Rubber Duck Theory


Writing product copy can be a hard task at times. We know from first-hand experience that it can be a difficult and intimidating looking at a blank screen and wondering what you are going to write. You’ve got to evaluate your audience, what products you’re trying to sell and how you’re going to sell them. At the same time, you must ensure you are not repeating yourself as you go along – Google hates that.

Product descriptions can make the difference between between a sale and a fail. For engaging copy that persuades customers to part with their cash, read on for our top tips…

Here’s an example of good and bad copy

So let us start off by looking at a good example of copy and a bad example of copy with the use of this rubber duck.
Duckie - Example of copy

Good Copy

Make bath times much more fun with this customisable rubber duck. Add stylish glasses, a moustache or a splash of luscious lipstick to create a truly unique gift – the perfect stocking filler this Christmas. SHOP NOW!

Bad Copy

With its signature squeaking noise, this rubber duck can be personalised thanks to its customisable face. Choose from sunglasses, lipstick or even a moustache. 

The ‘Good Copy’ tells the customer about the product but, more importantly, gives the reader a reason to buy it. It also ends with a call to action. The ‘Bad Copy’ explains the features of the product but doesn’t tell the reader the benefits.

Let’s get to the copy writing process:

What products are you selling?

If you don’t know what you’re selling, put that pen down and don’t you dare go near that keyboard. Firstly, we are going to give you a cyber-slap for even thinking you could write about something you don’t know about. Shame on you.

Rant over, research is essential! Make sure you understand the product or service is that you’re writing about, even if this means a couple of meetings or phone calls with the supplier. You can be sure that if you have no idea what you’re writing about, neither will the person reading it.

Who are you aiming at?

Now you know what you are selling. Nope, you still can’t go anywhere near that blank page and start rambling away. Did you check who tends to buy or invest in what you’re selling? We don’t just mean 18-24 year olds, but 18-24 year olds that do what? Listen to music, like to read, go on jogs in the mornings? The more you know about the customers, the more you can tailor the copy to them.

Wait! We haven’t talked about tone of voice yet.

Work out how you are going to talk to your customers in your copy. We know what you’re thinking… for 50 to 250 words this is a lot of thinking, but this is the stuff that really matters!

If your company is a high-end restaurant with lobster on the menu, you aren’t going to be colloquial and use punctuation such as exclamation marks or words like ‘cheeky’ or say ‘glug down a pint’. Represent the rest of your brand in the copy to create synergy throughout.

Use original content… write like a human!

If you fill your copy with the generic spam of ‘BUY NOW’ and ‘WE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED’ you really will start closing people off. Almost 100% of the time you won’t actually be able to pinpoint exactly what they need in your 50 word copy and you most definitely won’t be able to give them some kind of epiphany moment.

Write like you are talking to a human, not to a search engine. Obviously take into account that you’re going to need to include a keyword or two if SEO is important to you, but whatever you do, don’t stuff keywords into the content!

Before you begin, perform a content cluster analysis to identify words associated with your product/service. By doing this you can include related words naturally that Google will pick up. Also, try to make it flow whilst keeping it sort of concise. Think in this way: feature – benefit – feature – benefit. If you stick to this loose framework, you will be writing informative copy.

It’s okay to try to be funny, or talk like a friend.

Copy nowadays is supposed to talk to the customer like a real person, give them relevant information and make them feel comfortable to buy. They don’t want someone screaming in their face in the same way they don’t want to be left with loads of questions. Be informative and original and don’t be afraid to make it light and interesting to read.

Finally, don’t think too hard.

The worst thing to do is sit and stare at a blank screen. Once you’ve gathered all relevant information, our top tip is to write something down quickly. The first thing that comes to your head. At least then you have something to work with. Plus, it has been said many times that your best work is done when you just go for it and don’t overthink.

With all of this advice, we’re sure that you’ll be a smooth mover in writing copy in no time. If you naturally have your way with words and aren’t overthinking it too much then you should be well on your way. Let us know your best copywriting tip in the comments below.

Posted in Copywriting.

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