How to Write Product Descriptions That Sell

by Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

NY TIMES SMALL BUSINESSI’ve talked many times about how writing product copy is not an easy feat. One of my favorite examples of effective product copy is Maxwell’s Daily Finds of the popular blog, Apartment Therapy. In less than 100 words, Maxwell (or his writers) manages to:

  1. Emphasize the main value of the product (what problem does it solve)
  2. Make the reader want to buy it even if they don’t need it
  3. Has a closing line that leaves the reader with a lasting impression

Here are two good examples of product copy on Maxwell’s Daily Finds & why they work:

Provendi Rotating Soap Fixture Description

“I love these so much we used to sell them through our little online Apartment Therapy store years ago. They were hard to find, but leave it to Anthro to solve that problem. Designed for public schools in France, the ‘sweetly scented, softly foaming vegetable-based soap’ rotates and slowly wears down. New soap replacements just get screwed onto the ‘spike.’ It’s a great solution for kitchen sinks, bathrooms without a lot of counter space OR beside bathtubs or outdoor showers. Oh, and it’s a conversation starter as well.”

how to write good product copy

Why This Product Copy Works

  • It solves a problem – “great solution for bathrooms without a lot of counter space”
  • It has an European chic appeal – “designed for schools in France”
  • It has eco-appeal – “vegetable-based soap”
  • It will last a long time – “slowly wears down”
  • It can go in multiple rooms “kitchen sinks, small bathrooms, outdoor showers”, so encourages buying more than one
  • It is  a cool product – “conversation starter”

Original Antonioni BLOW UP Movie Poster Description

“I love original European movie posters to wake up a room and make a statement. This is one of the best, and I originally saw it used in a Ralph Lauren showroom in NC. Huge (55×79), vintage from 1967, perfect in its raw style and brilliantly red, it’s aspirational in price, but worth it.”

Screen shot 2015-01-19 at 7.36.12 AM

Why This Product Copy Works

  • It solves a problem – “wakes up a room and makes a statement”
  • It has rare appeal – “vintage from 1967”
  • It has the chic factor – “original European movie posters”
  • It has cache – “used in a Ralph Lauren showroom in NC”
  • Yes, it’s expensive but it’s “an original”,  its “huge (55 x 79)” and its “one of the best movie posters”

You want to speak to potential buyers as if you were speaking to them one on one, explaining what you think makes your product great. Making more of a personal connection in your copy will resonate with the emotions people have when buying. Let me know how it works out for you! If your copy needs work, be sure to check out my Shop Critique and I’ll tell you what you need to do.

More Links to Click

© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.
Leave a comment


  1. Good day I am so happy I found your website, I really found you by accident, while I was looking on Yahoo for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a tremendous post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the great job.

  2. As always, good advice! Thanks!

  3. This is great, useful information for me as I’m writing product descriptions for soaps. Thanks for the help!

  4. bensondesign2015

     /  May 21, 2015

    This should work. Great idea among many ideas out there. It’s really good to have different options. Great blog!

  5. Dave Russ

     /  May 25, 2015

    Great! Keep up the good work with useful info.

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