I work as a copywriter for a company that specializes in ecommerce. We help our clients manage their presence on sites like Amazon, Walmart.com, and so on. On Monday, I get a frantic email from a client, talking about how they screwed up and let some things slip through the cracks, and now they need content written for 6 items for Walmart RIGHT NOW. I then got forwarded an email chain that was at least 30 emails deep and had more information buried in it about the situation.
Client: This is totally our fault, but we really need to get this content done!
Me: Of course I can write content for six items for you! I can have it done this afternoon, but first I need some more information about the products. Things like spec sheets, catalog pages, a listing on your website, basically anything that helps me understand the size, features, and uses of each product.
Client guy: What you’re looking for is in the email I forwarded to you, there are 2 excel docs. It’s in there.
Buried in the email chain was an assortment of poorly named images (some named by UPC, some by model number), and two copies of the same excel sheet that only had information about 4 of the items.
Me: (eye beginning to twitch) Yes, I saw that, thank you. But that only includes four of the items, If you could just send me some more information for those other two items, that would be great!
The client then sent me two other Excel files.
Client: Alright, here’s all the information you need! Feel free to call me on my cell if you need anything else!
It’s now 3 pm. I have other due dates coming up, other clients I need to be helping. But sure. Ok. I’ll help you fix the problem you created.
I look at the documents, and find the same four items that were in the PREVIOUS Excel sheets they sent me. I call her up.
Me: Hi! I just have some quick questions about those two items. The spreadsheet you sent didn’t have information about those two, so I just want to clarify what they are and what they’re used for.
Client: Oh, but we sent you images.
Me: (quietly seething) Yes, I saw those, but I’m having a hard time identifying which images belong to what item, and also I’m not sure how big the products are, or what they’re made of or used for or anything.
Client Girl: Oh, okay. Well, the one is a bathroom storage thing that has a basket that can go under the sink, and shelves, and a hanging basket, and extra hooks. And the other thing is a wire basket. So is that everything?
Me: (full of rage because I know there’s no way I’m going to get anything close to the information I need and will have to scramble to come up with something to satisfy them)YUP. THANKS.
I use the images and the bare-bones information I was given and came up with some halfway decent content. It was short, since they gave us almost nothing to work with, but it was done by 5 pm.
I get an email two days later.
Client: Well, I really prefer our rich content to be longer and more detailed than what was sent back. I have provided an example of what we did for some other items. I did these myself, but I’m sure they need to be doctored up and bettered by a professional Rich Content person.
First, no one reads “Longer, More Detailed” content when they’re shopping online, they read the first few bullets. I know this because I AM A PROFESSIONAL RICH CONTENT PERSON. Second, YOU WOULDN’T SEND ME ANY MORE INFORMATION THAN WHAT I POSTED.
Pardon me, I feel a rage headache coming on.