23
min read

12 Great Copywriting Examples (Plus a Ton of Copywriting Tips)

Table of Contents

You’re here for the copywriting examples. But first, a quick story.

Every Friday at 5 o’clock (somewhere), I sit back in my ’70s paisley armchair, put on some Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and have a beverage.

I call it the Yacht Rock Happy Hour. It’s when my thoughts pivot from writing and marketing to whatever the weekend holds.

But last Friday, I inadvertently looked at my mead can, from the Michigan meadery B. Nektar.

Here’s what it said:

“When life feels like you’ve taken a trip up shit’s creek, and seemingly everyone is acting like a disgruntled pelican, one might kill for a good coma, but NO! Try a little Sunrise Bay! It’s light, it’s easy, and as fabulous as knowing how to work a room of fragile egos. Now let’s raise a glass, or can, and cheers to your possible beauty. Don’t forget to Tweet us on Facebook! Best wishes, warmest regards.”

Seriously. How good is that?!

It turned out to be the least relaxing happy hour of my life, because suddenly, I was right back to thinking about words—and how endlessly creative they can be. How the right combination can inspire laughter, surprise, empathy, shock, curiosity, or a million other reactions.

Including, for marketers, the most important one of all: action.

Copy can also inspire more copy. Below are 12 copywriting examples to motivate your own writing. Add them to your swipe file for the next time you need a creativity boost.

I’ll get into why we chose these below, and I’ll share a bunch of proven copywriting tips in the meantime. But briefly: The reason we chose these ads is because they work. Whatever their goal is—whether that’s getting a click or a conversion (or something else entirely)—the following copy examples are primed to make it happen.

Bonus: Somewhere in this article is the worst ad ever made. Just for fun (or horror). You’ll know it when you see it.

mead can copy
The mead can that got me thinking about writing and life. From B. Nektar

1. The Give Directly above the fold

Give Directly homepage

This is the first thing you see on the homepage for the nonprofit Give Directly. What makes it so compelling is its specificity. You see the names, faces, and locations of the people your donations would help.

Even the call-to-action (CTA) button names a specific person: “Give directly to Nyevu.” A quick blurb right above it tells you how Nyevu would use the money.

Many studies have shown that we respond more to a single person than a group or stat. In one study, one group was told that $300,000 would save a child, and another was told that the same amount would save eight children. More donations were given to the single child.

Although that principle is generally applied to nonprofits, specificity works for every business type. It separates the signal from the noise.

  • A tech company shouldn’t say they have the “fastest-loading product on the market.” They should highlight that they’re “lightning fast: pages load 312% faster than what you’re using.” Humans aren’t great at thinking statistically—we’re better at metaphors and associations—but impressive exact numbers do stand out.
  • A DTC beauty brand shouldn’t say they have the world’s most popular clean makeup line. They should say they have 212,000 five-star reviews and counting. Even better: photos of specific users in full-on glow mode.

Back to Give Directly: Another thing they do well is overcome an objection right away. Is this a gimmick? No, it’s the real deal. We’ll go deeper on objection handling at Example 11.

Plus, their above the fold (ATF)—the part of their site that’s visible before you start scrolling—is interactive. Change the number, see how many people you can help.

That action verb in the header is pretty great too: “lift.” We all want to lift each other up. This ATF shows you how you can.

Interactivity + motivating action verb = highly engaging

This ATF accomplishes a lot. The amazing thing is that it never feels busy. In just a few words, the Give Directly copywriters are able to pack in so much. Hat tip to them. 🎩

PS: We have a playbook that’s just on above-the-fold sections. We’ve written hundreds of them.

PPS: Give Directly is a really cool organization. Check them out.

2. The Cheetos below the fold

ad copy - Cheetos
Source: New York Times March 13, 2022, edition

Before we talk Cheetos, a quick caveat: The term “below the fold” isn’t actually a thing. Marketers talk about ATF all the time, but you never really hear about BTF.

The reason we’re using it to introduce the next example is that we can’t resist a bit of symmetry and contrast. After talking ATF, BTF seems like a natural complement.

  • Symmetry: One tried-and-true way to use symmetry in copywriting is the rule of three. Three is the minimum number that makes a pattern, and people are pattern seekers. Group items in threes to make your copy eye-catching and, to borrow from Apple, "Oh. So. Pro."
  • Contrast: Juxtaposition can be used to highlight bad alternatives that your product resolves: “Google Tracks You. We Don’t” - DuckDuck Go billboard. Or it can create balance: “We like our clients because of their money. They like us because of our honesty” - Hyposwiss Private Bank.

On to our Cheetos example. This one is surprising. Usually in copy, you want to captivate your reader in the first three seconds. But here, the first words have absolutely nothing to do with the product: “Automatic doors.”

Neither do the next words: “Self-driving cars.”

Or the next 12 lines.

It takes a whole 33 words to get to the punch line. Which is literally below the fold—since it’s a print ad, you have to open the folded newspaper just to see what this is all about.

It shouldn’t work. But it does. Here’s why.

  • It’s daring. It does the opposite of what we expect, which is to be sold something right away. It zigs where others would zag.
  • It’s sensory. When we finally do get to the punch line, it’s in a high-contrast bright orange—just like the person’s fingertips. And those fingers tap into three senses: sight, taste, and touch. (Bonus points for relatability. Been there.)

Those two qualities will be recurring themes of this article. To write memorable copy, make it different, and make it vivid.

apple - think different
Apple’s “Think Different” is one of the most successful slogans of all time. It’s also solid copywriting advice. Source: Wikipedia

3. Oatly’s header

Oatly ad
Source: Writ Wizard's Pinterest

See? Daring.

Oatly has become known for being kind of hardcore. To be clear, they sell alternative milk. Not beast-mode gym equipment.

Here’s how they did it.

First, they’re so confident in the quality of their product that they don’t mind sharing its bad reviews. In fact, they highlight them. Think of it as anti–social proof. (More on social proof at Example 10.)

This is a tactic we’ve seen a few times, and it always grabs our attention. But don’t overdo it, or you might start seeing a backlash.

bad reviews used in ads
Bad reviews turned good campaigns. Sources: Ad Week, @martyswant

Second, they stick to their values, to the point where they’re not afraid to pick a fight. They’ve publicly battled Sweden’s milk lobby, resulting in headlines like, “Sweden’s ‘Milk War’ Is Getting Udderly Ridiculous.” They even call themselves “unpredictable and unrelenting oat punks”!

(One issue that’s beyond the purview of this article is whether their marketing strategy is sketchy. Here’s more if you’re interested.)

And third, their ads have intrepid headlines. In addition to “This tastes like sh*t! Blah!” some others they’ve used are, “You actually read this? Total success,” and the jolting, “It’s like milk but made for humans.”

As David Ogilvy, the “father of advertising,” famously put it, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

A brief detour into an episode in header history

Ernest Hemingway comes up a lot in conversations about copywriting. It’s understandable—he’s known for being concise and using simple language, both important elements of good copywriting.

Here’s my favorite Hemingway story. He’s not really in it.

His editor was Maxwell Perkins. Physically, Perkins wasn’t very distinctive—standard height, average weight—but the main reason I won’t describe him is that he believed editors should be invisible. They help authors realize their vision; they don’t shine themselves.

Perkins championed Hemingway, much to the chagrin of his conservative higher-ups at the publishing house Scribner. They objected to the colorful language in his novels. Perkins knew he had to talk to his boss, Charles Scribner, about it, so he jotted down some of the main offenders: sh*t, f*ck, and p*ss.

His boss might not have noticed the handwritten list, except that Perkins hadn’t paid attention to where he’d written it: on his desk calendar. Under the heading “Things to Do Today.”

Headers are where attention gets grabbed. Make them unique, urgent, ultra specific, or useful (the four U’s). In content marketing articles, do the same thing with your subheaders, to keep readers engaged and your text easy to scan.

(Story source: A. Scott Berg’s wonderful Max Perkins: Editor of Genius)

examples of great ad headlines
More attention-grabbing headlines. Sources: @dailyadcoffee, Business Insider’s Pinterest, Behance’s Pinterest

4. Patagonia’s two-way poem

Patagonia ad
Source: @dailyadcoffee

Here’s how the copywriter Jon Morrow defines power words: They’re “persuasive, descriptive words that trigger a positive or negative emotional response. They can make us feel scared, encouraged, aroused, angry, greedy, safe, or curious.”

If you “sprinkle in a few, … you can transform dull, lifeless words into persuasive words that compel readers to take action.”

What’s remarkable about this ad from Patagonia isn’t that it uses power words. All great copywriting does.

The remarkable thing about it is that those power words tap into different emotions depending on the order you read them in.

Reading from top down, they cause anger and fear: screwed, it’s too late, we don’t trust anyone, we don’t have a choice.

From the bottom up, the emphasis changes entirely, to hope and encouragement: choice, livable, imagine, healthy future.

Brilliant.

The “poem” (we think it’s poetic) is followed by that kicker of a tagline: “Buy Less, Demand More.” That’s shocking from a retailer—and extremely affecting.

Appeal to your readers’ emotions. We tend to think of decision making as being connected to the rational part of our brain, but the opposite is true. Decision making is emotional. When patients experience damage to the part of the brain that generates emotions, they struggle to make basic decisions.

Feelings dictate decisions. Emotional responses are why we share things that go viral, why we donate to causes, and why we buy what we buy (or don’t buy what we don’t need, in the case of Patagonia).

Refer back to Morrow’s list as you write your copy. Consider how your writing instills fear, encouragement, arousal, anger, greed, safety, or curiosity. If, instead of triggering a high-arousal emotion, it makes you feel merely content, a little bit sad, or just kind of bored, it’s time for a rewrite.

email marketing - copywriting examples
These emails from Disney and Vacasa are emotion-packed. For much more on email copywriting, check out our article “How to Write a Marketing Email.” Images source: reallygoodemails (an excellent resource for email marketing inspiration)

5. El Arroyo’s signage

el arroyo marquee
Source: @elarroyo

Does humor sell?

According to research in Humor: The International Journal of Humor Research

(pausing to give you time to appreciate that that’s an actual peer-reviewed academic journal)

… “humor and intimacy are closely related. … The positive relationship between trust and humor was explained in terms of such mediating variables as extroversion, stress reduction, and self-esteem.”

On the other hand, humor can run the risk of hurting credibility. Especially if it starts to get annoying, as so many “funny” TV ads do. (Sorry, LiMu Emu.)

Even David Ogilvy seems to have been of two minds about humor in advertising. In 1963, he said, “Good copywriters have always resisted the temptation to entertain.” But 19 years later, he was changing his tune: “I have reason to believe … humor can now sell.”

Our take: You should totally be funny. If:

  • You never sacrifice clarity in your messaging.
  • You also prove your credibility. Something we’ll get into at Example 10.
  • Humor fits with your brand voice. Complete these sentences: “Our brand always sounds …” “We never sound …” Where does humor fit in? For a solid example of defining voice and tone, check out Sprout Social’s brand guidelines.
  • Humor also fits with your target audience. Be careful about humor if your audience is geographically wide-ranging—what might seem funny in one part of the world can be either nonsensical or offensive in another.

Humor is particularly effective in viral marketing. So if one of your goals is to get lots of shares, by all means, go for it.

Okay, enough explaining the joke(’s role in advertising). Our example above is from the Austin Tex-Mex restaurant El Arroyo, which has definitely gone viral with its reliably hilarious marquee. They have 570k+ followers on Instagram and, as the “last queso stop before a bunch of yoga studios,” they’re a popular destination for out-of-towners and Texans alike.

6. Headspace’s purposeful homepage

headspace homepage
Source: Headspace.com

Four reasons why the homepage for the meditation app Headspace is fantastic.

First, it’s action-oriented. Check out all those motivating verbs: find, get, make, catch, relax, feel, put, wake up, make, do. Super encouraging, with clear, positive outcomes.

Second, it’s specific, like we talked about in our discussion of Give Directly. “14% less stressed in just 10 days” is so much more convincing than a generic “feel less stressed” would be.

Third, it has just a touch of rhyming: “Be kind to your mind.” Multiple studies have shown that people naturally prefer rhymes. We rate them as more likable, memorable, and trustworthy. Think:

  • “Zapier makes you happier” (from Zapier’s homepage and social media)
  • “Don’t wait until it’s too late” (from Judy’s homepage)
  • “CrapWrap” (the name of Firebox’s gift-wrapping service)

And last but most importantly, this copy is all about the person reading it. It’s not about how great Headspace is. It’s about how great the reader will feel if they use Headspace.

All those verbs are in the second person, meaning the subject is you, the reader. Not Headspace. You will catch your breath and relax your mind. You will find more joy. Those are benefits you’ll experience, not features of the app you’re thinking about downloading.

Here’s the place in this article about copywriting where we must inevitably talk about the importance of highlighting benefits, instead of just describing features. Yes, it’s about the crustiest copywriting advice you’ll see. It’s everywhere.

But there’s a reason for that. It’s absolutely essential.

Approach your copy from a jobs-to-be-done framework. What do people “hire” your product to do? What do they get out of it?

If you sell makeup, people “hire” your company to make them look good. If you sell HR SaaS, other businesses “hire” yours to make their HR management more efficient. Spotlight those beneficial outcomes.

“Benefits, not features” is best summed up in this classic image from onboarding expert Samuel Hulick.

graphic demonstrating benefits, not features
Source: Samuel Hulick

As he puts it, “People don’t buy products; they buy better versions of themselves.”

In your copy, reveal to prospects how their future will entail being an awesome person who can do rad stuff. If that future includes your product.

7. Schick’s “Be You” campaign

Back in the “good old days,” marketing was all about aspiration. Men wore fine suits while their cute wives enjoyed the pleasures of working hard without ever breaking a sweat. The dream!

the worst ad ever made
Here it is! The worst ad ever made. Congratulations, Kellogg’s 👏 Source: Evi L. Blogger Lady

Good news: The good old days are over. According to Ad Week, we’re now in the age of affirmational marketing, not aspirational marketing.

The turning point was probably Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty,” which featured women who weren’t professional models standing confidently alongside slogans like, “We see beauty all around us.”

Schick’s “Be you. No one else can.” campaign continues in that tradition. The men in the commercial are approachable. They’re personable—charming, chatty, and candid.

The kinds of guys you’d meet at a bar.

Or the kinds of guys you are.

“The younger generation … is craving an authentic voice that isn’t trying to sell them a fantasy, but instead can show them reality,” Matt Bell, the SVP of Schick North America, told Ad Week. The Schick team conducted a national survey and found that 85% of men prefer to see real, ordinary people in their ads.

We’re in the age of the affirmational, not the aspirational—and the authentic, not the artificial. To connect with readers or listeners, humanize your copy.

Some ways to humanize your marketing

  • Share user-generated content (UGC). UGC shows real people using your product, not hired models or actors. It’s the backbone of so much social media marketing because it rings true—which matters to consumers now more than ever.
  • Get personal. After The Hustle published an article about Hint Water, the flavored water company saw their ads’ cost per click drop from ~$5 to <10¢. Why? The article told the founder’s story, including a cringey moment of sexism (an executive called her “sweetie”). It’s personal and relatable.
  • Be authentic. The Schick video appears to be unscripted. That doesn’t involve a lot of copywriting! We included it as a copywriting example anyway because sometimes the most natural language comes directly from your customers.
  • Speak your target audience’s language. Write like you’re in a conversation with them. To do that, you have to know who your customers are, what motivates them, and how they speak. Check out Step 1 here for more on understanding your customers.

8. Who Gives a Crap’s about us page

who gives a crap about us page
Source: Who Gives a Crap

The reason we love this website copy isn’t its clever wordplay (“that was pretty crap”) or individually delightful lines (“we always want to stay true to our roots: toilet humor and making the world a better place”).

The reason we love it is because it tells a story.

The person reading this learns what inspired the Who Gives a Crap founders to create their company. We read about the problem they wanted to help address, and we find out how they went about addressing it. The stakes are high, the sense of purpose palpable.

According to the storytelling effect, we remember stories better than just facts. As Jonah Berger explains in his book Contagious, “People don’t think in terms of information. They think in terms of narratives.”

Drawing an analogy to the Trojan Horse myth—which is a much stronger way of conveying the message “be wary of gifts from your enemies” than simply saying “be wary of gifts from your enemies”—Berger asks, “What is your Trojan Horse? Is your product or idea embedded in a broader narrative that people want to share?”

We’ve already covered a few elements of storytelling, like:

  • Making it emotional—The stories that stick with us are the ones that move us.
  • Adding a human touch—Powerful stories feature people we’re drawn to.
  • Using literary devices like symmetry, contrast, and rhyme.
  • Painting a picture with sensory, specific details. How can you tap into sight, smell, touch, taste, or sound? Who Gives a Crap does this memorably with the image of co-founder Simon sitting on a toilet in a “draughty warehouse” for 50 hours, resulting in “one cold bottom” and over $50,000 in pre-orders.

Here are three more:

  • Pacing. Unlike novelists, copywriters don’t have the space to slow things down much. No long, meditative descriptions of landscapes here. But you can play with pacing to build suspense. The Cheetos ad in Example 2 does this well—readers expecting an immediate headline have to wait for it instead, building anticipation.
  • Another place where suspense can be an effective tactic: email subject lines. Think of them as cliffhangers—they should pique curiosity about what’s inside, without giving everything away.
  • Heroes and villains. We love rooting for the good guys and finding a common foe to defeat. The Who Gives a Crap page has clear heroes (the founders, and implicitly anyone who supports their cause) and an enemy (or a conceptual one, anyway: lack of access to sanitation).

One of the best examples of storytelling in copywriting is MetLife’s “My Dad’s Story: Dream for My Child.” Through your tears, note how emotional, suspenseful, and perfectly paced the hero’s journey is.

(Thanks to Nir Eyal for the example.)

9. Dreamy Porsche ads

classic porsche ad
Source: Airows.com

Stories often have a structure: exposition → rising action → climax → falling action → denouement. So do many pieces of marketing or ad copy—especially if they use a copywriting framework. We’ll discuss three of them, using Porsche ads as our examples.

BAB framework

First up, BAB: before-after-bridge. The classic ad above uses it.

  • Before: The problem/pain point your audience is facing. Like driving behind a Porsche in a car that’s not a Porsche.
  • After: What life is like when that problem/pain point is resolved. Hands grip a sport steering wheel. The road ahead is all yours.
  • Bridge: The solution—your product. The bridge that takes you from before to after.

We like BAB and the two other frameworks we’ll discuss because they spotlight experience. They zero in on, and accentuate, what it’s like to have or not have your product. Think of it as another form of benefits, not features.

Another BAB favorite example, no copywriting even needed:

keloptic ad
Source: Klenty

PAS framework

“In the beginning I looked around and could not find quite the car I dreamed of. So I decided to build it myself.” - Ferry Porsche

That simple statement encapsulates the next framework, PAS: problem-agitate-solve.

  • Problem: The pain point. Ferry couldn’t find his dream car.
  • Agitate: Agitate the problem. Heighten the negative emotions it provokes—frustration, anger, fear—or the pain it causes. Add some drama.
  • Solve: Your product is the solution, of course. Ferry built his dream car: a Porsche.

This example isn’t an ad; it’s a quote. But you can see how PAS can pack a full story into just a few words.

Admittedly, the quote doesn’t have much agitation. We’re including it anyway because we admire its concision and full arc. If this were an ad, it might linger longer on what life is like without Ferry’s dream car. It takes longer to get places, you’re on a first-name basis with your mechanic, you’re embarrassed to drive around in your old ride. Then it’d get to that dream-realizing Porsche 911.

AIDA framework

classic porsche ad
Source: Airows.com

The third framework is AIDA: attention-interest-desire-action.

  • Attention. Grab attention with an eye-catching headline, image, or both.
  • Interest. Nurture interest and intrigue. This ad does that by describing the experience of driving a Turbo: “400 horses. Zero to sixty in just over four heartbeats.”
  • Desire. Stimulate desire. Want “some very serious amusement”? To get it…
  • Action. Take action. Call 1-800-Porsche.

AIDA is a copywriting classic—it goes all the way back to 1898, when Philadelphia adman Elias St. Elmo Lewis came up with it. The fact that it’s still one of the most widely used and recommended frameworks among copywriters is a testament to how dependably it works.

10. Twitter’s “If You Dream It, You Can Tweet It” billboards

twitter campaign - if you dream it, you can tweet it
Source: The Drum

These billboards appeared in early 2022, when—two years into a still-raging pandemic—we all needed an inspirational boost.

They’re a strong example of social proof.

Social proof typically takes the form of testimonials, customer reviews, user-generated content, media quotes, client logos, or star ratings.

examples of social proof in facebook ads
Social proof in Facebook ads. Source: Demand Curve Inspiration Gallery

It’s vital because of how much consumers value authenticity and credibility.

  • Authenticity: About 90% of consumers say authenticity is an important factor in determining which brands to support. (Another revealing stat: 92% of marketers believe they create authentic content—but about half of consumers think that less than half of brands actually create authentic content.) More on authenticity above at Example 7.
  • Credibility: Always, always be truthful in your marketing and believable in your messaging. As B2B content writer Elisa Silverman says, “Think of your digital credibility as a type of cryptocurrency, but without the volatility. Because once your credibility goes down, you’re unlikely to regain it.”

Social proof tells potential customers that others have actually experienced your product’s benefits.

They’re not just claims. They’re real.

Typical social proof—testimonials, etc.—is effective. But what makes the Twitter billboards especially resonant is that they double as social proof and evocative storytelling.

They communicate that:

  • Mega-stars like Demi Lovato use Twitter to share their thoughts and goals. If you use Twitter, you’re like them.
  • It was after using Twitter that those icons achieved their dreams. Hero dreams. Hero tweets. Hero attains their dreams.

Of course, no one would ever say it’s because they tweeted that those celebrities achieved greatness. But that trajectory—from dream tweeted to dream manifested—is powerful even without causation.

The (social) proof is in the pudding. Tweets and dreams do come true.

Social proof tactic 1: Mine customer reviews for copywriting inspiration

(Thanks to Copy Hackers for this tactic.)

Sometimes the best marketing copy comes straight from customers and prospects. When you uncover their motivations and expectations—and the language they use to express those feelings—you can take what they say and mirror it back to them in your copy.

Mining reviews is a great way to source copywriting gold. Here’s how to do it.

Go where your customers and prospects are leaving reviews online (e.g., Amazon, Google, Reddit). Parse through reviews of products or services that address the same core pain points as yours.

Pay attention to descriptive language. Look for patterns. Flag anything that resonates, and add the best reviews and copy snippets to a spreadsheet with three columns:

  1. Memorable phrases
  2. What people want
  3. What people are reacting to emotionally

Read through it to spot recurring sentiments. Then use those insights to update and test website copy, product messaging, and value propositions.

Social proof tactic 2: Reverse your testimonials

Help your customers out with their own writing by reversing your testimonials.

Reverse testimonials, an idea from marketer Sean D’Souza, start with skepticism. They talk about fears, doubts, or obstacles first, instead of jumping right into why the consumer loves the product.

reverse testimonial
Objection: Competitors might be better. Handled: Alexander did the research, and Zendesk is the best. Source: Zendesk

Everyone has objections. Testimonials that address them first build connections with others who are on the fence because of their own reservations. Plus, they add a storytelling arc—think of them as the social-proof version of PAS.

Here are the six questions D’Souza recommends asking customers when reaching out for a testimonial:

  1. What obstacle would have prevented you from purchasing?
  2. What did you find as a result of purchasing?
  3. What specific feature do you like most?
  4. What are three other benefits?
  5. Would you recommend it? If so, why?
  6. Anything else you’d like to add?

Not all feedback requests need to be that involved. Asking customers for six answers is pretty high friction. You can also gather social proof through simple post-purchase surveys or review requests.

11. Monday.com’s landing page

monday.com landing page
Source: Monday.com

Testimonials aren’t the only place where objection handling should take place. We recommend tackling big objections up front in your copy.

Like on this Monday.com landing page.

Here’s how I found it:

I Googled “Salesforce complicated” → then saw a Google search ad with the headline “New CRM Alternative - That’s Actually Easy to Use” → then clicked on it.

And immediately had my objections handled.

  • Objection 1: CRMs are too complicated. Handled: Monday.com is something I’d “actually want to use.”
  • Objection 2: CRMs are too expensive. Handled: “Free forever. No credit card.”
  • Objection 3: CRMs are inflexible. Handled: “Fast no-code CRM customization.”
  • Objection 4: It takes a while to get trained and onboarded into CRMs. Handled: “Easy setup.”

Plus, the page has interactivity (checkboxes), social proof (customer logos), and contrast (a comparison table).

It might seem illogical to draw attention to the things that people don’t like, or think they don’t like, about a product or service. But objections don’t go away. If you handle them early, you’ll pave the way for a smoother, higher-converting buyer journey.

How do you find key objections?

  • Talk to your customers. “What obstacle would have prevented you from purchasing?”—the first question in our earlier tip on reverse testimonials—is a valuable question to ask even if you’re not collecting testimonials. Aim to suss out what your customers’ purchasing processes were like, including any concerns they had or competitors they were considering.
  • Get feedback through live chat, surveys, and website forms. And read your customer reviews.
  • Conduct social listening to see what customers and prospects have to say about your product (and your competitors).
  • Use heatmap tools on your website to find out if there are any points during the buyer journey where prospects tend to abandon ship. We like Hotjar.

12. Lush’s bath bomb product description

lush bath bomb product description
Source: Lush

We’ll leave you with a product description that works well.

What makes it work?

  • It’s vivid. “This shimmering fizzer melts into a sunset of floral and gold”? Yep, we can picture it. That would be a bit too, well, florid for some brands, but it works for Lush because…
  • It’s written for their target audience. Lush would use different language if their audience were C-suite execs. But these fun, lively product descriptions appeal to a Gen Z / millennial crowd.
  • It doesn’t set off readers’ BS radar. Don’t make grand, exaggerated claims. Be specific and real. BS trigger: “Your skin will be the softest it’s ever felt!” No BS trigger: Seaweed-derived sodium alginate makes your skin feel soft.
  • It answers common questions. What’s in these bath bombs? How do I use them? What do they smell like? The answers are all right there, in the different tabs. The last thing you want is a prospect to start Googling answers to their FAQs—and leaving your site. Cover the basics in your product info.
  • It’s skimmable. That “benefits” bulleted list is easy to scan. Readers don’t have to parse dense paragraphs to find out how using the bath bomb would make them feel.
  • It highlights benefits. This description does discuss features (you kind of have to in product descriptions), but not at the expense of benefits. At the end of this example, we’ve included a framework to help you navigate features vs. benefits, which can get a bit murky when writing about products.

Bonus: The copy even provides a purchasing scenario by mentioning that this is “the perfect gift” for a loved one. Someone searching for a gift might realize this is exactly what they’re looking for.

In general, we recommend applying the above qualities to your own product descriptions. Unless you’re Palace Skateboards. Then please, do your thing.

palace skateboards product description
Source: Palace Skateboards

A framework for writing better product descriptions

A helpful tip for balancing out features and benefits in product descriptions, courtesy of Mathias von Appen Schrøder:

  1. List all your product’s features.
  2. For each feature, explain its benefits.
  3. For each benefit, explain its value. In other words, translate each benefit into its real-life implications and why customers should care about it. For extra punch, inject emotionally appealing language at this step.

Here’s how this might be applied to a reusable water bottle.

  • Wide bottle mouth → faster refills → you can spend less time standing at a water dispenser and more time running, hiking, etc.
  • Straw lid → easy sipping → since you don’t have to twist off a bottle lid, you can drink with just one hand—which is perfect when you’re on the road.
  • Double-wall vacuum insulation → protects liquid’s temperature for hours → you can be refreshed for any adventure with your beverage either as icy cold or hot as you’d like it to be.

The best copywriting advice: Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose

You know who nailed what copywriting should be?

Coach Taylor.

coach taylor
This guy. Source: For the Win

On “Friday Night Lights,” the head coach of the Dillon Panthers motivated his team, week after week and in the face of so many obstacles, with six simple words: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”

You can apply that phrase to many things in life. Games to win. Challenges to overcome. I hope it doesn’t diminish the impact of Coach’s phrase if I tie it back to copywriting.

Clear eyes: The most important thing every marketing message should be is clear. Be precise in your messaging. Avoid the remotest possibility that your words will confuse or confound.

Full hearts: The second most important thing is humanity. Be human. Be authentic and honest. Wear your integrity on your sleeve and put it in your words.

Clarity and humanity are actually closely related. “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity,” George Orwell wrote. “When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.”

Good luck with your copy. And remember, in the words of the great El Arroyo marquee, “The world is your taco. Fill it with what you want.”

Thanks for reading! For more copywriting tips on specific channels, check out our other articles:

  • How to Launch a Shopify Store That Converts—In this playbook for ecommerce brands, we talk about urgency, a copywriting tactic that can increase conversion by motivating action. We also discuss what to say in your site popups.
  • Types of Google Ads—We dive into copy best practices for Google ads specifically.
  • How to Write a Cold Email—We break down the components of good cold email copywriting, from subject lines to hooks to closers.
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Content @ Demand Curve. Obsessed with books and Beyoncé. Trying to learn Spanish and live on a boat.

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