How To Make Your Catalogue Copy Sizzle, Not Fizzle!

How To Make Your Catalogue Copy Sizzle, Not Fizzle!


Catalogue Copy

At some time, most of us have read a catalogue, of sorts. Even if you’ve never flipped through a glossy, full-colour magazine-type catalogue – remember the mailbox stuffed full of them last Christmas? – you’ve likely shopped online and read the descriptions of the things that caught your eye.

Did you notice anything about those descriptions?

Were they boring, meaningless, clichéd, or just didn’t give you enough information?

Are you a cataloger, frustrated by diminishing sales and customer complaints because your catalogue copy is vague, mind-numbing, or unclear?

The product descriptions under the merchandise in catalogues are the only information potential customers have about the products, besides customer reviews.

And those customer reviews just might reflect the quality of your copy.

The customer has to trust that what the copy says is true – how many times have you bought something from a catalogue based on its description, only to be disappointed when it arrived – let down, angry, and determined to never buy from that company again.

People buy from catalogues, offline or online, for the convenience it offers. The price of that convenience is not being able to use all of their senses to make the purchasing decision. They’re severely limited in how they can perceive the product, so the product description needs to provide the customer with a virtual experience of handling the merchandise.

Carefully-crafted honest copy should provide the sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch that a customer would bring to a physical retail shopping experience.

It should also invoke the feeling of owning and using the product. As much as we don’t like to admit it, all purchases are based on emotions. We can rationalise it all we want afterwards, but it’s the feeling we’ll get from the product that makes us buy it, not necessarily the product itself. We’re all about feelings and emotions, and it’s so much harder to convey the necessary sensory input in a few words of catalogue copy.

A good catalogue copywriter must become the customer they’re writing for. They must bring the product to life and make the customer excited to own it by virtually ‘placing their hands on it’.

By evoking powerful imagery and comparing the features to things the customer has already experienced and can relate to, for example, the feel of silk or the smell of leather, you can help them to imagine seeing themselves using the product in different areas of their lives.

Even boring, mundane items can be brought to life by finding a unique benefit to the customer, or by associating it with something more exotic and appealing, or by making the customer feel like they belong to an elite or special group. You can show them how much better their lives will be, or suggest alternative uses for the item.

Effective catalogue copy can also help the customer justify a non-essential purchase – go on, you deserve a treat – remember we buy with our hearts, but we need to justify the purchase with our logical minds.

And it all must be done in a smaller space. It has to work as hard as longer copy but still be compact.

There’s no place for wordiness in catalogue copy. It must get to the point but still be appealing. You need to grab your prospect’s attention straight away, or you’ve lost him.

Anyone who owns or runs a catalogue business, or who deals with a business that needs a lot of product descriptions, knows that the big money is online. Not only is your copy easy to upload to your website, but mistakes and updates are a quick and simple fix.

If you invest in  good catalogue copywriters your website product descriptions will also be written with the search engines in mind. And who doesn’t want all their product pages to get a top 10 ranking on Google?

So, you need catalogue copy that appeals to your target market, but also ranks well in search engines.

Good catalogue copywriters need to know the target audience, get inside their head and come up with copy that will appeal to them. If it doesn’t relate to the customer, it won’t do the job.

Anyone can write a product description, but effective catalogue copywriters are hard to come by. They must understand your business, and that of your competitors.

Just as direct response copywriters work within a niche they have a passion for, and have industry experience, so too should a good catalogue copywriter.

It’s this combination of knowing the customer, passion for the products and industry, and bringing the products to life through sensory descriptions, that will make your catalogue shine like a beacon through the haze of lifeless, lacklustre product descriptions.

Don’t just match your competition, outshine them in a big way, and show your customers you mean business.

And your customers will reward you with their business, and sizzling customer reviews that rave about your accurate and meaningful catalogue descriptions.




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