Did the article title get your attention? Were you curious enough to click for more information? Does the title describe something you were looking for?
I hope you answered yes to these questions, because they are the basis of how to write effective ad copy. Your auction title is your hook. But if you miss, well, you know, it’s the whole first impressions thing. And more than likely the potential buyer (or in my case, the reader) won’t be back.
Which means we can’t afford ambiguity in our word choices when writing any kind of ad copy designed to get someone’s attention.
There was an old “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy, afraid that she is not educated enough for her unborn baby, decides to take English lessons. So she hires a tutor to teach her and the others how to speak proper English.
One of the tutor’s first instructions to his pupils is about the use of slang. He explains that in addition to never using the word “okay,” there are two other words one should always refrain from using. Then in his most thespian-like voice states that, “One is ‘swell’ and the other is ‘lousy.’”
To which Lucy promptly responds, “Well, give us the lousy one first.”
This is a very funny example but it does point out how slang, even when used with conscious intention, can easily be taken out of context.
And when your auction title does get that hoped-for click? Well, that’s when it pays off to have written a description that is informative and relevant, but with a human element. The buyer is looking for key information they need at that moment to make a decision. Give it to them.
1) Write an Effective Auction Title
There are two basic rules for creating an auction title:
- No fancy prose or silly words
- Always be clear but concise
This is precious real estate space and you don’t want to be vague or cutesy.
eBay’s search engine uses auction titles to index items for sale. This means that potential buyers enter keywords into the search engine. This is why you should avoid such jargon as L@@K, Nice, WOW, RARE, etc.
Descriptive keywords are what you want. Use the most common name and/or specifics for the item to clearly and accurately convey what you’re selling. Include the item’s condition and whether it is new or old. And ask yourself, “What wording would compel me to click on this sale?”
A couple other things to remember:
- Avoid using meaningless symbols like !!! or $$$. They are messy and just waste space.
- NEVER USE ALL CAPS BECAUSE the buyer will FEEL LIKE YOU ARE YELLING AT THEM…not the image you want to project.
2) Write a Compelling Description
Choosing the right category for your item is an essential step. And one that’ll help buyers locate you when they’re searching on eBay for a particular item. This is key, because you want to make it easy for them.
The description text should be written as if you are speaking to a person; while it’s also a good idea to add some pertinent search engine words. This isn’t hard to do. In fact, you can create an effective SEO description simply by providing relevant details and anticipating what buyers might ask.
eBay returns search results by Best Match. Your listing will rank higher if you provide as much information as possible about your item. So it will behoove you to fill out all the applicable boxes in the Items Specific section. This includes things like color, size, style, brand, features and more.
Always proofread everything you have written, at least twice. And stick with a black font for easier viewing. The quality of your description (or lack thereof) is a direct reflection on you in the mind of the buyer.
3) Make it Sparkle
It’s always a good idea to include a photograph of the item you’re selling, if applicable. A picture is worth a thousand words and it can have a direct impact on a bidder’s decision as to whether or not to bid, and how much to bid. Most people won’t buy sight unseen. Would you?
Get creative. Did you know that using a human approach has been proven to boost eBay bids and sales? Consider adding your own personal touch.
In a separate paragraph, you could write a short story of interest about the item you’re selling and why you find it appealing. It should be something that speaks to a potential buyer’s emotions. If it does, you’ve got them.
Because, in the end, that’s how all sales are closed.
I would love to hear your feedback on this article and any ideas you might have for future articles. Thanks for reading.
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