I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Picture-perfect photos are what get your customer in the door, but crafting clever copy is THE KEY to turning that casual browser into a paying customer.
And paying customers = profitable Etsy shop :)
Today I’m sharing 6 (because I couldn't stop at 5!) of my favorite strategies to help you revive the copy in your Etsy shop so that it is succinct, persuasive, and will convert like crazy (<-- let’s be honest, that’s the real perk here!).
1 | Remember--it isn’t about you
Yes it’s your shop, and yes they’re your products, but it’s not YOUR copy.
If you have crafted your copy to highlight things that YOU like or aspects that YOU think are important, it’s probably time to open a blank word document and start from scratch.
Your copy needs to be tailored specifically towards your audience and their wants and needs. And while you may be similar to your audience, chances are that there are a few key differences—like the fact that you would never purchase the items in your shop—because you can already make them yourself!
But your customer is different—and they will absolutely purchase the items in your shop! By approaching your copywriting with that in mind (again, NOT yourself and YOUR needs/wants), you’ll be able to sell 100x easier and convert 100x faster (<-- real deal stats right there, folks).
Take action: For every piece of copy you write, you need to put yourself into your customer’s shoes and ask the question “What’s in it for me?” Then, tailor your copy to answer that question.
2 | Share your story (but don't air your dirty laundry!)
Your story is one of the most powerful selling tools you own, and you shouldn’t shy away from sharing it with your customers.
That being said, sharing your whole life’s history? Not a great idea.
When sharing your story, the main goal is to make sure that you share a little about you, a little about your history, a little bit about your product, and a little bit about how all of those work together.
Everything in your history that you share should help you relate to your customers on some level. Whether it's sharing stories that show how you're human, just like them, or that you had the same frustrations that they had (SollyBaby does this great-- they talk about how hard it is to get anything done in that newborn stage as a parent). Show your customers that you're one of the gang-- and that you totally get them!
Take action: Take a minute and ask yourself “why?” As in, “why did I start this business?” Grab a blank piece of paper and start jotting down anything and everything that comes to mind (don't worry about grammar here-- this is a brain dump exercise!). Once you're done, pick out the parts that really resonate with you-- those are the points you want to highlight in your copy.
3 | Avoid sounding like a robot
I don’t know about you, but in my first couple of years in business, I was so obsessed with appearing professional that about 100% of my copy (just a rough estimate) sounded like a robot had regurgitated it up from a manual. #butseriously
Here’s the thing: professionalism doesn’t automatically equal better.
You will win over 100x more of your audience if you present yourself as a real human being running a small business. People connect with other people, and if you can stand out as a human being in an otherwise faceless crowd, you’re well on your way to leaving a lasting impression.
Take action: Copy and paste one of your listing’s descriptions into a blank Word document, and then have a friend or family member read it out loud. Can they tell from the copy that a real human being wrote it? Is your brand’s personality poking through? If not, it's probably time to rewrite your copy!
4 | Speak your customer’s language
This is something I see A LOT, a lot a lot a lot with sellers—they become so immersed in their craft that when they go to market it, words like “bicone” and “6mm” and “18 gauge wire” work their way into the copy (and titles. and tags.) for a necklace.
Yes, you may know what those words mean, and your other jewelry contacts may know what they mean, but for the casual shopper? They’re probably going to type in “beaded necklace” and pick the first thing that grabs their eye.
Make sure that your copy is tailored to that casual shopper—NOT your peers. If people are searching for “beaded necklace,” then you had better use that keyword in your listing title, tags, and description. Don’t use your industry jargon (no matter how smart it makes you sound!) because unless you’re a supplier, it’s not going to bring you a dime.
I promise you, if you take the time to do that, you are going to BLOW THEIR MINDS. They're going to ask themselves "How the heck did she get into my head?!" and as creepy as that sounds, it's actually a really, really good thing :)
Take action: Where does your target market hang out? Do a little market research (ask your audience with a little survey if you’re completely stuck!) and find out. Go to where they are hanging out and “copystalk” – make note of what language their using, any words that you see repeated over and over again, and work those keywords and phrases into your copy.
5 | Write for the web
Every single day I get the question “What size headband should I order for my daughter?” and it honestly blows my mind. Not because it’s a silly question (it’s not), but because I have specific sizing instructions in my listing descriptions to help customer’s with that exact question.
But when it comes to online shopping (or online anything, really) people are lazy (and as much as I don’t like to admit it, I’ve been guilty a time or two or three for not reading a product description…)
With that in mind, you’re always going to get that certain percentage of people who just don’t read the finer details of your shop items. Keep that in mind and know that it’s not you—it’s them ;)
And while you don’t have complete control over making sure that every single person reads your product descriptions, there are a few things you can do to encourage it:
- Break your copy down into digestible chunks—if you’ve got more than 5 lines of copy in one paragraph, then break it down into 2 paragraphs of 2-3 lines.
- Consider using subheadings for each new “idea” in your product description—it will point customers quickly in the right location to find information they want to know
- Use bullet points to break up physical features of your product so that they are easy-to-read. Simple hold “alt + 8” to get a bullet point :)
Take action: Copy and paste one of your listing descriptions and analyze how easy it is to read-- do you find yourself skimming over certain sections? Are some of the paragraphs really loooooong? Anytime you find yourself skimming over a certain section, make a note-- these are the sections that you'll want to fix for readability.
6 | Keep it SEO friendly
When people talk about writing persuasive copy, it’s easy to get so caught up in all the different aspects that go into it that I feel like most people tend to forget to mention the importance of keywords and SEO.
Your first paragraph + two should be persuasive, but sprinkled with important keywords throughout (need an example? Download my free listing case study below!). You don’t need to include every keyword in your listings titles and tags, but you'll want to use about 4-5 throughout.
Take action: Go through your listing's titles/tags (they should be the same!) and pick out 4-5 good, strong keywords (they can definitely be a mixture of broad + highly targeted). Then, take those 4-5 keywords and write 1-2 paragraphs of copy with those words sprinkled throughout.
Note—you don’t want to “keyword stuff” which simply means trying to fit as many keywords in (and sometimes repeat them over and over again) as possible; Google views this as spam and will instantly demote your shop’s quality score (which is what determines how well you rank on Google).
Double Note—At this time Etsy isn’t using your product description as a factor in determining on-site SEO. BUT! Pinterest, Google, Bing, and every other search engine out there is.
Copywriting may seem overwhelming right now-- trust me, I totally know that feeling-- but it does get easier with time and practice, practice, and practice.
Remember that "done" is better than "perfect."
Your first drafts of copy probably won't be ridiculously amazing-- and that's okay (and definitely normal!). As you learn and grow and your shop progresses, you'll find that your copy gets refined over time and before you know it, you'll have some A+ copy that will hook your customer's in from the get-go!