How to Increase Sales with Magic Words

Want to increase sales? Try using these magic words!

Hi, Sarah Fletcher, Stylaquin founder here. For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been a catalog design expert for the last umpteen years. I’ve worked with a lot of catalogs you know and love like Harrington’s of Vermont, Mrs. Beasley’s, The Vermont Country Store, L.L. Bean, Jamestown Distributors, and Glendale to name a few.

One of the most interesting things I learned from catalogs is that there are magic words. They always work, they never don’t work, and you can’t overuse them. They are: New, Free, Save, Sale and Sex. So how do you use magic words? First, Don’t over think it, they’re magic, not tricky.


New has big magic. Call out new items with a bold red NEW. You can do this in the product body copy. You can add NEW at the end of the Product name, though Shopify and some platforms don’t allow formatting for headlines. An easy win is to create a NEW collection and set it to show new items automatically. If you don’t have many new items, go with what you have and keep the five or ten most recent in the new collection manually. Some stores have a high turnover of new products, so new may mean they are new within the last month. There aren’t any official rules about what constitutes new, though calling items new for more than a year could make it look like the site is never updated.

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Free is another magic word. It is why free shipping works so very well. Free gift with purchase, and buy one get one free, are other great uses of free. Anything you can give away free is going to resonate with customers. Free upgrade, free class, free case or accessory, free extended warranty, free refill, anytime you can give the customer something free they will love it.


Everyone loves a bargain. Very high end customers won’t respond if save is plastered all over everything, but they love to save as much as the next person. You can tell customers they will save on lots of things that aren’t money, like time, or effort. Save yourself headaches, save more when you buy more, and so on. Saving a dollar amount is usually better than saving a percentage. Customers don’t like to do math. So save $20 will usually do better than save 20% even if the actual dollars saved are a little more with 20%.


This one’s a classic and most companies use it pretty well. Seasonal sales are a tried and true way to reduce old inventory. Regular sales can move customers off the fence for a small discount. Shoppers who love your brand, but not your prices, may be enticed to buy. You can do the occasional store-wide sale and also have a sale category. Adding a popup to the sale category that specifically targets bargain shoppers can be effective. There is a subset of shoppers that simply won’t pay full price, it’s a badge of honor and a lifestyle choice. Don’t try to change them, meet them on their own terms and they can become loyal, though frugal, customers.


You’re on your own with this last one. Though I will mention that when I worked with International Justice Mission on their catalog, “Save children from being victims of sex traffickers” was their most effective headline. Though typically you only need to use one magic word at a time. All kidding aside, if you’re looking for a good charity to donate to, International Justice Mission is doing amazing work in dangerous places.

That’s it for magic words, If you enjoyed this blog and got some good info please join our email list. If you’d like to see a Shopify app that increases the number of items viewed by 180%, increases time on site by 70% and just makes online shopping more fun and engaging, here’s a quick demo of Stylaquin. If you’d like to see the Magic Words video or get more marketing, copy, and design tips check out Hump Day Bar Hopping with Stylaquin

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How to come up with ideas for good copy

How to come up with ideas for good copy

It’s easy to write good copy once you have a great idea to work with. (Well, most of the time anyway.) But how do you come up with new ideas? Do you wait for inspiration to strike? Is there a process?

YES! Having spent over 30 years as a professional creative I can say with great certainty, while inspiration does strike randomly from time to time, there are ways to get the creative juices flowing. Here are a few of my favorites.

Start with the problem

What problem does the product solve? Who uses it? Why is it better than other solutions? Answering these questions will give you the basic materials to build a copy block or headline. 

Give yourself time 

Great ideas rarely come from out of the blue. Great ideas come from working through the questions above. This isn’t something you can do in 4 minutes. A good brainstorming session should be at least 30 minutes and can go over an hour if you are on a roll. Remember to come up with lots of ideas, let them percolate, then winnow them down to one or two, before you start to flesh them out. 

Take a walk

Moving is a great way to get creative juices flowing. Steve Jobs was famous for walking when he was struggling with a new project or problem. While you walk, think about the problem. Let your mind wander and then come back to the problem. Don’t hold it too tightly, but keep coming back to it.

Be curious

I usually start with a big sheet of paper and make a mind map of what I know about the product. Who invented it? Why? Who was the first person to use it? What is it made of? I once did a project for International paper to help them sell more office paper. We asked what the difference was between inkjet, laser, and multipurpose office papers. No one had much information. But why would there be so many choices if there was no real difference? So we asked to speak to the paper engineers. They talked for over an hour and gave us all we needed to know about why there were different papers, what the advantages and disadvantages were for each, and why it would matter to the customer. If we hadn’t been curious enough to speak to the engineers, we would never have gotten the right information.

Follow the customer

This is a great exercise even if you aren’t writing copy. Go to where your customers are using your product and watch them. If you sell travel gear, spend time in some airports, train stations, and bus depots. Think about who is buying what you are selling and go watch them in their native habitat.

Google it

It can lead you down the garden path but the Google machine does come up with some great stuff. Ask questions like “Why is (your product) better?” “Who uses (your product).” Be curious and see where it take you. 

Go to a bookstore or library

Sometimes getting away from your desk is the best use of your time. I think of libraries and bookstores as high-target environments for ideas. Look at books about your product space. Flip through magazines. Just let your curiosity guide you. 

If you would like to learn more about how to write great product copy for Shopify, download the Smart Shopify Copy Builder

This guide will help you understand the different facets of good copy, understand how they affect your customer’s perception of your products and your brand, and why that matters. We have also included a handy planner to make the process easier. 

What are legal requirements for product copy?

There are legal requirements for product copy, and here they are.

Material content

Content refers to what the product is made of. If you are selling clothing you need to include what the fabric’s fiber content is and the percentage of each material. (100% Polyester, 80% Cotton 20% Linen, that kind of thing.) It isn’t tricky, it just needs to be there. There is an SEO opportunity in content because you can create a page for most content, say a page on how great linen is, or why Polyester is better for active sports. For more information about using content for creating internal pages download the Smart Shopify SEO Builder as well. 

Country of origin

This is another important and easy thing to add to your copy. If you are not the manufacturer, and you aren’t sure what the country of origin is, check the product’s tag. Manufacturers are required to list the country of origin on every product. Your distributor will also be able to tell you. Creating meaningful product pages about country of origin to link to is often a stretch, however if the country of origin is unique or has meaning to the buyer it can be very relevant. Made in the USA is often worth promoting if you are selling to the USA.  It is a bit of a buzzkill when your Irish Knit Sweater is made in Sri Lanka, but you are still required to list it. 


It should go without saying that making false claims about a product is illegal. Finding the hard edge of truth can be challenging when products are very new or untested claims. Be especially careful about making specific health claims and always check with your lawyer before making any claims. In general, if you find yourself saying “Well it could…”, don’t talk yourself into anything. Focusing on solving customers’ problems will do you more good than trying to fake a benefit.  

But no one else does it…

It’s pretty easy to find examples of non-compliance. You can almost certainly get away with not listing content and country of origin. Here’s why you should bother: It’s easy to do and the end result helps your customer. Many people will make an effort to buy goods from countries they feel connected to. Many people won’t buy items made of certain materials. Linen wrinkles, cotton is a bad choice for on the water gear, polyester is bad for the environment. You can’t know your customers’ thinking on what an item is made from, but you can give them the choice. Google rewards complete information and more importantly, customers trust sites that provide complete information. Leaving them out may not get you served with a cease and desist letter, but putting them in will get you trust, and trust is priceless.

Introducing the Smart Shopify Copy Builder!

Introducing the Smart Shopify Copy Builder

Writing great product copy is a big job, and it probably isn’t the only thing on your to-do list. This guide will help you understand the different facets of good copy, understand how they affect customer’s perception of your products and your brand, and why that matters. It shows you where the opportunities for crafting great SEO are and even includes a handy planner to make the process easier. Once you understand what to do, and why it matters, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes per product to create a plan of attack.

Whether you are writing copy yourself, or with a team, this resource will keep you focused on the important things. It also makes getting your information organized and in one place.