Before writing your advertising copy, you have to know the context in which the copy will be used.
The copy we’re writing in this case is for our product listing on Amazon. More specifically, the type of product we’re selling is first and foremost an impulsive purchase. Impulse means that the decision is made on an immediate feeling more so than on research.
I’ll give you a great example – when I tell people about our Amazon business, inevitably I hear this phrase in the conversation – “They just buy the cheapest though, right?” The answer is, obviously, “no.”
Let’s think like our customers for a second. Here is what the traditional customer we’re targeting is going to do when coming to Amazon to buy something.
They’re going to type in a keyword – let’s say Garcinia Cambogia. Now, what does the average consumer know about a product like this? Not much. They heard directly from some expert on Dr. Oz, or from a friend who watched the Dr. Oz show, that this is supposed to be some miracle weight loss supplement.
Now, this potential customer – are they going to do a lot of research? Are they going to have any idea what a 60% HCA solution even means? Do you think they even care? Doubtful.
Plus, what’s the difference, really, between paying say $19.95 or $29.95? As long as the customer feels it is going to work, they’ll pay $10 more any day of the week. That’s trivial compared to the solution they desire.
So imagine this customer now. They go to Amazon, type in Garcinia Cambogia and what happens? A whole bunch of listings show up one after the other. What do they do next?
Specifically, they run their eye down the page, usually looking at the image and/or the rating of each listing and perhaps the price, just to throw out the super, super high and low pricing options.
As soon as something catches their eye that seems kind of promising, they click through. Now they’re on the landing page for the product description. What’s next?
More often that not, they’ll look at the rest of the images associated with the product listing. Images are easier to digest at a glance than reading. Next, they’ll most likely
skim the title. If they read anything, it will be the first few words. The next highest portion of the title they’ll read is the last few words. The least likely to be read area is the middle of the title.
What they will pay attention to is the rating. For the most part, they won’t read the reviews, they will just get a feeling to see if the reviews appear to be legit to the naked eye. If they do read, they’ll probably read the highest review… and then the lowest review if they continue on from that.
After perusing the reviews, or just giving it a glance over, they’ll check out the 5 bullet points below the title. Again, they mostly will just glance over them. The bullet point most likely to be read is the first one. The second most likely to be read bullet point is the last one.
Some will read all the bullet points, but not many.
Most people will make a decision to buy or not without even reading the product description. This is evident when you see best seller after best seller with the crappiest product descriptions.
The point is it’s smart to optimize yours, and we’ll get into that – but it’s not make or break. In other words, just get it done and don’t spend too much time on it or worry about it too much.
Of all the sections on your product listing, the most important for getting conversion is the reviews.
We’ve seen our listing drop from a 19% conversion to cold traffic to an 11% conversion just because we dropped from a 5 start average review to a 4 1/2. Yep.
The problem with the reviews is there is not much we can do ourselves directly. Naturally, you’re going to want to do your best to get as many people as possible to leave you 5 star reviews, and realize your conversions will be greatly affected depending on what the average review rating is for your listing.
Interestingly enough, I have seen little difference between a product with 400 reviews and an average of 4.5 stars and a product with only 5 reviews, but all of them are 5 stars. Why is that? It just reinforces the point that most people don’t read, they skim. They glance and see the listing averages 5 stars and they move on and don’t go much deeper than that.
Or if they do, it doesn’t seem to make much difference. Now naturally the more reviews you have that are 5 stars while still maintaining an average 5 star overall rating the better. But the reason we don’t aggressively get customers we don’t know to leave review is because, most likely, they won’t be 5 stars.
While the reviews are the most important, what’s the second most important part of your product description? Without a doubt it’s the images.
Some people will take an image and turn it into an ad, like this:
Not only is this against Amazon’s terms of service (which admittedly, they are very lax about enforcing) I don’t know if it’s the smartest move. Maybe throwing a few words on your image is good, but I wouldn’t go beyond that in most cases.
The key point is we want our images, at a glance, to make people respond with a positively emotional feeling that will further our chances of making a sale.
Now, the first place the image comes into play is in the search results themselves. Amazon will display a thumbnail of your first product image. So let’s take a look at some of the top results in Amazon’s search listings for Garcinia Cambogia:
Question: What image stands out the most to you in this “line up?” In this particular case, none stand out too much because they all look pretty much the same.
So the #1 way to get your image to stand out is to make it different than what most other images you’re likely to be competing with are.
My favorite one out of all the ones above is the last one, actually. The main reason is this – as you scan down these images, the last one has made the keyword phrase Garcinia Cambogia easiest to read from the thumbnail.
Have you ever noticed how in Google, when you do a search, your keyword phrase is bolded in the search results? Google does this because they have conducted studies that show that, in general, this helps users find the most “relevant” result to click through to.
Since we have been conditioned by Google to perform this behavior, we should also consider using it for our Amazon listing. As much as possible, I want my label to contain the main keyword phrase that most of my audience will be typing in when looking for my product.
If I can’t do that easily on the logo, I will put the phrase itself on my image above or below it. I have no doubt that if someone types in Garcinia Cambogia into the search results, and at a glance my image has that keyword staring them in the face… that can only be to my benefit.
Let’s take a look at some more images…
Of the above images, which got your attention first? If you’re like most people, the second one did. The main reason why is because it’s not symmetrical, it’s off to the right a bit. Now in this case, it was probably by pure luck this worked out this way only because they added the “all new” badge next to their image, therefore pushing the main image to the right.
However, just pushing the image to the right instead of centering it is a smart idea because it will stand out because it doesn’t fit in! Another way to achieve the same thing is to slightly rotate your image to the left or right.
What are some other tricks to get your image to stand out? Depth and color contrast. Take a look at these silicone spatulas:
The second one is most likely to stand out and get recognized. First, the two below it are black. The one above it looks “flat”… whereas these blue ones not only have the most contrasting color – they have more dimension to them. Depth can be achieved with a simple drop shadow, or even by skewing the perspective a bit.
In this case, the only suggestion I would make for our blue silicone spatulas is to “point” them right instead of left – so we can lead the eye to the headline instead of away from it.
You might say to me that your product color itself is too similar to your competition. In that case, you’d want to use the box its contained in as your main image. If you don’t have that, then put in a guarantee symbol at the bottom that is colorful or something… anything… to get the desired contrast from your competition.
Now, keep in mind, at this point the image has largely facilitated in only one thing -getting someone to click through to your actual listing with a favorable impression of your product. That’s it. The sale hasn’t happened yet.
When someone clicks through from the search results to your listing you have to ask yourself – what is the first thing they are most likely to look at?
The answer is… the same image that brought them through. Then, they might look at the other accompanying images, too. This is why it’s important to have your images be at least 1000px at the shortest side so when someone hovers their mouse over the image, it automatically enlarges the image.
Now, for the additional images you’re allowed on your listing – you can get a bit more creative with those. The first image we have to first and foremost use to get the clickthrough form the search results.
With the rest of these images, we can sell.
For example, here is one I found for Garcinia Cambogia:
This is an image of the bonus that is included when you purchase their product. Now, there are a lot of improvements that can be made to this image – for example, the ebook cover is huge compared to the text on it – and the table of contents is probably not the best thing to list next to the book.
The most important thing I see is “discount coupon inside” and the information on how the bonus can be redeemed – now we’re cooking. This gives a reason why someone should buy from this vendor instead of any other vendor – because if they re-order in the future, they’ll get a special deal… and they get an extra bonus just by ordering today.
What’s another good image? I call it the “proof” image – if you can make yours seem more credible than any other option, the customer will be much more likely to believe any claim you make on your product page.
Here is one example of how you can do a proof image:
In this case, they not only showed an official looking document, they annotated it so you knew what each thing meant. Smart.
What’s another image to consider? I call it the “action shot.” In this case, here is a great one for a silicone spatula:
This is an example of the product being used, not just a shot of the product itself. Yummy.
What I like to do with the product images is take notes from the competition. I will go through 100 to 200 listings of my competitors only looking at their product images – and every time I see a really good one, I’ll take a screen shot of it. These I will then be able to send them over to my graphic designer if I feel inclined to do so.
At the same time, there is something to be said for good enough. When Wilson and I first started, we only had one image instead of using all our image slots. I know that cost us a lot of money because once we added the rest of the images, our product shot up from the #4 spot to #1 virtually overnight from that single tweak alone.
In our case, all we did was take the original image and have someone from 99Designs grab some stock photos and put our bottle in the bottom right of the image listing – that’s it. So when you’re starting out, just get that one really good product image feature shot, and then, as it makes sense, go back and get the other images… then optimize them if you desire.
As has been previously discussed, the title is the most important element of your listing when it comes to showing up for certain keywords people search for on Amazon.
In fact, it seems only keywords in the title influence the search results, and that the product description, bullet points and other content on an Amazon listing have little or no bearing on keyword ranking.
This presents us with an interesting situation – do we write solely for the computers from a keyword perspective or do we try to, as much as possible, also make is sound somewhat coherent to a human reader?
The answer is we never sacrifice coherence for keywords, however we do strive for both.
Let’s take a look at some examples. Here is the first listing for Garcinia Cambogia at the time I write this guide:
Garcinia Lean seems to be a brand name, and not a keyword specific driven phrase. Now, if we were a household name in a niche, it might make sense to put our brand name in the title – until then though, I skip it because it’s a waste of space. In other words, it’s way down on the list of keywords someone is going to search for who might end up buying my product.
The next bit is interesting – “500mg”. The only reason I would ever include something mundane like 500mg or 180 capsules is if I think a lot of people are searching for those things specifically in Amazon’s search engine as related to Garcnia Cambogia. And even then, it’s a matter of what we feel are the best keywords, in order, that we can fit into the title.
So while this listing is number #1 for Garcnia Cambogia at this time, my assessment is it is doing so in spite of its title. Who knows how much better it would do if it was also picking up some other highly searched keywords in relation to Garcinia Cambogia.
Let’s take a look at another title:
This is better. The keyword ‘extract’ alone makes it better. Related to the 60% HCA though – again, I would only add it if it’s seems to be a significant keyword, which I doubt it is. The last thing I like about this title is the “100% money back guarantee” – for most products it’s better to sacrifice some keyword stuffing space for a simple call to action like this because the last phrase is the second most read portion of a title by a user.
So what’s a great title? Here is the title I would use if I was selling Garcinia Cambogia:
Almost everything in there is a keyword – garcinia cambogia, extract, pure, formula, weight loss supplement, dr. oz, & pills… I would’ve crammed more in if my supplement was 1500mg (the most searched of mgs) or if it was a powder or had raspberry ketones, etc.
I got most of my keywords from the Amazon keyword suggest and from doing a bit of research on the top listings for Garcinia Cambogia.
The most important piece of copy on a listing, from a conversion stand point is going to be your bullet points. We wrote the title mainly for the search result – now we write our 5 bullet points for our listing purely for the visitor, in hopes it entices them to become our customer.
Bullet points are the hardest copy to write. A good bullet point is choked full of benefits presented with the most powerful language possible presented in the tersest fashion.
Let’s take a look at the first bullet point for the #1 ranked product in amazon for garcinia cambogia:
-#1 Reviewed Garcinia Cambogia Extract on Amazon! OVER 4,700 Real Reviews!
This is not a good bullet point. The only thing it has going for it is attempting to claim that because of its number of reviews, that somehow makes it better. Weak. A much better bullet point in this regard would be:
– 2376+ verified purchasers have rated our extract as 4 stars or better… that’s more higher ratings than any other option here in Amazon!!
What I did was make it specific, and focused on the main benefit that was different than the competition, unique to this product. Even then, it’s still not a great bullet point and here’s why – people don’t care as much about the number of reviews as they do about other things related to this product. More on that in a second. Let’s look at their next bullet point:
-Highest Quality 500mg Capsules, Natural & 100% Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly
There is maybe one solid benefit here at best. 500mg capsules is a feature, not a benefit. A feature is part of what the product is… and benefit is what the product can do for the user. What in this bullet point does it claim something it can do for the user? Nowhere directly. Indirectly we might be able to pull a benefit that if you’re a vegan you could use this. Who cares? Again, there are better bullet points to go after.
Let’s take a look at the next one:
-180 Capsules of our MOST Concentrated (60%) HCA to MAXIMIZE Weight Loss
Wow, finally a real benefit: “maximize weight loss.” Weak, but at least it’s better than anything else thus far. The rest are features, and I guarantee 90% of the buyers don’t know or care what HCA even is.
Now why is “maximize weight loss” weak? Because customers don’t think in those terms. They don’t want to maximize weight loss. They want to look better in a bikini. They want to fit into those jeans that have been taunting them, dangling there in the closet. They want to have sex without first having to turn off the lights because they’re embarrassed about their self image.
If we can add that kind of emotional benefits into our bullet points, that’s where we start to get some good results.
The coolest thing about Amazon is we don’t have to guess. All we have to do is set a timer for 30 minutes, plug in our main keyword and start with the first listing – and read their most helpful reviews. Each time a customer says something that is a benefit that your product can also provide, jot it down. Important: jot it down in the same language that the customer used.
As much as possible we want to use the customer’s language because it’s a fantastic substitute for being a world class copywriter.
So, doing this with garcnia cambogia, here are some benefits I jotted down based on customer reviews I read:
• have some belly fat to lose and this helped a lot
• You will not be hungry and you will have no side effects
• fought weight loss all my life
• hungry all the time (with everything tried in the past)
• lose weight if you ‘just put your mind to it’ (doesn’t work that way)
• restrict calories with minimal results (ugh!)
• watch skinny friends eat like a bird, claim they’re full!
• lost 2 inches from chest, waist and hips
• don’t feel jittery or nauseas
• curb hunger pains
• lost 4-5lbs with no changes in my diet
• didn’t exercise much or change many habits, seeing results (exercise optional)
• didn’t have any headaches
• used to eat 3-4 slides of pizza, now only 1 1/2
• felt full for a real long time
• great for kick starting weight loss
• have not changed my daily routine much
• give me a little more energy to get things done
• actually improved my mood!
• curbed my appetite with zero side effects
• less appetite and cravings for junk food
• mood lifted due to lack of blood sugar fluctuations
• immediate stomach shrinking, less bloat in your middle
• clothes are looser
• inches began melting away after about 3 weeks
• able to wear some clothes I couldn’t a few months ago
• very motivating
• eat normally lose weight or not gain
• flab is coming off and my belly is flatter
• got a compliment from an old boyfriend
• eat desserts and not gain
• recharged my diet
Now this is just a list I made in less than 10 minutes just going through the helpful reviews of the first 4 products. I would normally have a list three or four times as long as this if I were doing this for my own product, but this is a good start for writing some bullet points.
Looking at this list, the biggest benefit that seems to be mentioned over and over again is that is suppresses the appetite. Most specifically, my favorite user review on this said specifically that they used to hate watching their skinny friends eat like a bird yet be full!
So let’s try to right the first bullet point related to all this:
-Eat like a bird and feel full, for a looooong time? Two bites of dessert and you’re done? Our extract is tailor made to curb hunger pains without restricting calories or changing your daily routine!
How’s that for a bullet point? It’s almost all made up of phrases from above. See? Pretty simple when you do it like this. Let’s do another one. Glancing at the list again, I see another thing people mentioned was that there were little to no side effects and in some cases, positive mood shifts.
So with that in mind, let’s take a crack at the next bullet point:
-Most users report zero side effects. No jitters. No nausea. No headaches. In fact, to the contrary, lots of people actually saw their mood improve (perhaps due to the lack of blood sugar fluctuations)
That’s a great bullet point – and again, it’s almost all composed of user phrases from the list I made above.
Let’s do one more. Scanning down the list I see a lot of cool little phrases related to a specific type of weight loss benefit. let’s see if we can cram them all into one bullet point, like this:
– Immediate stomach shrinkage? Works great for belly fat, even if you’ve fought weight loss all your life. Exercise not required to lose weight. Wear clothes you couldn’t fit into before. Watch the flab come off. Prepare yourself for compliments from the opposite sex!
Now we’re cooking. Again, almost all of those are from phrases I pulled from the original list I made when i went through the user reviews. If I would’ve taken 30 minutes instead of 10 to come up with the list those bullet points would’ve been even better!
I like to write the first four bullet points of my listing like that. I save the last bullet point for a call to action, which almost always goes something like this:
– When you order today, you’re protected by a 60 day, no-questions asked money back guarantee and world class customer service!
You do your bullet points like I just described and they will be better than 99% of your competition, easily.
Lastly, the product description. The least important section. I’m not of the school of thought that we need to optimize every single character even down to the type of HTML we use to squeeze out a few more words. The only HTML I use is bold and italics, and I don’t change colors or sizes. Instead, we focus on the copy.
Most of this copy will be “recycled” from our list above when we first went through and pulled out phrases from the most helpful reviews. Instead of having to write it in bullet point form though, we can write it in complete sentences.
In addition, we’re going to have enough room in the product description to also “legitimize our claims,” as I like to call it. In other words, give proof that what we say is true, or at least believable enough for them to buy the product.
With that in mind, let’s start at the top. I almost always open my product description this way:
Your search for the best Garcinia Cambodia extract is finally over. When you purchase from us today, here’s just some of the things you can look forward to…
There are a lot of great lessons just in those first two sentences. First of all, “search” works on both a covert and overt level. Overtly, it’s saying “you’ve found the best!” Covertly though, we’re saying “don’t search on Amazon anymore and waste your time, just buys ours and be done with it”. Clever, huh? Also notice the assumptive close -“when you purchase”…
After this first section, I will list some bullet points in a slight different fashion. Then I will put in a very scientific sounding paragraph (usually gleaned from my manufacturer’s spec sheet on the product), mention our premium support and then ask for the order.
Let me show you, as if I were writing the review for the top Garcnia Cambogia product…
Your search for the best Garcinia Cambodia extract is finally over. When you purchase from us today, here are just some of the things you can look forward to…
• Customers have reported loss of weight and inches all over. From the belly, the thighs, hips, and chest as well as anything and everything in between. Read through our 2376 (and counting) 4 star reviews and higher to see for yourself!
• Almost all customers report zero negative side effect at all. No headaches, no increased heart rate or jittery feelings. In fact, for many customers the opposite came true… Not only did they feel more motivated, and have more energy, but many users say a mood elevation. This is most likely due to the stabilization of blood sugars, which we can call a positive side effect!
• What’s more important, weight loss or inches? Why not have both! It’s hard to tell exactly what you’ll get more of as it seems to vary from user to user… however we think you’ll agree in either case if it’s as simple as taking a supplement to have this happen for a low price likes ours, it’s worth it!
• Marvel as your appetite flattens! You might notice you eat 1/4th the portions you used to, yet feel 4 times as full for 4 times longer! Also, you may see your cravings for junk food dissipate or go away all together! Since we offer a 60 day risk free guarantee of happiness or your money back, just give it a shot
The biggest question you may be asking is – why does Garcinia Cambogia extract work so effectively, even where other providers fail? Well, it’s simple really. First we used the information of over 80 published scientific studies to help synthesize the best hydroxycitric acid solution (which is where the magic happens).
The results were formalized from several placebo controlled, double blind trials employing several different daily amounts of hydroxycitric acid for the proper quantitive scientific evidence. The point is we were able to use this to put out the most potent form of Garcinia Cambogia while still being 100% safe!
Perhaps this attention to detail is what separates us from all the other competitors!
Most important though, to us, is the customer service you’ll receive when you place your order today. Keep in mind, what we offer is not a miracle drug, but a legitimate supplement that, when taken properly as directed, seems to work extremely well for a lot of people. All we ask that you give us a shot and if for any reason at all it’s not right for you, you have 60 days to let us know and we’ll give you 100% of your money back -no questions asked.
So sign up now. When you do consider, purchasing two bottles for uninterrupted use!
This is a template you can follow for your own. Use the opener and put in your product with your company name instead. Write your bullet points, based again from the same info you got when you did your research from the customer reviews of the competition. Write one or two very scientific sounding paragraphs to make all your claims that much more legitimate, using data from your supplier if possible. Then sell how great your support is and ask for the order, ideally pushing gently for them to order more than one.
That’s it – a simple system.