Your product descriptions have a lot weighing on their shoulders.
Because more than any other piece of copy, they force your prospects to answer a question while reading them.
And that question is, “Is this product a good fit...for me?”
But here’s the thing.
Most product descriptions don’t make use of their full potential.
They present dry, often crowded lists of product specs or features, assuming their prospects will connect all the dots by themselves.
Example: typical app description
And here’s where you have a unique advantage.
You can layer in persuasive strategies, proven copywriting frameworks, and future pacing throughout your description to show (and not “tell”) your prospects the multitude of positive outcomes they can achieve with your product.
Enabling you to drive more sign-ups, downloads, demo bookings, and ultimately—more sales.
Example: Udemy app description
But with so much information out there, what are the best practices for writing a high-converting product description?
After studying thousands of product descriptions over the years, I’ve identified 6 major elements that are reflected in every high-converting product description.
These 6 elements apply to every type of product, from enterprise software to anti-aging cosmetics, and work across multiple forms of copy from landing pages and emails, to pitch decks and app descriptions.
And I’m about to walk you through them.
Ready? Let's dive right in.
Grab (and hold) their attention with a compelling hero section
Your prospect has just landed on your landing page, site, or app description—great!
That was the easy part.
Now you have 15 seconds (or less) to convince them to stay.
We need to get their eyes glued to your description, and fast, so do it with an attention-magnetic hero section (AKA headline and subheading).
Here’s how to write them:
For a compelling headline, try these tips:
- State your main benefit—that is, your product’s USP (unique selling point). Why are you different? What makes you special? Say it loud and clear.
- Solve their biggest pain or problem—call out the most significant pain or problem your prospect has, and state exactly how your product solves it.
- Use power words—such as “You”, “Now”, and “Because” to stop their eyes from skimming over. You can find a shortlist of popular power words here.
- Future pacing—try a before/after statement to show your prospect just how wonderful their life could be with your product in it.
Example: Canva app description (Problem solving, power words, future pacing)
Example: Drift app description (Stating their USP, problem solving, future pacing, social proof)
For a compelling subheading (AKA crosshead or lede), try to weave in at least one of the following:
- Social proof: because it reassures prospects that your product delivers on its promises.
- Real numbers (if you have them): real data and raw numbers support the claims you’re making about your product’s effectiveness.
- “Trusted by over 4,000,000 marketers worldwide” (SEMrush)
- “Join the 100,769 entrepreneurs who are actively using ClickFunnels” (ClickFunnels)
- Authority: use a recommendation or testimonial from an authority figure to encourage prospects to trust your product and associate you with the qualities they admire in him or her.
- You’d want to use budgeting software if it was: “Used by Warren Buffet”
- You’d want to know which shoes were: “Loved by Kim Kardashian”
- You’d want to work with the agency whose: “Happy clients include Google, Microsoft, and Shopify Plus”
Cement your connection
Now that you have their attention, hold it and deepen the connection with your prospect by describing who will benefit the most from using your product.
Many descriptions skip this part and launch immediately into describing their product’s features.
But this small (yet crucial) step sets the stage for your prospects to visualize themselves using your product...and achieving positive outcomes with it.
Here’s how to write it:
- Describe your primary market segment—the 20% who will drive 80% of conversions, the ones who will get the most benefit out of your product.
Example: Leadpages homepage (desktop)
- Have multiple market segments? Write a brief, targeted message (1-2 sentences) for each segment instead of trying to lump them all into one paragraph. Or, simply call them out by title.
Example: HotJar homepage (desktop)
- Highlight the ultimate benefit/s—the most visible or tangible outcomes your prospect (or market segments) will experience as a result of using your product
Example: Fiverr app description
Link features to end-user benefits
This is the most under-estimated element of solid product descriptions. And it’s where you have your biggest competitive advantage.
Many descriptions default into listing their features one after the other in bullet form. Which is fine, if your audience is already product aware or most aware.
Example: Shopify app description
But what about those in your audience who might be further back in their marketing stage of awareness?
If you directly tie every product feature you have to a tangible end-user benefit, you can successfully bring readers from unaware or problem aware stages, right through to most aware with high intent.
Reminder: benefits don’t always have to be functional. They can be emotional and social too.
Example: Chrome app description
Here’s how you do it:
- Incorporate bullets or numbered lists—these help break up the text visually so it’s easier to read, making it easier for them to process the information.
- Use one of these classic frameworks to write each point—either “Benefit + Feature” or “Feature + Benefit”
Feature + Benefit statements
- “With (feature), you can (achieve specific outcome)”
- “(Feature) means you get to (achieve specific outcome)”
- “(Feature) lets you (achieve specific outcome)”
- “(Feature) enables you to (achieve specific outcome)”
- “(Feature) empowers you to (achieve specific outcome)”
Benefit + Feature statements
- “Get (specific outcome) with (feature)”
- “See (specific outcome) when you use (feature)”
- “Feel (specific outcome) while using (feature)”
- “Discover how easy it is to (achieve specific outcome) with (feature)”
Example: Kajabi product description
- Simplify, simplify, simplify
Unless your audience is ultra-sophisticated, it’s best if you go light on the industry-specific jargon.
Why? Because people naturally shy away from doing what feels like “work.” And the easier your messaging is to absorb, the easier it is to convert your prospects.
In fact, Unbounce’s Conversion Benchmark Report found that conversions were higher for 6 out of 10 industries when their copy was written at a 9th-grade reading level or lower.
So edit to keep your sentences light, clear, and simple.
Here’s how to do it:
- Run your text through a readability app—apps like Readability and Hemingway Editor analyze the “wordiness” and sophistication of your copy, as well as sentence length and clarity, to help you reach the recommended 6th-8th grade reading level.
- Let your copy “rest”—once you’ve written your product description, put it aside for a couple of hours, or even for a full day before coming back to it. You’ll be surprised by what you can edit out or streamline when you look at it refreshed.
Pre-empt (and defuse) questions and objections
This is my secret tip. And it can immediately turn any “ordinary” product description into a high-converting one.
As Wes explains here, the biggest issue for any business is bridging the value gap—the gap between what your prospects expect your product to do, and what it actually does for them.
But if you voice these potential objections and solve them in advance for your prospects, you can turn even the most skeptical prospects into happy users.
Here’s how to do it:
- Find their objections—the first step is to identify what are their potential sources of friction, or barriers to conversion. Are they concerned about integrations? User interface? Or speed? Find out what they are by combing through customer surveys, interviews, and testimonials.
- Have limited customer data? Send out a short survey to previous and existing customers and ask why they left or stopped using your product. You can also read competitor reviews and testimonials to understand what your prospects may be thinking about when they’re considering your product.
- Implement this: in the form of bullets added to the main body of your product description, or by including a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) section.
- Include additional examples of social proof or authority—if you have further data in the form of positive test results, social proof, or testimonials, add them in here as it will further strengthen your prospect’s trust in you.
Include a clear call-to-action (CTA)
You’ve now proven your value to your prospect.
You’ve met them where they’re at in terms of their stage of awareness.
Now you can ask them to take action.
If you don’t? It’s a wasted opportunity. Like leaving a movie just as it reaches its climax.
Your prospects are expecting you to ask them to sign-up, download your lead magnet, or buy now.
So, don’t be shy. Just do it!
- Briefly, restate the biggest end benefit—what will they ultimately be getting by choosing your product? Remind them what it is!
- Use “action” words—you want them to take action, so use verbs and an active (instead of passive) voice. You can find inspiration for high-converting CTAs here and here.
And to help make writing (or rewriting) your product descriptions easier, I’ve distilled these 6 elements into an easy PDF checklist.