Copywriting Makeover

It’s Not About YOU, It’s About THEM

by Karon Thackston

I've always loved scented candles. They help create a cozy atmosphere. They give you a relaxed feeling. And - most importantly - they make your home smell wonderful! So, naturally, I was excited when I was approached to rewrite the index (front) page for an online retailer who made specialty, soy scented candles.

The goals of the copywriting rewrite were to increase sales and improve search engine positioning for the terms "soy candles," and "scented candles." The copy definitely needed some work. It wasn't "bad," but it had one major thing holding it back. The copy violated one of the primary rules of copywriting. "It's not about you. . . it's about them."

An additional problem was that the information - while definitely necessary - was presented as more of a list of nuts and bolts. It needed a boost to create a "feeling" about the candles for sale.

The Problem

As you can see from the original version,, the copy either focused on the company or the candles. Very little of the copy focused on the customer.

Another element that was "off" in the copy was the lack of the "experience." Site owner Dan Fehn had some fabulous research data about scented candle buyers, however he did not know to include that information when writing.

Lastly, while Illuminous Times had fairly good search engine rankings, there was room for improvement.

The Solution

The data I received included the following information from the National Candle Association.

Candle industry research indicates that the most important factors affecting candle sales are scent, color, cost and shape. Fragrance is by far the most important characteristic, with three-fourths of candle purchasers saying it is "extremely important" or "very important" in their selection of a candle for the home.

Candle manufacturers' surveys show that 96% of all candles purchased are bought by women.

Nine out of ten candle users say they use candles to make a room feel comfortable or cozy.

This was the basis for the copywriting makeover. As a scented candle lover myself, I knew for a fact what women wanted from candles. I understood the candle buying experience and played on that knowledge to create copy that "romanced" the site visitor and increased the desire to buy.

The search engine optimization (SEO) aspect of the copy came easily. The terms "scented candles" and "soy candles" flowed naturally as I created the copy so my primary goal was to use these phrases in power positions (like the headline and sub-heads). I'd also place them as often as I could without making the copy sound stiff or forced.

The Rewrite

You can view the new copy here ( As you can see, the new version immediately begins to entice the site visitor. Everything she wants from a scented candle is laid out before her. . . and some things she might not have known she wanted.

I began to pique interest in soy candles (as opposed to traditional wax candles found in stores) by immediately outlining the advantages soy candles offer. From there I played on the fragrance (the most important characteristic according to the National Candle Association).

I led the customer through a mental tour of their home - lighting candles for a special dinner, enjoying the glow as they snuggled with a good book, and having the unmistakable fragrances only soy candles offer wafting through their homes.

A final keyphrase-rich benefits list of why soy candles are superior to traditional wax candles and an emotional call-to-action wrapped up the copy.

The Results

I think the results of the copywriting makeover are best stated by Dan himself.

"Thank you! Sales have increase even before the holiday season and my rankings have improved, too. Right now I am #1 for the term 'soy candles' (previously ranked at #4), and I'm at #7 for 'scented candles'... a huge jump up from #17!"

So, as you can see, taking the focus off the product or company and putting where it should be (on the customer) makes a tremendous difference. Sales naturally increase when the customer feels he/she is the reason for your existence. Take some time now to look back over your copy. Is it company focused? If so, learning to write specifically for your customers can turn your sales around almost immediately.

Which words make *your* customers buy? Let Karon show you. Boost your sales and your search engine positioning by learning to write strategically created copy that hits a nerve and makes the sale. Get the details now at

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