Often, in catalog copy, you’ll see an item’s description claiming that it is unique or useful or beautiful.
And that’s fine, maybe the product is unique or useful or beautiful, but what makes the item that way? What trait or feature does it have that sets it apart? Savvy buyers will want to know.
Instead of making generalized claims of wonderfulness by using generic words (like unique, useful, beautiful, special, pretty), why not include specifics that spell out why the product is, in fact, so remarkable? The shrewd catalog copywriter will be sure to take this approach.
Let me give you some examples of wimpy words.
I came across this copy for protective boots for horses:
The new Eskadron Pure Collection has arrived. A great collection for competition wear.
This copy was accompanied by a photo of a pair of sparkling white boots lined with luxurious-looking material. I clicked to the web site to see if I could learn why they would be ideal for competition wear.
The web site copy shared this:
The white faux fur tendon boots. Great for warming up at competitions. Crystal white, touch outer and lovely soft faux fur. Machine washable.
Okay, so the copy’s established that these boots are great, but why? What makes them great?
Great because the boots’ Velcro™ fasteners make it easy to get the boots off quickly? So your horse can wear them until just before it’s his turn in the arena? Or maybe the faux fur keeps your horse’s legs from getting sweaty?
The vagueness of the word great leaves so much selling left undone.
Another example I found was in one of those little real estate booklets that you can pick up for free.
The copy was minimal, only 3 ½ lines. The first line and a half had this to say about a townhouse listed at $739,000:
Evergreen Meadows, a quintessential New England Village.
Ouch. You have 3 ½ lines of text to sell someone on this rather expensive townhouse, and the first seven words tell you nothing concrete about the listing. And one of the words is “quintessential.”
Generic words in copy serve as filler and do nothing to promote a product. Specifics always outshine fluff and sell much more effectively.
Suzanne Quigley - Copywriter