If I was to offer one piece of advice to Amazon FBA sellers creating their listings, it would be this:
Read customer reviews.
My daughter (6) loves planes. When a plane flies overhead, her joy is unconfined. A few months ago, I bought her a model plane. It was small enough to fit in the hand, and the detail was immaculate. A tiny pilot even sat in the cockpit.
I surprised her with it after school. She was delighted and started exploring her new toy … but then her face dropped.
'How does it fly?'
The only good thing about aeroplanes, it turns out, is that they fly. No matter how much I tried to convince her she could still enjoy playing with it, she was having none of it.
I made her a paper airplane, and she was happy for the next hour.
I’d made the classic mistake: I’d got her what I thought she wanted, not what she really wanted.
Give your customers what they want
Writing for your customers is like that. You have to give them what they actually want, not what you think they want. That’s how you connect with them and convince them to buy your products.
The best way to do that is to read customer reviews.
Ever since I started writing optimised Amazon listings, I’ve been obsessed with reviews. There has never been a better source of ideas and inspiration.
As a copywriter, I’m tasked with coming up with words and phrases that connect with readers and get them to act. But finding the right way to tug at the customers’ emotional strings so they are already reaching for their wallets before they’ve got to the end is a challenge.
Copywriters have always kept swipe files where they store away the best stuff they come across. Good headlines, clever turns of phrase – they all get swiped for later use. Nothing’s ever really new.
Now you need to create your own swipe file for your product listing by using what your target customers are saying about products similar to yours. It’s a simple but powerful way to enhance your Amazon listing.
Here are three things to search for.
1. Discover how they use your product
While there may be an obvious way to use your product, there might also be other ways that you never considered. (Depends on the product—I can’t imagine there are many ways to use shampoo).
I wrote a listing for a desktop office toy the other day. While all the similar listings mentioned stress relief, having fun at work, etc, after reading the reviews, one fact emerged:
People were not just using these in their offices. They used them at home and often bought them for their kids.
This was not mentioned in any of the listings, but it was clearly important to the reviewing customers.
Customers will surprise you. Scour reviews for unique ways to use your product as well as trends you might have missed. Tap into them and bring your listing to life.
2. Identify new words and phrases
Read enough reviews and you’ll soon realise that customers have their own lingo.
Comb through the reviews, especially the more detailed ones and the ones that have been marked as helpful, and make a note of any words that crop up that you would never have thought of using to describe your product or what it does.
You may be genuinely surprised.
If you find a good word or phrase, swipe it. This is “customer speak.” These are the exact words they use when they talk about your product.
(Don’t go crazy here. Only take individual words and very short phrases, but rewrite the longer phrases.)
This might even help with SEO. If you use the same words your customers are using to describe your products and reference their problems, these are targeted long-tail keywords that can boost your listing’s visibility.
3. Find out what really, truly matters to them
Some issues will crop up time and time again when you read through reviews.
- Common problems (“It came unstuck after a week!”)
- Most popular features (“It keeps going and going!”)
- Prominent desires (“I wish the battery lasted longer!”)
Find out what really matters to your customers, the things that they place the greatest amount of importance on.
Then use them in your listing.
Reference the fact that your product won’t let them down. Highlight how your product meets their demands. Speak directly to their problems and desires and you will connect with them on a deeper level.
No reviews? Go off-site
So far, we’ve been hanging out on Amazon. And that’s good when there are plenty of reviews to feed you ideas.
But sometimes there won’t be, and in this case, you must venture off-site.
So where to venture? Forums are a good place to start. Search for forums where the kind of customers you are targeting hang out. There are forums for nearly everything.
Groups are good, too. Facebook groups are perfect. I love the search feature where you can search for posts on the type of item you sell and find the discussions that have come up around it in the past.
Even better, if you sell lots of products all targeting a specific type of customer, hang out and make friends. Follow the conversation. Get into their world. This is a longer-term plan, but the insights you get will be golden.
Your competitors can help you out here too. Find their products, find where they are sold (if not on Amazon), and discover what their customers are saying.
There’s no real formula for this. It’s more a case of put a brew on, get a notepad and pen (still use those?) and start searching (and avoid the temptation at every turn to drift into a black hole of internet procrastination…)
Final word: reviews are awesome
I always read customer reviews when creating Amazon listings. This isn’t extra work; it’s saving me work.
When your whole purpose is to write copy that connects with your customers, it makes perfect sense to concentrate on the same words, phrases, ideas, and problems that matter most to them.
Try it with your next listing and see if you can bring your copy to life and connect with your customers to drive more sales.