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3 Copywriting Mistakes That Are Losing You Sales

by Lisa Jacobs
craft & maker

Fix these common copywriting mistakes and make more money!

Today we’re talking copywriting for your online business. More specifically, the surprising copywriting mistakes that are costing you sales within your handmade business.

If you’re struggling with how to convert views into sales, what to say in your listings, or how to entice customers to checkout and buy now, then you should consider doing a serious copy revamp on your sales pages.

Copywriting is what you may already be calling your “listings” or “descriptions” – especially if you are selling products on Etsy. Copy is the text you use to guide your customer through the checkout process, and helps to sell your product.

The Buying Process

Put yourselves in the shoes of a potential customer and consider how long you think about some purchases. Have you ever browsed an online shop for weeks, and though you love and adore the product, still haven’t made the decision to buy? It’s more common than you may think.

Perhaps you’ve daydreamed of an upgrade to your home, but you talk yourself out of making the investment over and over again. Maybe you’ve added a much-needed book to your wish list, then let it sit there for months.

Why do we do this? It’s simply human inertia. From Wikipedia, “inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion, including changes to its speed and direction. It is the tendency of objects to keep moving in a straight line at constant velocity.”

It’s your listing’s job to shift the customer’s inertia, help them overcome their resistance to spend, and reinforce their decision to buy.

If you are looking for more than just copywriting tips, I cover all aspects of improving your customer sales experience in Turn Your Etsy Shop into a Sales Machine.

Your Listing Should Be a Sales Conversation

But, I bet it’s not doing its job. Let’s take a look at how close you are to making the sale once the customer is already reading your product’s listing. When a customer shops online, they …

1. Search for the product they want

2. Scan the storefront for the right style and pricing

3. Click the item they were looking for

4. Read its listing

5. Decide to buy

When your customer has clicked on your product listing, they are 4/5ths of the way through the buying process. They are only one step away from the sale! Therefore, if your product views aren’t converting to sales, your copywriting needs help.

Here are the 3 Surprising Copywriting Mistakes That Lose You Sales.

3 Copywriting Mistakes That Are Losing You Sales Lisa Jacobs for CreativeLive

#1 There’s no motivation for customers to buy.

Human inertia is a powerful force! Have you ever made a purchase somewhere, and then spent the rest of the day buying everything you’ve been wanting/needing for months? As if you “broke the seal” on your spending hiatus? We often call it “splurging,” but what’s really happening is that you overcame your resistance to spending, and moved into a direction of buying.

Whenever you run a promotion, you need to create a sense of scarcity to help the buyer overcome their resistance to the purchase. If your product is available forever, your potential customer might think about it for just as long (or forget about it altogether)!

There are three ways to do this effectively. Offer the product in limited quantity, for a limited time, and or promote a special pricing.

When you leave off a reason to “buy now”, you offer no motivation for them to buy at all.

#2 You’re losing them with the shop talk.

I was recently hired by an amazing photographer who could not understand why nobody was buying her prints. She wanted to know what she needed to improve in order to start turning a profit on her failing online business.

At first glance, her work was beautiful and her talent was apparent. The photographs were selling themselves!

Then, I got to her product listing and she lost me. It might as well have been written in a foreign language! The first paragraph launched into resolution and pixel talk (a photographer’s language). Under “options”, you were forced to decide which brand of paper you wanted the photograph printed on, and she listed several textures and brands to choose from (a printer’s language).

Well, I’m not a photographer. Or a printer. And neither are her potential customers!

It’s a common seller mistake to create more options in an effort to obtain more customers, but you’ll actually lose sales by doing so. Remember human inertia? All those options are actually giving your customers a reason not to buy. It’s too much fuss.

You may think your customers need options, but they actually want to trust your expertise. Be a good expert, and decide the resolution, best size and whether it should be glossy or mat. Leave the technical stuff somewhere towards the bottom in the listing, put the sizing we can all understand up top (5×7, 8×10, etc.), and let the customer trust and enjoy your hard-earned knowledge.

#3 Your customer hasn’t tried it on yet.

I love this one, and I think you will too. Yes, I know we’re talking online business, and there’s no way the customer can actually try on the product before they buy. But, you’re forgetting one important factor …

The customer always tries the product on in their mind first.

Right? Just think about it for a second. When you see a product, even if it’s physically in front of you in an actual store, you first think: How would I look in that? And you try it on in your mind’s eye. If you bump into a unique lamp or see a gorgeous painting, you think: Where would I put that in my home? And then you imagine it there!

That’s why you need to use your product description to help the customer “try it on.”

If I asked you to imagine how fresh you would look wearing one of my big, chunky turquoise bracelets with a white t-shirt and your favorite pair of jeans … What do you do? You picture yourself wearing a chunky turquoise bracelet, a white t-shirt and your favorite pair of jeans.

You took my product and tried it on in your mind, and why? Simply because I offered you the visual. Take that advice and try it on for size!

Remember: when your customer is reading your product description, they are on step 4 of 5 in the buying process. They’re only one step away from checkout, and I’ll show you how to use your listings to…

• Answer the customer’s questions

• Alleviate their doubts

• Reassure their buying decision

• Lead them through to check-out

Copywriting for Crafters offers more insights on improving sales with copy updates and Turn Your Etsy Shop into a Sales Machine gives you end-to-end advice on all the actions you can take to optimize your Etsy shop.

Are you ready to start selling your handmade craft projects?

Download our free PDF: Etsy 101: A Guide to Getting Started! This comprehensive collection of notes, worksheets, and slides from Marlo Miyashiro’s class, Etsy 101: Launch Your Handmade Shop gives you the tips and insights you need to launch a successful Etsy shop!

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Lisa Jacobs

Lisa is a marketing consultant for creative entrepreneurs. She turned her own craft business into a top-selling Etsy store and now helps others do the same, over on MarketYourCreativity.