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Spruce Up Boring Product/Service Descriptions 
With Variety, Voice and Verve

Sigh.  You have another 17 product descriptions to go for your web site or catalog.  You realize the reader was yawning long ago, and you're going to scream for not knowing how to avoid making every widget sound the same.

To the rescue!  Here's a quick checklist to help you inject variety and freshness into your copy:

  • How long has the widget been selling steadily, and why?

  • What uses or occasions is the widget especially appropriate for?

  • Where would you normally find one of its ingredients or components being used?

  • It's a cross between a what and a what?

  • How will the user feel when using it?

  • What does this widget go well with?

  • Why might you want more than one widget?

  • Why is the price so reasonable?

Now look at your list of answers and choose one or more ideas that provide an appealing angle. Add the practical facts like how big and how much, and you're done.

No matter how prosaic the item, no matter how similar it is to other items, ingenuity can make it stand up and wave "Buy me!" to a shopper.

Get a much longer checklist and copious examples.

Writing Effective Catalog Copy or Web Copy Can Be Fun!

Once you learn a few fundamental principles and techniques, writing persuasive catalog copy, web copy or product descriptions for printed brochures or sales sheets becomes an easy, enjoyable process.

Step 1.  List features and benefits, then connect them.

If you've read anything about copywriting, you've heard about the importance of including the benefits of products as well as their features.  When you say your widget is a 2-inch pink plastic paperclip, you are describing its features.  When you say it enables you to color-code stacks of papers or it attracts attention on someone else's desk, you are describing its benefits.

For concise, interesting product descriptions in a printed or online catalog, it's essential to combine features and benefits, weaving them together tightly yet unobtrusively.  

The widget's feature X gives you benefit Y.  In one way or another (and there are at least 16 different ways to make this connection), this forms the foundation of catalog copy. 

Marcia's Manual Saved Me So Much Time
"73 Ways To Describe a Widget is an absolute goldmine crammed full of really useful information. As a copywriter, you can now hit precisely the right tone or emotion, eliminate every objection, knock out the competition, and produce an massive abundance of sales that just wouldn't have been possible beforehand. Grab this and Marcia's other books as fast as you can, and watch your response rates and income go through the roof." - Steve King, Copywriter, England

Like all the testimonials on this site, the customer comments on this page were provided without compensation, incentives or rewards.

Step 2.  Brainstorm angles and choose one as your opener.

Almost always, you'll also need an attention-getter for the headline and first sentence of your product description.  Use the checklist at the top of this page, or the expanded one in 73 Ways to Describe a Widget, described below, to come up with an interesting way to think about the item.  For instance, The Territory Ahead starts one of its product descriptions with this answer to the question, "Who is it for?":

Ultralightweight, anatomically logical and muy guapa, Keen's huarache overhaul was done with the global wanderer in mind.

You can weave other elements from this brainstorming into your descriptive copy as space allows.

Step 3.  Polish up your descriptions in a consistent voice.

Effective catalog writing has personality.  Technically, this element is called voice, and it's what unifies the descriptions at a web site or in a catalog so that they have a corporate identity.  When there's a tight match between the writing voice and the customers' interests and needs, the shopper feels the company is speaking directly to them, and that they're looking at the kind of widgets they'd most like to buy.

While the writing in The Territory Ahead has a kind of masculine romance about it, a catalog or web site's voice could be efficient, technical, playful, practical, compassionate, soulful...  There are a zillion possibilities.

Whatever the voice chosen, it must be consistent throughout the catalog or web site, or prospective customers get confused.

"73 Ways To Describe a Widget is a 'cheat sheet' for copywriters who are out of ideas." - Bob Bly, Author, The Copywriter's Handbook and a zillion other books

Step 4.  Proofread, checking details.

As with any marketing or sales piece, the last step consists of proofreading, to make sure that you've included all the elements that people need to know before making a buying decision - size, color, composition, weight, price, etc. - along with making sure that the details provided are accurate.

Four steps - that's all there is to mastering the art of tantalizing product descriptions for catalogs or web sites.

Never Suffer From Brain Bog Again!  
"Ever had to write copy for 20 very similar, but different varieties of fish?  Ever try to come up with a unique selling proposition, but the most exciting differentiator was 'good customer service'?  Whether you're a professional copywriter or a business owner in search of ways to stand out from the crowd, this ebook is a real treasure!  I love the format: Easy to read, no fluff... just solid information.  You will never struggle with how to describe anything again." - Karon Thackston, owner,

Get Started Now With a Uniquely Helpful Resource

Marcia Yudkin's manual, 73 Ways to Describe a Widget:  Never Be Brain Dead Again When Having to Write Catalog Copy or Sales Material, provides additional guidance and copious examples for the process of writing persuasive product descriptions:

  • 16 ways to interweave features and benefits, and why this is so crucial

  • 73 angles for making a boring widget captivating, along with more than 180 examples of these techniques from a variety of catalogs

  • 8 factors to consider when aiming at a specific voice, and how voice figures into the creation of a successful web or print catalog

Settles Your Nerves and Helps You Captivate Readers
"Writing a short, seemingly simple product description or marketing piece can be surprisingly difficult.  Creating an effective, meaty marketing message using only a few words can be nerve-wracking.  I may have read every book on catalog copywriting in existence, but 73 Ways to Describe a Widget is the one I'll be referring to again and again.  It offers 73+ ways to help eliminate the fumbling around in the dark for the right approach, and provides good pointers for actually writing the copy.  This concise, interesting read has everything I need for a good brainstorm!" - Heidi Tran, Columbus, OH  

This meaty, 35-page PDF resource is something you'll want to print out, highlight, annotate and keep by your side as you practice beating catalog deadlines and topping previous sales records.  This is instruction you won't find anywhere else - not even in a $399 course on catalog writing that claims to be comprehensive!  Order it now.

Order your copy of 73 Ways to Describe a Widget:  Never Be Brain Dead Again When Having to Write Catalog Copy or Sales Material for $29.95.

As with all downloadable materials for sale from this web site, your satisfaction is guaranteed.  If you don't find the material useful, simply request and receive a refund. 

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