Skip to Main Content

Nov 10, 2011 | 3 minute read

8 Sales-Boosting Holiday Copywriting Tips

written by Linda Bustos

Is your product and site copy in ship-shape for the holiday season? There's still time to make tweaks to help boost conversions - here are 8 simple things you can get cracking on today.

1. Make it Clear, Make it Quick People are more rushed than usual during the holidays. If you don’t already have the most important features/benefits of your products outlined in bullet points, do it now. This will allow your shoppers to make quick work of gift-giving decisions and let you rack up more sales.

2. Remind Shoppers of Gift Potential While you might be tired of writing the phrase “makes a great gift,” shoppers need to be reminded. The purchase of one collegiate replica football could quickly turn into two if your customer suddenly remembers that her nephew is also a big sports fan. Alternate verbiage you can use includes “perfect for gift giving,” “a unique holiday/Christmas gift,” “great Christmas/holiday gift idea,” or “they’ll love finding this under the tree.”

3. Highlight Popular Holiday Benefits Easy returns, no assembly required, one size fits all and free shipping (to and/or from the recipient) top the charts this time of year. Any benefits your ecommerce site (or the individual products you carry) offers that will help ensure gift satisfaction and easy exchanges/refunds should be made obvious.

4. Offer Gift Cards or Certificates – According to The Washington Post, 2010 saw gift card sales totaling $91 billion. That number is predicted to reach $100 billion by 2012. In addition to being a quick gift solution for shoppers, you benefit when the recipient comes back to redeem his/her card. Chances are, they’ll spend more than the face value of the voucher.

5. Leverage Customer Reviews

Real owners of products often have insights that manufacturers, marketers and retailers don't about the product's pros and cons, unexpected uses (remember Shania Twain's udder cream skin regime?) and complementary products (e.g. "the included sponge is great for heavy application, but you can wear it sheer if you apply it lightly with a fluffy brush like Mac 129"). Mine your own reviews, head to Amazon or check out review aggregators like Buzzillions if you're short on customer reviews.

6. Romance Your Website

Your product description romances the product, but each product page is a potential entry page to your site. Don't just put your brand value props on the home page, but feature them on every product, search, category and shopping cart page.

7. Test 404 Pages

Don't lose customers on 404s! Testing 404 page copy can have a major impact on conversion lift and revenue per visitor, as Mountain Equipment Co-op discovered when it added friendly, apologetic messaging to it's Not Found page.

8. Post-Purchase Thank You

Don't just take customers to a generic "thank you" page after purchase. Say something! Ask to keep in touch through email sign up or social media, encourage them to keep browsing with product suggestions, offer a coupon for re-purchase within X days, or ask them to rate their customer experience with a short survey.

This post is a collaboration, tips 1-4 were contributed by the fabulous Karon Thackston, SEO copywriting expert and author of Wordtracker’s Ecommerce Copywriting: Proven Strategies for Boosting Sales & Search Rankings. Thank you Karon!

Looking for help with ecommerce site optimization? Contact the Elastic Path consulting team at to learn how our conversion optimization services can improve your business results.