ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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How to Sell Anything In One Paragraph Or Less

In: Creative Writing for the Internet

What if I told you I could sell anything in one paragraph or less?

(Stop glancing skeptically at the screen. I can see up your nose.)

You know what kind of paragraph I'm talking about–the sorely neglected, overlooked and undervalued product description. *cue tambourine and this song*

Product descriptions have the power to make or break you. (Right up until you're broke.)

By make or break you, I mean they can influence sales so much that you'll either be in a position to someday race a 5-speed pearl-colored Mercedes along the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast with your aviator sunglasses and a carefree smirk…or not.)

Earlier this week, I talked about the importance of the how versus the what–in other words, the way you sell something is far more important than what you're actually selling. Exceptions include revolutionary new breakthroughs and never-before-seen technologies, but for the most part, what you're selling has probably been sold before. That means that the biggest competitive advantage you have isn't what you're selling; it's how you're selling it.

A big part of how you're selling it includes what you say about it–in other words, the product description.

Most product descriptions, however, make the mistake of doing just that: Describing the actual product. It's red. It's machine-washable. And it comes in sizes small, medium and large. Order now and forever hold your peace.

But guess what?

Just describing the product? Does nothing to sell the product.

I don't give a shit if it's machine-washable; if it's something I desperately want, I'll send it to the god damn Himalaya Mountains to be hand-washed by a tribe of brown-robed monks.

But first I have to desperately want it.

And one of the best ways to inspire that feeling in your customers?

Isn't to describe the product; it's to describe who they'll be with the product.

Help them envision. Help them picture. Help them get all tingly inside just thinking about the possibilities–including that Mercedes.-

By far, the best company out there doing this is J. Peterman.

I want to have so much sex with their product descriptions. Or maybe just with their copywriter.  Remains to be seen. (If J. Peterman's copywriter is, in fact, reading this, you should know I'm an excellent catch. Unless it's that time of the month, in which case, you should drop me off at a boxing ring somewhere and step away slowly.)

We talk a lot about J. Peterman around here–perhaps one of the most remarkable things about their company is that they're making incredible sales not just with their product descriptions–but without actual product images. They don't even show you what the product looks like–just via illustration only. And yet, thousands of people around the world are rushing to buy their products sight unseen.

And that's the power of a product description done right.-

Here are some of my favorites from them. Take notice of how they help you envision who you'll be with the product:-

I'm betting you suddenly want a Panama Hat, an opera jacket, and a French Film Star travel dress.

Because those are product descriptions designed to sell; not merely describe.

Note the difference.

Note how it's done.

And then note the dramatic increase in your sales, once you do it.

…before your competitor finds this article and does the same.

After all, the Amalfi coast is waiting.

Dec 14

2012

Take Your Lazy Sentences And Piss Off. Politely.

Dec 14, 2012

Lazy sentences BOTHER ME. They bother me because it’s not really the sentence being lazy–it’s the person who wrote it. And if that person happens to be a business owner who’s trying to convince me to spend my hard-earned, sweat-soaked, time-drenched money with them? They better demonstrate that they actually WANT MY BUSINESS. Want it […]

In: Creative Writing for the Internet

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Jan 11

2013

How to Sell Anything In One Paragraph Or Less

Jan 11, 2013

What if I told you I could sell anything in one paragraph or less? (Stop glancing skeptically at the screen. I can see up your nose.) You know what kind of paragraph I’m talking about–the sorely neglected, overlooked and undervalued product description. *cue tambourine and this song* Product descriptions have the power to make or […]

In: Creative Writing for the Internet

READ ME >>

Mar 4

2016

How to Stop Writing With a Stick Up Your Ass

Mar 4, 2016

One of the things I get asked about forty hundred times a day (besides whether or not I know there’s a hair sprouting from my chin) is this: Where’s the line between personality and unprofessional? Because apparently I’m known for walking the line between mental inspiration and mental institution—as every writer worth their weight should. […]

In: Creative Writing for the Internet

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Jul 15

2014

No, I Don’t Want to Be in Your Tribe.

Jul 15, 2014

“No, I don’t want to be in your tribe. I’m not your minion, and I’m not a cow.” -@ateegarden on Twitter. The internet popularized the concept of “finding your tribe,” and while Seth Godin’s book by the same name is right on the money, the term itself has become clichĂ©, stale, trite, boiler plate, and fucking offensive. …As […]

In: Creative Writing for the Internet

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Jan 20

2015

Clear vs Clever Copywriting is a Big, Fat, Bloated Myth (And a Scapegoat for Subpar Writers)

Jan 20, 2015

I’m a very dirty writer. Not Fifty Shades of Grey dirty, but dirty in the way that I put sentences, thoughts, ideas together. My process is wild. Sexy. Free. Undomesticated. And while I wish the reason were because I’m just such a clay-faced, crochet-bra-top-wearing, sun-worshipping bohemian soul (I am laughably not), rather, it’s because I […]

In: Creative Writing for the Internet, Online Marketing

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Jan 30

2014

Why Screaming Won’t Get You Heard.

Jan 30, 2014

You know when you’re in a group of people… …and you start telling a story, and that one jerkoff starts talking over you, hollering at the waitress mid-sentence, or answering the phone, or by turning to say something to somebody else, and then all of the sudden you don’t really know if you’re suppose to […]

In: Creative Writing for the Internet

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I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

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