Thursday, August 21, 2008

Creating an Effective Online Ad - Part 2 of 6

Anatomy Of An Item Description

I've been lurking on not only the Etsy forums, but several other message boards for crafters / sellers around the net. It amazes me the number of artisans who claim they just can't think of anything 'neat' to put in the description and they let their pictures do their talking for them. Phooey. I feel that is wrong-wrong-wrong.

What do you do when you display at a craft fair? Slap your stuff out on the table, cross your arms and sit in your chair in the back corner of the booth, put up a sign that says:

"Don't Talk To Me, I Won't Tell You Anything Of Importance About My Craft, Just Look At My Superb Quality, My Items Speak For Themselves.
Can't You SEE THAT???"

THAT will not work! Either in person at a craft fair or online in an ad.

Keep it simple and FOCUSED on your item's merits! Not sterilized to the point of losing the potential customer's attention, though! You want to inform them about why they should buy your item by giving enough detail to answer possible questions the buyer may have. If one of your pictures highlights a specific feature of your item, be sure to tell them so and point them to that picture as well.

If there are multiple uses / occasions for your item, this is the place to let them know alternatives to fire up their imagination ... and maybe put a few of your items into their shopping cart! They're redundant in the title and will get you flagged if you put them in your tags.

What's crystal clear to you as the crafter, may not be at all clear to the potential buyer. Assume they don't know much about your craft and are 'thinking' about buying from you. Be concise, give details and enough information for them to make an informed decision, but don't talk down to them. That's a good way to lose a sale.

Mention the construction materials (be creative - BUT HONEST - in how you tell them about the materials.) For instance, I use some high-end chenille yarns in my wine bottle bags in my KnitsNMore Etsy store.

"These elegant bags are knit with Dutton Mills top quality Rayon Chenille yarns. The color is a deep, Matador Red and it is embellished with a thick white polyester blend cord. These beautiful bags are available in assorted colors in Rayon to give it that super-soft, slinky feeling of luxurious velvet."

See what I've done? I've painted a picture in words that tells the buyer I used top quality products, that it's Rayon, is a dark red color and it is akin to velvet in its texture.

Pretend everyone's pictures in their ads have suddenly disappeared (I know, horrid thought, but bear with me). A buyer for JUST your type of craft is online for a very short period of time and doing some serious shopping. You've created a spot-on, attention grabber title. They click on your listing. WOO HOO!! Is YOUR description sufficient to paint a picture in their mind so they'll add that item to their shopping cart?

Add complete specifications (when applicable) - sizes - length - width - weight (important for heavier items and postage determination for the buyer's budget). For my medium sized wine bottle bags, it's not enough just to say 'medium' ... you need specifics. So this is the portion of my text that deals with that:

"The MEDIUM Wine Bottle Gift Bag is suitable for a wine bottle that is up to 10" tall and approximately 10 1/2" to 11 1/2" in circumference."

If possible in your craft, give them some choices. Do you offer other colors? Perhaps alternate sizes? Do you have additional items in your store that would compliment this item? Tell them! What about custom orders? Are you 'open' to that? Do you have the parameters of your Custom Orders policy in your Profile page? Or in your Shop Policies page? Specify ANY added charges for those choices - if you don't charge extra, TELL THEM that in your ad!

One last thing ... I have cats. If you have any possible allergens in your workshop / home that may transfer to the item(s) sold, be up front with potential customers! Numerous times I've had emails / convos from buyers who thanked me for letting them know in the ad. This is what I have:

"PLEASE NOTE: We have cats. 4 beautiful, aggravating, adorable and nosey felines. If you or the person you are buying for has allergies, we strongly recommend you do not purchase."

Next up will be TAGS!

~ Marge ~

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