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In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • How to write product descriptions that sell and engage
  • The importance of post-purchase communication
  • The BEST way to retarget and approach abandoned carts without making your customers feel bad
  • And the pieces of copy too many eCommerce owners neglect that’ll make the biggest difference to your brands’ success


Ami Williamson: I think the mistake is assuming that once someone buys your job is done and it’s really not that’s just when it begins. I really like to recommend both layering in some brand personality, into your order confirmation, your shipping. Notifications all of that sort of stuff. But also sending a review request, sending product tips, is there a certain way that the product needs to be washed or handled?

Ami Williamson: How can they get the most value out of it?

Dahna: Hi, and welcome to the bright minds of eCommerce podcast. I’m Dahna founder of bright red marketing, and after helping so many businesses in the eCommerce space over the years, including helping two clients hit huge milestones this year, one having their first million dollar year and a second, their first $2 million year.

Dahna: I wanted to bring you the best experts and eCommerce stories from Australia straight to you. If you’re wanting relatable stories and actionable advice. You are in the right place.

Dahna: Want help with your Facebook and Instagram ads. Remember you can always book in a free strategy session at slash free dash strategy dash session. We’ll run through your ads. See what’s working and what’s not. And no sales pitch. I promise. Unless of course you ask what it’s like to work with us.

Dahna: On today’s episode. We’re joined by Amy Williamson from damn write. Welcome Amy.

Ami Williamson: Hi, thanks for having.

Dahna: Thank you so much for joining us. It’s a pleasure to have you on the show. So can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how damn write came to be?

Ami Williamson: Absolutely. So I am a copywriter who specializes in messaging strategy, which is a part of copy. And damn write was born after I actually had a product based business, which not everyone knows. But I quickly realized the only part I liked about it was writing the product descriptions or the copy. And eventually that led to me realizing people could actually pay me to do that part.

Ami Williamson: Yeah. And it all happened from there.

Dahna: Amazing. So I’m gonna skip ahead. A couple of questions, cuz you’ve just said something that I know a lot of people hate. What are your top tips on writing product descriptions? When you have lots of products,

Ami Williamson: Okay. Product descriptions are one of those things that I think are undervalued and overlooked which is sad because they’re right there where the buy button or the add cart button is. And yet, so often people just kind of slap whatever together or keep it really bland and really descriptive, like really basic here’s the features of the product.

Ami Williamson: My top tip, my number one tip for product descriptions would be to use it, to paint a picture for the reader. You really want to take them on a journey. You want it to not just be those features that I mentioned. You wanna talk about the benefits of this product. What’s gonna be life changing or problem solving for that person if they buy it.

Ami Williamson: So, yeah, really digging deeper into some like really vivid language. I find building a story out around that product can really help set those product descriptions apart from all the other ones you see out there.

Dahna: Amazing. What if you’ve got lots of products that are kind of the same?

Ami Williamson: That is where definitely where it can get tricky even for a copywriter. So I’ve seen a few different ways of handling this. One of my favorites would be. There’s this candle brand. I cannot remember the name of it, but they actually tell these stories in their product descriptions. Like they has literally nothing to do with it, with the actual candle, like down the bottom, under the features they’ll have like the fragrance notes and all of that.

Ami Williamson: If you wanted to double check it, but they talk about, you know, Just this made up story and it really helps, you know, at the end of the day they just sell candles. That’s all they sell. And they’ve got quite a few different scents, but by having weaving this story, like once about campfire and you can kind of see how that will tie into the fragrance, but it helped take me on a journey.

Ami Williamson: It got me to buy based, purely on that description. So I. And obviously that can get hard when you’ve got a lot of products, because it is a lot of work to do. I totally understand that. But even if you’ve got, say your best seller, focus on that one first, because that’s the one that’s selling the most.

Ami Williamson: That’s the one that probably you can get more lift out of. But focus on the best seller and go from there.

Dahna: amazing. So I love those tips. Fantastic. Why do you think you’ve sort of touched on it, but why do you think good copy is so important for an eCommerce Brand?

Ami Williamson: It’s what’s gonna set you apart. Really. As much as brand visuals do a lot of the heavy lifting here. When we’re talking about actually selling products about communicating what the product does, the problem, it solves who it’s. For all of that good stuff. Both getting people to buy or to figure out if this is the right product for them.

Ami Williamson: It can also, you know, post purchase, it comes in handy as well. You can use it to help people get the most out of a product to get the value out of it. So having that good copy and particularly copy that connects and that’s where like the creativity can come in. That’s really gonna set you apart from, you know, the Amazons of the world.

Dahna: Yeah, I love that. And I think you’re spot on. I think even from a Facebook ads perspective, like, obviously copy is so important there, but it’s the way you build a relationship with someone. It’s the way you get that connection. That’s not just, ah, yeah, I’ll buy it. like you actually start to build a relationship with people.

Ami Williamson: And it’s kind of how you start to build a brand like something bigger than just the products you sell. If you look at all the big name brands that people are swoon over, like go to skincare and Frank body and all of those it’s because there’s

Dahna: Frank body. their copy in the start. I mean, their copy now is fantastic, but I remember when they first launched and it was just so well done.

Ami Williamson: Absolutely. And you find, I personally, I would buy just based on the copy, based on the emails, based on the product descriptions. So building that brand, it really brings the personality out and that’s what people connect to.

Dahna: Yeah. And I mean, to be fair, that’s why I love your branding because it’s sassy and it’s fun and it’s a little bit different and it’s not just, we write nice copy. like. And that I think just goes to show that, you know what you’re talking about, cuz it’s been done on your own site. So what do you think makes good copy.

Dahna: Like obviously we’ve got that personality. We’ve got that little bit of connection, but is there sort of anything else that you can kind of really focus on what makes copy good.

Ami Williamson: Absolutely. So as much as it is the creativity and how the copy sounds, I’m also. Very big on what the copy says. So that’s where that messaging strategy comes in. So these are the kinda like the talking points that a brand uses to really dive into what they do, what they offer really taps into like the customer’s decision making journey, their motivations, all of that good stuff.

Ami Williamson: So for me, the difference between, you know, you can have copy that sounds good, but really doesn’t have much substance. You can have copy that has substance. That doesn’t sound good. Ideally, we need it to do both. And that’s where the magic trick is basically

Dahna: I think that’s the kind of thing that people need. Like they need that sort of like mini formula of how to make things good.

Ami Williamson: we love a formula

Dahna: Yes. What are your favorite types of content for eCommerce that maybe get missed in the like product descriptions? Write a bio sort of world.

Ami Williamson: oh. As in that brands create.

Dahna: Yeah. That maybe they just write and think nothing of it, but it’s actually quite important to a brand.

Ami Williamson: Oh, there’s a lot.

Dahna: Give us your list.

Ami Williamson: yeah. so I’ll start with like the, about story, like the origin story of a brand. I think. That can feel really hard to write, like even for a copywriter, that is probably my biggest nemesis . But it is super important in terms of building that connection and building in like the mission and the vision and the why behind a brand, which is all the things that people actually connect with and the reason that they will buy and continue to support the brand.

Ami Williamson: So I think that often gets overlooked or not even overlooked, but put in the too hard basket,

Dahna: Or written

Ami Williamson: totally relat.

Dahna: and then never looked at again, which is what I see

Ami Williamson: Oh, yeah, we all do that. The other thing, like specifically with product description, I really like a more involved, longer product page. So as people might focus on that little product description that sits at the top in the buy box, near the ad to cart button and the price and all those details.

Ami Williamson: But you’ll see some brands have a longer product page where they’ll then also break down. The benefits of a product, the features all that sort of stuff. Further down the page. Not everyone’s gonna read that. Like some people will just smash that ad to cart button or the buy now button and be on their way.

Ami Williamson: But for the people who need more info, letting them scroll and read and take more in is super important.

Dahna: Yeah, no, that makes sense to me, cuz I’m a reader in a world of video content that is becoming difficult. I’m a reader. And you find that a lot of websites, I mean, I would assume that you are a arena you’re right for a living. They sort of go together. But like, I find that a lot of people, as you said, they have really short product descriptions and it, you assume that your customer knows more than they probably do.

Dahna: Whereas, as you said, having those longer descriptions, you know, you might think it’s obvious that your cotton jumper is X, Y, Z. Me as someone who’s not bought from you before, doesn’t know what’s so special about your cotton or how to take care of it or what it does, that’s different from everyone. Else’s.

Dahna: So I love that of having the little short one, but then having the bigger description for people who, who need more.

Ami Williamson: Absolutely. And it’s kind of that I think it’s called the curse of knowledge. Like you kind of get wrapped up in everything, you know, about your brand and product, and you forget that everyone outside of it probably doesn’t know half of it. And so I think either that’s where copywriters really come in handy for that perspective and clarity.

Ami Williamson: Or even just, so if you were writing copy, I think sending it to someone like at one of your business friends and getting them to have a look, cuz they will very quickly pick out the parts where you’ve probably assumed that people know things and there’s like a little missing bit in there.

Dahna: Yep. It’s like that. Did you remember the guy who was a web developer and he had a service where he would give you a website to his mother who was like. Eighties to do

Ami Williamson: Yes.

Dahna: it’s like that.

Ami Williamson: manner is your user or something.

Dahna: yeah. And it was like you would pay for his mother or his Nana. I can’t remember who it was to review your website.

Dahna: It’s like the same concept. Like you need someone who’s completely disconnected to look at it, read it. Is there something missing that they should know?

Ami Williamson: Absolutely.

Ami Williamson: I think he did a version where he got drunk and would also review websites himself, which is a whole other thing

Dahna: I, I love him. He’s amazing. I don’t even know if he’s still around. He like had his moment and went viral and I dunno what happened from there, but the concept, I think, applies to all businesses, which I think is why like hot jar and stuff work really well. But anyway, we’re getting sidetracked.

Ami Williamson: love that.

Dahna: So we’ve got about pages, we’ve got product descriptions. Is there anything else that you think people don’t pay enough attention to with

Ami Williamson: The homepage and this is like counterintuitive, cuz people will be like, of course I pay attention to my homepage. Like it’s the main page. That said the amount of eCommerce stores who either like you’ll land there and in that hero section at the very top of a homepage, That’s our most important real estate that we really needed to hook people and to get them to want to stay.

Ami Williamson: And yet they will often just have a banner with different product images and sometimes not even a headline, which just boggles my mind or even worse. It’ll say welcome to my site.

Dahna: God.

Ami Williamson: I get it. It’s well intentioned, but no. We’re not welcoming people. That’s the spot where we really wanna tell them why, what we do, what we offer, why they should care sort of thing.

Ami Williamson: We really need to be hooking them in that spot.

Dahna: I think that’s very important. , I’ve seen so many websites over the years and some of them are just blank. They’re just a picture. And it takes all of the above the fold. And it’s just a picture. It’s like, what if I don’t like that picture?

Ami Williamson: What do you sell? I don’t even know yet.

Dahna: well, yeah, it’s cuz sometimes they could sell the shoes or the dress or the earrings or the skin product.

Dahna: Like you don’t,

Ami Williamson: Exactly.

Dahna: you need more words. Anything else or those sort of the three that you think get missed the.

Ami Williamson: I think the other thing would be on the email side, definitely post purchase. So people will often do like a welcome email or a welcome sequence based on whatever opt in they have. And then they might do an abandoned cart email, or a couple of emails reminding anyone who abandons a cart that there’s a product there.

Ami Williamson: But then post-purchase people will often just have the stock standard. Usually your Shopify notifications, just nothing wrong with them, but it’s also a great chance to inject that personality and build the relationship. So I think the mistake is assuming that once someone buys your job is done and it’s really not like that’s just when it begins.

Ami Williamson: So post purchase, I really like to recommend both layering in some brand personality, into your like order confirmation, your shipping. Notifications all of that sort of stuff. But also like sending a review request, sending product tips, like do, does, is there a certain way that the product needs to be washed or handled?

Ami Williamson: How can they get the most value out of it? Is it a skincare product? When should they be using that sort of thing? Like how can you set these people up? Who’ve already handed over their money and they trust this brand. How can you deliver on that promise and use those post purchase emails to help them get there?

Dahna: Yeah, I love that. And they say it’s, you know, it’s cheaper to keep a customer than to get a new one. So by building that relationship by making them love you more, that is just going to make your business grow. Like it’s so much easier to get a existing customer to buy again and fall in love with you than to get a new customer in the first place.

Ami Williamson: It is, you know, add costs and all of that. The more you can yeah. Keep those customers. You’ve worked hard to get the better.

Dahna: Yeah. Amazing. And I know that you’ve got a slightly different approach and I’m say different and amazing approach to sort of retargeting ads and emails. Can you give us a little bit of a rundown on how you do that differently from the, did you forget about this?

Ami Williamson: Oh, okay. So yeah, I, , this approach really came out. Writing abandoned car emails for clients and as any good copywriter does I have a swipe file which is basically just emails from other brands that I look at to get inspiration from. And I got sick of continually seeing the same thing, which was basically you forgot this product.

Ami Williamson: Did you forget this product? You dropped something that sort of like slide of hand, click baby thing. And so there are so many different. To talk about it, that isn’t making that customer wrong. Like putting them in the wrong by saying, you forgot this. Like you’re so forgetful, no one wants to be told that they might have forgotten it, but they might not have.

Ami Williamson: They just might not be sure if this is the right product for them. They might have hesitations that need to be overcome. And so there’s so many different ways we can look at that and kind of. Put a spin on that abandoned cart, email, or abandoned cart sequence that isn’t going to make them feel bad about themselves.

Dahna: Always a good thing. Don’t make your customers feel bad about.

Ami Williamson: Yeah. Nobody wants to buy when they feel bad about themselves.

Dahna: Although, I do think a lot of the beauty industry historically has made people, although it’s changing a lot. I love all the skincare brands and things that are coming out that are very

Ami Williamson: yes.

Dahna: make you feel good about yourself.

Ami Williamson: Is why I love star face, which is this pimple patch brand. So they basically counterintuitive to the entire industry. They don’t really refer to acne as blemishes or imperfections. They don’t talk about having to fix anything. They really, they don’t use language like that. They kind of, they look.

Ami Williamson: Pimple care as a form of self expression. And so their actual little pimple patches, instead of being made to blend in they’re little bright yellow stars.

Dahna: That’s adorable

Ami Williamson: that’s not for everyone. Yeah. It’s adorable. And it’s so different from what we are used to.

Dahna: Like you see all the gen X and stuff coming up and they just they’re so body positive and comfortable in their own skin and not hiding it anymore. So I feel like that brand is really kind of with the times of that generation. And they’re just embracing things and that’s amazing. And I, again, that’s the whole point is being different and standing.

Ami Williamson: It is. And I’m so envious of that generation for getting to grow up with that instead of the marketing that we had in like the late nineties, early two thousands, it was,

Dahna: I think we’re all so traumatized.

Ami Williamson: I think we’ll always be traumatized by it.

Dahna: yeah, but no, that’s a really great example. Thank you for sharing that. Do you have like your top three tips for eCommerce businesses?

Ami Williamson: Sure. Okay. So my first big tip, and this is a little bit controversial, but bear with

Dahna: A bit of controversy.

Ami Williamson: so do I shocker? So forget the demographics. and I’m not talking about ad targeting and all of that, but when it comes to the actual messaging and the people you’re targeting, it’s less important how old they are, their gender, their marital status, their employment status.

Ami Williamson: That’s less important than the problem they’re trying to solve. And how your brand helps ’em solve that problem. It’s more about, you know, their self identity and how your brand can feed into that. So who do they wanna be? Who do they not wanna be? And so you’ll find that your best fit customers have those things in common.

Ami Williamson: So they may not be the same. They may not even be the same generation. They may, some might have kids, some might not, some might work for themselves. Some might work part-time for someone else. None of those things tie these people together, but what does tie them together and ties them to your brand is gonna be those bigger things.

Ami Williamson: You know, their motivations, their hesitations, their fears, all those deeper, psychological psychographics what we wanna really pay attention.

Dahna: I love that. And I think it’s so important because like, for instance, I’ve got some fashion clients and they’re like, oh, our demographic is 35 to 55. And I’m like, yeah, but. I know a lot of 60, 70, 80 year olds who would wear this. I know some 20 year olds who would wear this. And obviously from a Facebook targeting perspective, things are a little bit different, but from the way they’re shooting their content from the way they’re writing, you know, it really makes more sense to target and write that psychographically than, you know, your standard, traditional demographics, cuz people are so different and varied.

Dahna: And self-expressive these days that makes a lot of sense.

Ami Williamson: Absolutely. And I think that’s only gonna get more heightened as time goes.

Dahna: No, I love that. Tip number two.

Ami Williamson: Okay. So I kind of, it ties back to what I was saying about post-purchase emails, but focus on the customers you already have. And I’m not saying cut off all lead gen, any of that, but you also really do need to focus on the customers. You already have you work really hard to get them.

Dahna: Agreed.

Ami Williamson: Yeah.

Dahna: As some, as someone who is paid to do the lead gen traffic customer acquisition,

Ami Williamson: important,

Dahna: a hundred percent agree with you.

Ami Williamson: but it makes that lead gen more valuable

Dahna: Yeah. And as you said before, it is getting more expensive. So to have, you know, you really need to be doing that. And the best way to do that is with copy . Is there any suggestions on the best way to do that? I know you’ve touched on a few. Already.

Ami Williamson: Yeah, so definitely those post purchase emails need to be on point and that’s where I would start from there. You can look at how you communicate with those return customers. So quite often, this is probably getting a little bit more in depth, but when creating email flows so say you have that post purchase flow, segment it by the number of purchases. So if someone’s made one purchase, you might communicate with them a little bit differently than if they’ve made three or four or five. Like if you can get to those VIP customers, the ones that buy everything you put out and you know, just so your biggest fans, your biggest supporters, you really want to acknowledge that and communicate with them differently, acknowledge that they have continued to trust your brand.

Dahna: Yeah, I love that. Like really reinforce that relationship.

Ami Williamson: Absolutely. And you can do, like, there are other things you can do like VIP rewards programs and that sort of thing. Yeah, there’s a few different ways you can show them that you appreciate them even just, and this is a win-win situation, but offering to hop on a call with them. Because if they’re a huge fan, they might like to chat to you.

Ami Williamson: It also provides, you know, market research for you. You can get at those psychographics, those deeper things there by talking to them. But it also lets them feel seen and understood and appreciated.

Dahna: Genius.

Ami Williamson: Yeah.

Dahna: Very clever cause you’re right. You know, your die hard fans that have bought from you dozens of times, would love to get on the phone with the person who, you know, runs the business or someone just to have a chat people like having a chat. And

Ami Williamson: They would love it.

Dahna: you’d get so much value out of that.

Dahna: Why do you like us? Why’d you buy from us in the first place? You know, all of those juicy pieces of information that

Ami Williamson: Yes. We love.

Dahna: get.

Ami Williamson: Yeah. And those are the people who have almost made your brand part of their identity at that point. You think of go to, there are fanatical people out there who it is part of their, like their personal identity, that they are a go to fan, like a super user.

Dahna: Yes. Very clever. And do you have a third tip for us?

Ami Williamson: I sure do my last one would be to not be afraid to take risks in branding, marketing, copy, all of that good stuff. Yeah. Just don’t be afraid to take risks. And I would even say push yourself to take risks.

Dahna: I agree with that. I think a lot of people start out in business and they try and be too safe and too conservative. Whereas, as we said before, like the success comes from being Frank body and being. Completely out there and different from what anyone had seen previously, like being different and doing the risky, controversial thing gives you a little bit more space.

Ami Williamson: It does it’s counterintuitive, but playing it safe is not actually that safe.

Dahna: You blend in too much in the E eco world.

Ami Williamson: Way too much.

Dahna: . Do you have any strategies or habits that you follow each day to help you stay on track in business?

Ami Williamson: Absolutely. So my main one is using So it’s kind of this it’s like ambient sound, but it’s like properly made to help you focus. Like they have a focus mode. It’s the one thing that, cuz I’m a procrastinator. I will happily go and clean the entire house rather than sit down and write the copy.

Ami Williamson: But if I put on brain FM and just say, you’re just gonna sit here for 30 minutes and write, and then you can get up and do whatever you want. But I’ll find that I’m still there writing 90 minutes later because it helps me focus.

Dahna: I apparently need I’m gonna have to test that out. fantastic. Anything else?

Ami Williamson: Like that, that I mentioned the 30 minutes. So that’s like a Pomodoro technique where you just set a 30 minute timer. I think it’s technically 25, but I do a 30 minute timer and just sit down, do 30 minutes of writing and then take a five minute break, come back and do 30 minutes of writing. That works for me sometimes.

Ami Williamson: Sometimes not

Dahna: Yes. If that one doesn’t work for me, the I’m just gonna do two minutes. And then see what happens, tends to work.

Ami Williamson: Ooh. Oh, I like that

Dahna: It’s just I’m just gonna do 10 minutes, like just two minutes, like I’m just gonna like open, find the document, open it, start like put a couple words on the page like that. That is the commitment that is required.

Dahna: Normally by that point, you just keep going, but sometimes you don’t, but at least then it’s open for when you try and start your next 30 minutes and.

Ami Williamson: Yeah.

Dahna: Already open and ready to go when there’s

Ami Williamson: to go.

Dahna: on the page.

Ami Williamson: Yeah.

Dahna: That, that’s my one. If

Dahna: Pomodora if that one doesn’t work then just do two minutes.

Dahna: One works, apparently works for

Ami Williamson: Yes. I’ll have to try that.

Dahna: go in the gym, cleaning all those things which is very nice. Do you have a favorite podcast?

Ami Williamson: I do at the moment I have a lot, but at the moment it’s future commerce. So they talk. A lot about the higher level, more it’s less tactical and less actionable, which is weird for me. I usually love the actionable stuff. They talk about like a lot of the theory behind where the world’s at commerce as a whole.

Ami Williamson: So not just eCommerce, but people buying and what that means. And they really dive into some meaty concepts, which I love

Dahna: I like that. I might have to subscribe to that one. Thank you very much. And if people want to visit you and learn more about you, what’s the best way for me to do that.

Ami Williamson: Instagram as always so I’m at damn write, D a M N w R I T E like writing at Instagram. I’m always on there, unfortunately. And I’m very responsive, otherwise, my

Dahna: very interesting stories for everyone

Ami Williamson: Oh yeah. Yeah. I share a very wide range of things.

Dahna: worth following. I approve. And then your website, sorry.

Ami Williamson: So damn

Dahna: Amazing. Well, thank you so much for joining us on the show. It’s been a wonderful journey of copywriting.

Ami Williamson: Thanks. Thanks for having me.

Dahna: Thanks for listening to the bright minds of eCommerce podcast. As always as you’ll find the show notes at slash episodeĀ 32 . Thanks for listening.

Dahna Borg

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