How to Create a Need for Your Products

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Are you effectively creating a need for your products and/or services? A good rule of thumb is to always think who, what, when, where, how, why. So who would need your product, what would they use it for, when would they use it, where would they use it, how would they use it and why would they use it.

Below are two product copy examples that I will enhance, in order to create the need.


Home Product Copy Example

Take a look at this description from ModCloth (who writes product copy really well) for this 5′ x 6′ beach wall tapestry:

how to create a need for your productsPut your longing for the wash of waves at ease with this oceanic tapestry by Lisa Argyropoulos for DENY Designs. Crystalline water sparkles under a beautifully clouded sky, bringing beachy beauty – and the carefree feeling that comes along with it – to your decor!

Now this is great for capturing the feeling of the product and creating desire. But remember, people don’t just buy products because they like them, they buy because they need them, so you need to create a need. Therefore, I would simply add a closing line that helps the reader visualize how they would use the product, hence identifying a need.

Therefore, I would add this as the last line:

Perfect for apartment dwellers, creating a focal wall or even as a very serene headboard.

As you can see, I gave three potential uses for the item. Even if one of these isn’t your particular need, chances are it could spark one you do have. Buyers can get gun-shy after they buy clothing items they never wear, a decor item they just couldn’t make fit, etc. So you want to ease the purchase decision by giving them ideas in advance.

Jewelry Product Copy Example

Urban Outfitters is another online store that writes copy really well. Here is their description for a black choker:

Screen shot 2016-05-03 at 9.02.14 AMOur must-have styling tip this season is a wide banded choker necklace and this iteration is essential. Chic choker in a sultry gauzy chiffon complete with a lobster clasp closure + extender chain in an antique distressed finish.

So this is effective in that it quickly tells you this is a hot trend and stylishly describes the features. However, not everyone is fashion savvy.

Therefore I would add this line at the end:

This versatile choker looks great layered with other necklaces or on its own with everything from a little black dress to a t-shirt and jeans.

It is also only $22, so another approach would be to say:

An inexpensive way to instantly update your summer wardrobe with one of the hottest trends. 

As you can see, when you create both the desire and the need, you are more likely to get a sale.

Hire Me

Need help with your product descriptions? I have been writing marketing and advertising copy for 20 years, so just email me at for a FREE, no obligation quote on your writing project.


A quick shout out to one of my customers, Design by Gam, whose bracelets were featured last week on PeopleStyleWatch. I love Gam’s message to me – which will help all of you – of how I always told her that she needed at least one of her product shots on a white background in order to get chosen for editorial such as this, and it worked!

Trending This Week

  • May 3 – #TuesdayThoughts, #TeacherAppreciationDay
  • May 4 – #StarWarsDay, #WednesdayWisdom
  • May 5 – #ThursdayFeeling, #CincoDeMayo
  • May 6 – #NBAPlayoffs, #NationalBeverageDay
  • May 7 – #SaturdayKitchen, #NBAPlayoffs, #KentuckyDerby
  • May 8 – #SundayBrunch, #CoconutCreamPieDay, #MothersDay
  • May 9 – #MondayMotivation

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

6 Red Hot Valentine’s Day Marketing Tips for Your Online Shop

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Valentines Day is a great opportunity for any online shop, so I thought I would start you off with a few interesting facts.

Valentines Day Spending Statistics

According to the National Retail Federation, last year Americans spent $18.9 billion on Valentines Day. The average person spent $142.31 with $96.63 of that on a gift for their spouse/Valentine. The leftover $45.68 was spent on other family members, friends, coworkers, pets, children’s classmates or teachers.

On average, men spend $190.53 (with $128.90 of that on his actual Valentine) and women spend $96.58, of which $62.47 was on a gift for their Valentine.

The biggest sellers will be cards, followed by flowers (mostly male buyers), candy, going out, jewelry, clothing and gift cards.

Another interesting stat to note is that the interest in the holiday drops off after the age of 44. Therefore, you might want to spend your time focusing on men, ages 18 to 44, with items in the $100 to $130 range.

I then went over to Amazon to see how people were searching for gifts and noticed a slight difference between men and women:

Men are searching:

  • Valentines Gifts for Her Bundle
  • Valentines Gifts for Her Basket
  • Valentines Gifts for Her Sexy
  • Valentines Gifts for Her Necklace
  • Valentines Gifts for Her Chocolate
  • Valentines Gifts for Her Clothes
  • Valentines Gifts for Her Jewelry

Women are searching:

  • Valentines Gift for Him Sexy
  • Valentines Gift for Him Basket
  • Valentines Gift for Him Funny
  • Valentines Gift for Him Star Wars
  • Valentines Gift for Him Bracelets
  • Valentines Gift for Him Beer
  • Valentines Gift for Him Football

6 Valentine’s Tips for Your Online Shop

  • Change your shop banner and social media banners to advertise Valentines gift ideas.
  • Add a Valentines Gift category to your shop, and if you can specify, “Valentines Gifts for Him”, Valentines Gifts for Her”, “Valentines Gifts for Kids”, etc., even better.
  • Let people know the final order date in order to receive items in time for Valentine’s Day (which is a Sunday).
  • Offer cards and gift wrap either as a value-add or for an extra fee.
  • Add “Valentine’s gift” and related keywords to your Pinterest descriptions, as “Valentines Gifts for Her Pinterest” and “Valentines Gifts for Him Pinterest” were popular Google searches, indicating people will be looking to the social media site for ideas.
  • No later than January 20th, email customers Valentines Day Specials with categories such as “Gifts Under $50” “Gifts Under $25”, etc.

Want to Talk to Me About Your Business? Get the details on my popular (and extremely affordable) phone consultations.

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

93 Awesome Marketing Ideas for October

by Gail Oliver, Online Consultant

Aren’t you happy fall is here? So am I and October brings a ton of opportunities for your small business.

My monthly Marketing Calendar & Planner is a great way to stay on top of all of them as I give three tactics to do every day, plus I include several “insider” secrets that I don’t mention on my blog. Here is just a sneak peek of what is in my October calendar:marketing-calendar-small-business

  • October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so if your business is doing anything to support this cause, add a pink ribbon to your site and let people know how you are helping.
  • #MondayMotivation continues to be one of the most searched hash tags on Twitter so be sure to tweet out a #quote and/or inspiration photo each Monday.
  • If you haven’t submitted editorial pitches to online media for holiday editorial, the first week of October is really your last chance.
  • The World Series starts this month so expect it to be trending big time on all social media sites, especially in the evenings.
  • Mars and The Martian movie have been all over the news the past few days so expect a lot more trending, especially when the movie opens on Friday.
  • Next month is Small Business Saturday (November 28th) and American Express Open Forum (who selected my blog as one of their Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow) offers tons of freebies on their site for businesses.
  • National Coffee Day trended big on social media a few days ago, so hopefully National #PumpkinCheesecakeDay on October 21 will have the same momentum
  • Most of this month, particularly the last two weeks, every Halloween costume, decoration, food and makeup pin will be the most popular pins in your feed.
  • I have just started selling my monthly marketing calendar and marketing ebooks on You can sell products and services here as well. The cost is just 5% + 25 cents per transaction, no hosting fees, no monthly fees, no bandwidth feeds, no refund fees. Trust me, that is an awesome deal!

Want the other 84 tips and tactics for October? Get my Monthly Marketing Calendar for October available now for download. You will love it!

small business bloggersI’m Gail Oliver, a longtime marketing professional advising small businesses. If you need help marketing your small business, ask me how I can help at Be sure to also see my Marketing Ebooks for more creative ideas.

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


5 Must-Do Marketing Ideas for July

by Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

My July Marketing Calendar is out and I wanted to give you a sneak peek as to why it is such a valuable marketing tool, especially if you struggle on social media, with getting publicity or just promoting your business in general. So below are 5 of the 93 ideas, tips and tactics in this month’s calendar.

marketing calendar for july

5 Must-Do Marketing Ideas for July

  1. Who doesn’t watch Netflix these days? Every month when Netflix updates its listings, it trends huge on social media. One of my calendar tips this month is to tweet out something about your favorite @Netflix show because they are very good are retweeting compliments, which puts your business name in front of their 1.42 million followers.
  2. Now is the time to be pitching to print magazines to get into fall editorial. Magazines will be writing about fall fashion, fall food, fall entertaining, fall decor, fall weddings, fall shows, fall movies, you name it. So come up with a fall-theme story pitch that involves your business.
  3. Creative Market is amazing! They give free goods away on their website including fonts, icons and graphics that you can use in your marketing. This is just one of many insider tips I uncover for you each month in my calendar.
  4. Two big events this month that will trend well on social media are Shark Week and Comic-Con. I give suggestions on how your business can get noticed when these hash tags are trending.
  5. Remember my post a couple of weeks back, 5 Ways to Promote Your Business at Summer Events? Well, in July’s calendar I remind you to take advantage of free advertising on your car (and your family and friends’ cars) by having a cardboard windshield sun visor made that displays your logo and url.

Download my July Marketing Calendar here!

Have a Question About Your Small Business?

I am going to be starting a new advice column on my blog whereby I will answer a question specific to your small business. If you are interested, please email me at (in the email subject line put, “Free Advice”) or fill in the form below with your website and the main problem or concern you have. The advice will be published on my blog for all to see so you must be comfortable with that, but it does mean exposure for your business as well as a link to your website. I welcome all types of businesses and industries to submit, but I will choose questions and businesses at my discretion.

Thanks! Gail

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

Weekend Reading List for Small Business 6/5/15

by Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

Sorry, I know I missed last week but I was swamped with consults! Here is my list of small business news to catch up on this weekend.

small business blog roundup

Lots of great reading in my archives as well. Just use the search option in the sidebar. Enjoy your weekend! Gail 

WANT TO CHAT? I offer 30-minute phone consults where I can advise your small business. Click here for more information.

Marketing I Love: 2 Favs of the Week

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

I am always on the lookout for great marketing, so here are a couple of tactics I noticed this week that I hope will inspire your business.

Fav Instagram Account of the Week: Play-doh

Screen shot 2015-04-14 at 1.04.13 PM

I love what Play-doh is doing on Instagram. A lot of shops who use my monthly Marketing Calendar or have read my Ebooks, know that one of the keys to success on social media is taking advantage of what is trending. Play-doh is using its product, but in a playful way, to capitalize on key pop culture events. Look closely and you will see a white dog in honor of the premiere of Games of Thrones that night or an image for the first day of major league baseball or an image to announce the start of April. They find a clever way to capitalize on these trending hash tags.

Fav Promo of the Week: Lands End

Screen shot 2015-04-14 at 1.26.37 PM

Lands End is taking advantage of Mother’s Day by asking its Instagram followers to tell them who in their life is an all around amazing woman, include the hashtag #sheis, and they have a chance to win a gift tote plus their picture could be part of their Mother’s Day page. This is a good way to spark a discussion on social media, get your own hash tag trending and get more comments on your Instagram page.

My New Ebooks are Here!

booksI am very proud of my new ebooks as I have packed them with my very best advice, tactics, tips and secrets for publicity, social media, promotions and more. You will not be disappointed! Available at my Selz Ebook Shop.

4 Ways to Get Reviews & Testimonials for Your Small Business

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

When customers are looking to purchase from your online business, chances are they will want to read your reviews or get testimonials from your customers. When your business is just starting out that may be hard to do, but here are some tactics to consider that will give instant credibility to your business.

Screen shot 2015-03-07 at 9.12.56 AM

Various Types of Testimonials

  1. Publicity – I always tell customers to put all (good) press that they get front and center on their site, on their social media pages, and in their copy, because it really does act like a testimonial or endorsement. If a major publication thinks your products are good, why shouldn’t a potential customer? So include sentences like, “As seen in the March issue of Vogue Magazine...” and include a shot of the cover, a link to the article, and any “as seen in” badges the publication may offer.
  2. Making “Lists” – Last year my blog made it onto a few lists, including “The Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Read in 2014” by American Express Open Forum, the people behind Small Business Saturday, and I can honestly say that I have milked it for all it is worth. There are many lists, particularly local lists that you can apply for and, if you make them, you can then use for credibility. Go to your local Chamber of Commerce website and see if they have any “Small Business Person of the Year” awards or Google something to do with your industry such as “Top Online Indie Home Decor Shops” (a lot of respected websites like “Racked” have lists like this) and then you can use these “shout-outs” as a form of testimonial.
  3. Your Customers – This is an obvious one, but how often do you ask your customers for testimonials? Most happy customers have no problem doing it. I know some businesses hate asking (and I for one am one of those people), but an easy way is to say in your outgoing message to your customers (whether it is in an email, on a note, on an invoice, etc.) “How Did We Do? We value your feedback so that we can always improve upon our products and business, so please leave a comment at …” and then give a link to the feedback form or comment section on your site.
  4. Social Media Notifications – Do you ever read your social media notifications on Twitter, Facebook, etc., to see if anyone said anything nice about your business or products? Personally, I don’t check very often as it is typically people spamming me, but I did the other day and saw a very nice tweet about my services. So I have now included the tweet in the testimonial section of my blog.

That’s all for today.  Let me know if these tactics work for you! Gail 


I’ve helped many small businesses and entrepreneurs grow their business and I can help you too. I offer every kind of marketing service imaginable, even phone consultations where I promise I will get you excited and hopeful about your business again! For more information, just fill in the form below: