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Use Your Words: Tips For Writing Virtual Auction Item Descriptions

As we all continue to adapt to the virtual world of fundraising, one of the main goals of this blog will be centered around the continual fine-tuning of the planning process as it relates to a virtual fundraising event. In this particular blog entry, our focus will be writing virtual auction item descriptions.

If writing item descriptions are something that your organization glossed over in the past, it’s time to re-examine this step in the virtual event planning process. Believe it or not, but the way you word your item descriptions can go a long way in helping your organization raise more funds for your cause.

Why Is the Item Description So Important?

Before we get into the actual tips for writing item descriptions, let’s quickly talk about why this aspect of the virtual fundraising event is so important. For starters, the item description is the key piece of information that informs your guests of exactly what they are looking at on their screens. That may sound like a pretty straight forward definition, but it’s important to remember the basic function of the description.

Since we are talking about the virtual format, it’s more essential than ever that your item description provides specific details about the item. Without the ability to be in person, some items may lose their appeal (such as jewelry and other flashier items). This is why your descriptions need to go above and beyond in detail to persuade your guests to bid.

Elevate Your Item (Don’t Cheapen It)

This subheading above is extremely important to remember when you are writing your item descriptions. If there is one thing that you take away from this reading, it should be this: Your goal is to elevate your items with your descriptions. If you find that your description is cheapening the item, it’s time for a rewrite.

For example, if you have a line in your description that says, “This beautiful piece of jewelry is valued at $5,000. Grab this item for the low opening bid of only $200.” That’s a line that you will want to rewrite in a way that doesn’t raise questions about the item at hand. Instead, try something like, “This beautiful piece of jewelry is perfect for those looking to impress on a night out on the town! Be the envy of all of your friends when they see you with this stunning piece around your neck”. These are two simple examples, but they should give you a general idea of how easy it is to sway your patrons one way or the other with your descriptions. Sell the sizzle!

It’s always a good idea to gather your team together to review your item descriptions once they are written. Read them aloud as a group and decide if each description elevates the item or cheapens the item. This is a tried-and-true method of creating item descriptions that will wow your patrons at your next virtual fundraising event.

Remember The Classics: Who, What, Where and When

When you are writing your descriptions, don’t forget to include who, what, where and when concerning the item. If you forget one of these key descriptors, your patrons are less likely to place a bid. For example, let’s say you are auctioning a painting. If you forget to provide the size of the painting, people will be less likely to bid because of this unknown. Even if it’s a very sought-after painting, bidders won’t know if it will fit on their wall!

Know Your Audience

Keep in mind that some items are geared more towards men or women. Be sure to write your description in a way that talks specifically to your target audience. For example, if the item is an experience to drive a NASCAR race car on the track in Charlotte, NC, this is probably geared more towards the ego bid. Include phrases like “Bragging rights for years to come” or “Feel the power of speed as you drive a NASCAR race car on the Charlotte Motor Speedway.” Not only do these phrases appeal to your specific audience, but they also go back to the idea of elevating your items and selling the sizzle. Both of the above descriptions sound much better than something effortless, like “Drive a NASCAR race car in Charlotte, North Carolina.”

Keywords to Enhance Your Descriptions

We will wrap up this blog entry with a quick list of some keywords that will help enhance your descriptions in ways that will get your patrons excited about your auction items:

● Trust

● Strong

● Discover

● More

● Additional

● Incredible

● New

● Today

● Finest

● Exceptional

● Stunning

● You/Your (adds a personal touch to your descriptions)

There are plenty of adjectives that you can use to describe your items; however, the words above are some of the standouts that will help draw your audience into the item. They may seem like simple words on the surface, but these are proven buzzwords that marketing experts have been utilizing for many years to appeal to their target markets. For a more extensive list of buzzwords, check out this article by BluLeadz.

If you need further assistance with your virtual item descriptions or suggestions on how to elevate your virtual event, please contact us today. Our team here at AmFund brings years of marketing strategy experience along with our signature Fundraising Travel Program that will help elevate your next virtual fundraising event. Thank you for reading and stay safe!


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