begin your copy with a compelling opening statement that moves them to the next sentence and on to the next one until they're completely engaged in the description. Miss a link somewhere and you lose your audience.

To bring new life to product descriptions, appeal to the different emotional needs of consumers. Depending on your target audience, choose the emotions you want consumers to feel about your products, and bring more variety to your product descriptions.

Creating a newsletter, offering a special report or issuing a press release can keep your business in the public eye. Creating copy that's informative, robust and engages customers is key to the ongoing success of your business. 

Does your marketing copy, no matter the channel, talk to or at your targeted customer base? Are you writing blindly to a customer base you know very little about? Before you begin your next product description, direct mail piece or email promotion, know who you're writing to — and strike up a conversation. Get to know your prospective audience intimately enough to write to its specific desires, concerns, fears and needs. If you don’t take the time to research your audience, you could be left wondering why your promotion fell flat.

From time to time, it's important to check the shelf life of your catalog product copy. If the copy isn’t fresh, engaging or sales-driven, chances are it's outdated and you're probably losing sales. So why not take a few minutes to examine your copy and be honest with yourself: Does the copy sell the product?

Do you find the same words cropping up repeatedly in your catalog copy? Words like "great," "perfect," "designed," "style" and "provide?" If so, then one of the hazards you face is that your copy soon becomes predictable and can quickly lose consumer interest.

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