The worlds greatest copywriters aren’t usually uniquely creative. The best copywriters know how to let others do the heavy lifting for them.
Great copywriters are more like paleontologists than inventors.
They don’t make up needs to solve, they uncover what their customers are already expressing as their needs and bring that solution to them. Much like how a paleontologist digs up fossils instead of making his own out of concrete from what he thinks a dinosaur would look like.
This article tackles how copywriters can use Amazon.com and the massive amount of buyer data, left by buyers themselves, to create amazing sales copy for their physical products.
What Makes One Product Sell While Competitors Flop?
Before we get into the technical aspects of using Amazon to create (or steal) great sales copy, let's explain why sales copy is so important.
If your goal is to beat competitors simply by creating a better product, you aren't likely to succeed. In the long run, this approach might pay off (big emphasis on might), but it is just part of the process of creating a successful product.
In many cases, multiple companies bring the same solution to the market and it is rare that they "split" the sales or that one product doesn't just dominate the others.
How is it that some of these products thrive while others simply succumb to the competition?
How is it that the "better product" doesn't always beat out the competition?
Consider a simple product that has a low barrier to entry like a yoga mat.
It isn't difficult to jump into the market since the materials generally aren't very expensive or hard to obtain and on Amazon, there aren't any additional hoops to jump through like gated brands.
In the case of yoga mats on Amazon, there are over 47,000 competing products!
There is money to be made here (yoga is a huge market), but some of these mats are just dominating their competitors.
I have seen countless examples of superior products losing the sales battle to "inferior" competitors.
Why is this?
One of the biggest factors (and the one I will touch on here) is sales copy.
If a product is described in a way that answers my questions and affirms me that the product I’m looking at is what I’m looking for, I generally buy it.
Yes there are other factors like price and reviews (which you could argue are the most important), but those are for another blog post.
For now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: sales copy.
The Reason Most Sales Copy Sucks
Most sales copy is written by the creator and for the creator.
Many entrepreneurs try and sell products that they themselves use. This is well and good, but it can lead to narrow sales copy.
Your needs and desires are only a loose starting point for your sales copy even if you are a user of your own product. On their own, your opinions mean very little.
Your potential customers are the ones we need to focus on.
With the massive collection of reviews and questions left on Amazon products, we have a smorgasbord of buyer information to sift through.
We have no excuse for not writing sales copy that is written for our customers using insights given to us by our potential customers directly on Amazon.
The question is, will you put in the time to dig for this information and turn it into copy? Most of your competitors won’t.
This means a big opportunity for us.
Let's get into it...
Using Amazon to Gather Valuable Information
Amazon is a treasure trove of information for creating new sale copy or improving existing sales copy. This article also applies to anyone who is "scouting" for products to bring to the market by finding gaps in consumer needs.
Here are some best practices when hunting for information on Amazon...
There are 4 elements of Amazon product listings we can analyze.
- The listing itself. This includes the product title, bullet points, description and images.
- The negative reviews. Negative reviews show where we can beat our competitors if we tweak our product or sales copy.
- The positive reviews. These are things that customers are going to expect. If we can't compete with these, we may need to reposition our product.
- The questions customers have asked. If we answer the questions potential buyers have BEFORE they ask them, we can get more sales. If our products are similar, the same questions have likely already been asked elsewhere and we can preemptively address them in our sales copy.
Within these 4 areas we will find enough information to create mouth watering sales copy and/or find product opportunities that we can bring to market.
Analyzing The Product Listing
This is the natural starting point for creating our own sales copy.
When reviewing listings, we need to be partial to the better performing products. These products show the sales copy that we can verify is actually working.
So, when crafting your copy, check out comparable products...
- Product title
- Bullet points
- Product description
- Backend keywords
I recommend you copy this data into a spreadsheet. I craft my own in Google Sheets and you can too. Don't overthink it. Sometimes writing things down, even if you never come back to them, can prove helpful in the copywriting process.
Analyzing Negative Product Reviews
This is my favorite place to dig for good sales points.
It shows where we can beat our competitors.
Note: When I say "negative reviews" I am generally referring to 1 star reviews, but 2 and 3 star reviews can also provide good insights.
When someone leaves a 1 star review, we can do a few things.
Negative Review Sales Copy Example
Let's pretend we are selling a yoga mat (I wouldn't enter this niche myself by the way... too saturated).
The first thing I would do is locate a yoga mat that meets the following criteria...
Using the ASINSpector Pro Google Chrome extension, I can see that this product is selling around 340 units per month and generating over $6,000 in revenue. Let's say this is about what I'd like for my product as well.
Keep in mind, this sales data isn't always perfect, but it is definitely reliable enough for me to use it as a starting point.
Next, I will navigate to the reviews and filter to show only the 1 star variety.
Since there are so many reviews, we can get very specific with the filters.
I have chosen to order these by "most recent," and only want to see verified, 1 star reviews that include images. This gives me 9 super refined, highly critical, highly credible reviews to analyze.
Here is one of the reviews I found interesting...
After reading it a couple of times, I identified 3 great points for my hypothetical sales copy.
Complaint: "It slips EVERYWHERE on my wood flood, stretches when doing yoga..."
Sales Copy: "Won't slip or stretch on any surface except maybe ICE! Avoid injuring yourself or disrupting your routine with this no slip grip."
Complaint: "30 minutes for the mat to stop curling up on one end..."
Sales Copy: "Don't waste time waiting for this mat to uncurl and stay flat!"
Complaint: "It has a disgusting plastic/rotting fish smell..."
Sales Copy: "Odor free materials won't leave your workout area stinking like our competitors products!"
Now, I am not encouraging you to deceive your buyers. If your product doesn't address these issues, don't say it does. If your yoga mat does smell like plastic/rotting fish (gross by the way) don't say that it doesn't.
This might be an opportunity for you to improve upon your product and then use the improvements in your sales copy.
Analyzing Positive Product Reviews
There is a reason I said 1 star reviews first. I find them much more valuable.
Amazon has a terrible issue with fake reviews so all 5 Star Reviews should be taken with a grain of salt.
That being said, there is still much to be learned here in the way of emulation. If one product does something well, we should make sure we try to as well OR position our product differently so it isn’t competing with it.
The same process I detailed above applies to positive reviews as it does for negative reviews except you will be incorporating the positive reviews as sales copy points rather than incorporating the solution to negative ones.
Customer questions are an opportunity to clarify our listings.
If a customer has a question, we need to ask, “could we answer this question better in the sales copy?”
Customers with unanswered questions don’t purchase products.
If our sales copy answers these questions before they are asked, we will sell more.
Here is an article I wrote on Merchant Words if you want to learn more about it.
2. JungleScout for identifying niches.