Product Copy I Love – Modcloth

by Gail Oliver, Marketing Consultant

Modcloth is an online store that sells everything from fashion to home decor (or, as they call it, Apartment decor). I absolutely love their product copy because it is clever, witty and does a good job of selling the product. Below are some examples from their site that are really effective.

Vintage Rose Bud Earrings

“Your fervor for all things retro has you ready and raring to rock these adorable rosette earrings. Whether you’re looking for a way to freshen up your nine-to-five outfit of a blouse and pencil skirt or add a little spring charm to a casual day dress worn with flats, these darling dusty-rose earrings are the perfect blooms for the job. Just pop on these vintage-inspired posts, and watch as they give your usual ensemble a blast of the past for extra panache.”

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Why It Works

Well, if I had no idea what to wear these with or where to wear them, I do now.

Wooden Laptop Sleeve 

“Do you foresee a fashionable future for your laptop? We predict its safekeeping in this playful, game-printed laptop sleeve! Cushioned by a cozy, padded corduroy lining, this soothsaying sleeve depicts a classic spirit board on its woven nylon exterior. Complete with letters A-Z, numerals, and yes or no options, this zip-closure protector has all the answers in its faux-wood-finished front. While we can’t promise this computer case is a conduit to the beyond, we’re certain it will fill your tomorrows with compliments.”

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Why It Works

They made it sound so interesting that I know carrying this around is going to get me some attention. Plus, they manage to work in all the product details such as the padded lining, the zipper closing, and the faux-wood front without making it tedious.

Meow for Measuring Cups

“With just one glance at these amazing ceramic measuring cups by One Hundred 80 Degrees – as featured in Weight Watchers Magazine – I see two of my favorite things in one wonderful product. I can even hear a close friend doing a poor impression of me in a high pitched voice, sounding like someone’s grandma – “Hi, I’m Angela and I looooove kitties and making delicious goodies for you to eat!” It’s true, though. I get a little wacky over my cats, Nina and Laurence, and I get uber excited over baking anything from experimental muffins to quirky quiches. For my next culinary adventure, I’ll make sure to use these kitschy kitchen tools. Each of the clearly labeled, glazed cups resembles a well-fed feline with teeny paws that set it flat on the counter, and a curved tail for a handle. Since these charcoal, grey, slate, and white pets are much too cute to hide in the drawer, why not display them on a safe counter space? If your pets like to help you make sweets and treats, these will be the perfect addition to your mixing bowls and cookbooks. Take it from my furry friends – these measuring cups are the cat’s meow.” 

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Why It Works

I like how they managed to mention the publicity this product got in a major magazine (almost seems like an endorsement). I like that they address any concern that the cups would sit flat on a counter, and mentioning that they are decorative as well as have a purpose, so a two for one. It is a little lengthy, but if you are looking for copy that shows personality, this one delivers.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Product Copy I Love – Williams-Sonoma

by G.B. Oliver

When ever I come across effective product copy, I have to share. It is a skill, but if you can tell your product’s benefits, create a need and convince the reader to buy, all in just a few sentences, you’ve done your job. Williams-Sonoma is great at doing all of these things, so I thought I would show you a few examples from their website.

Carving Board at Williams-Sonoma
Carving Board at Williams-Sonoma

Monogrammed Carving Board

Personalized with one carved initial, our board makes a welcomed gift for your favorite barbecue chef. Handsome enough to double as a serving platter, it’s crafted in Vermont of solid maple. $150

  • Crafted from sustainably harvested North American maple, durable enough to withstand daily use yet gentle on knife edges.
  • Deep perimeter well collects flavorful juices.
  • Integral handles make the board easy to lift and carry.
  • Doubles as an impressive presentation piece for turkeys and roasts.
  • Made by the venerable J.K. Adams Co. of Vermont, specialists in finely made wooden kitchen wares.
  • May be monogrammed with a single initial.

Why It Works: First of all, they have positioned it as a Carving board, not a Cutting board. So this is the big strong board you need for carving meat, not some whimpy board for chopping vegetables, and therefore justifies the high price tag. They have sold me on the features of it being solid maple (a strong wood), told me what that perimeter was for (who knew?), given me multiple uses as it doubles as a serving platter, and the fact that it can be monogrammed suddenly turns it into a gift!

Valentine's Day Petit-Fours from Williams-Sonoma
Valentine’s Day Petit-Fours from Williams-Sonoma

Dragon Fly Cakes Valentine’s Day Petit-Fours

An exquisite treat for sharing on Valentine’s Day, our petits-fours are adorned with hand-cut hearts. Prepared for us by Dragonfly Cakes in Sausalito, California, each is hand made with three layers of light, moist sponge cake and three layers of buttercream, topped with a thin layer of marzipan and then draped in chocolate. Delightful with dessert wines, afternoon tea or after-dinner coffee, our assortment includes three flavors: Raspberry: Layered with raspberry jam and raspberry buttercream; Chocolate: Layered with chocolate ganache filling and chocolate buttercream; Vanilla: layered with white chocolate ganache and vanilla buttercream. $45

  • 12 petits fours (4 of each flavor); 10 oz. total.
  • Shipped frozen.
  • Made in USA.
  • A Williams-Sonoma exclusive

Why It Works: They definitely described in detail what I am going to get taste-wise if I buy these petit-fours. They also remind us they are handmade (better quality), and the different ways to serve them in case we have never had petit-fours before. The words exclusive and exquisite, again, are to justify the higher price. If you’ve noticed that they do repeat features from the main paragraph in the bullet points, it is to cover off the fact that some people will only read the bullets.

Baked Loaf Pan from Williams-Sonoma
Baked Loaf Pan from Williams-Sonoma

Baked Loaf Pan

We partnered with legendary New York sweet shop Baked NYC to create a ceramic pan that turns out perfectly tender quick breads – and goes from oven to table with panache. The stoneware’s dark exterior glaze absorbs heat quickly, and the clay retains its temperature for even baking and a golden finish. $43

  • High-fired stoneware is exceptionally strong and ensures even heating for sweet or savory baking.
  • Safe for oven or microwave use and fits our Breville countertop convection oven.
  • Glazed with a chocolate exterior and a vibrant orange interior.
  • Angled handles offer a steady grip.
  • Will not absorb odors or flavors.
  • Pair with one of our Baked NYC mixes to create a sweet gift.
  • Dishwasher safe.
  • 40-oz. cap.
  • Interior: 8” x 4″ x 2 1/2″ deep; 10″ x 4 1/2″ x 3″ high overall.
  • Made in China.
  • A Williams-Sonoma exclusive.

Why It Works: They have quickly answered any question I could have about a baking pan. The design of this loaf pan was overseen by a legendary bakery, so this is top of the line design. I can serve right from the pan it looks so good. Even I can’t screw up a recipe using this pan due to the clay allowing for even baking and a golden finish. Can I find a better pan out there? And this can also become a gift by simply throwing in one of their bake mixes (nice up-sell of their other products!).

So find the unique value in your products, show how you are the best out there, create a need and get them to buy!

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Write Product Descriptions That Sell

by Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

NY TIMES SMALL BUSINESSIf you are not converting more than 1% of your traffic into sales, then you need to write product descriptions that will sell your products. When I write product copy for clients (get my $15 Quick Fix if you need immediate help) my goal is to quickly emphasize the main value of the product (what problem does it solve), make the reader want to buy it (even if they don’t need it), and include a closing line to try and secure the sale.

Therefore, I am going to break it down for you sentence by sentence what effective product copy does, using a good example from Maxwell’s Daily Finds of the popular blog, Apartment Therapy.

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.”

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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”,  it’s “huge (55 x 79)” and it’s “one of the best movie posters

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