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Action Verbs and Sensory Adjectives

Writing guides often advocate limiting adjectives. This is tricky advice for product description writers because it’s tempting to rely on adjectives to sell your product.

Choose Verbs Over Adjectives

Action verbs pack a punch. Try to avoid using “is”, “are”, “be”, and passive verbs, all of which seem bland. On the other hand, action verbs speak stronger than adjectives. Rather than cramming your sentences with adjectives and weak verbs, choose strong verbs.

Bad: This beautiful necklace is perfect for your fashionable tastes.

Better: This necklace will satisfy the desires of the fashionista in you.

Here I changed the generic adjectives beautiful, perfect, and fashionable, and the weak verb is to the strong verb satisfy and the interesting noun fashionista. Which sentence makes you want to buy a necklace?

Get Sensory with Your Adjectives

Run-of-the-mill adjectives don’t sell, but sensory adjectives do. A sensory adjective appeals to smell, taste, touch, sight, or sound. Sensory adjectives help buyers experience your product virtually, and that experience sells.

Bad: Our soft, lilac print pillow will help you sleep better.

Better: Dream the night away on this creamy soft pillow. The lilac print pattern leaves you practically smelling the flowers.

When you include an adjective in a product description, ask, “Is this sensory? How does it help sell my product? Could I replace it with a more specific and powerful word?”

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