Writing pet stories that appeal to adopters

Posted by Jennifer on December 29th, 2010

Our adoption marketing research shows people want a new pet for the companionship. It’s all about the relationship, and that relationship starts with the story you write about the pet. A good story makes a connection with the reader, pulls heartstrings and gives an almost human personality to the pet.

Your pet for adoption has the greatest chance of making the transition from being just another pretty face on the website to being someone’s new family member if you truly establish a personal connection with the adopter through the story!

When the local TV news airs a personal story about a pet in need of a new home, there’s always a flood of calls to provide help because people have made a connection and can relate to the pet. So write whatever you know about how this pet ended up homeless. Make it personal, cute, and hopeful, and make it as long as you like (or have time for). Don’t be afraid to make it sad. People love “underdog” stories and love to be the hero–just give them the chance. Emphasize the pet’s feelings, and why he/she wants to just give love and belong. Give the pet a human personality in the story that people can relate to.

You can even tell the story in the first person. For example, “My human died, leaving me all alone, and I bounced from house to house for two months. I was so sad and alone! The nice folks at Doggy Rescue have taken me in and they tell me every day that someone will come to love me. Could you be my someone? I just want a warm lap to sit in again. Is your lap available for me?”

If you don’t know anything about the pet, you still know something! For example, “I was found on the street and taken to the shelter. I was so scared. The other dogs think my ears are too long and my hair is too tangled, but I’ve just had some rough times. If you come meet me, I may be a little scared at first because someone was once really mean to me, but if you give me love, I’ll come to trust you, and I will be loyal to you for the rest of my life-and I don’t even care if your ears are too big or your hair is tangled! It’s what’s inside that counts, right?”

Knowing how much information and how much to write can take some practice. Try different approaches, and you’ll learn what works best for your adopters and your pets. Even though people’s online attention spans are growing shorter and shorter, many shelters and rescues find its important to be honest and upfront with adopters right from the beginning by including everything they know about a pet in their online listing. Using Bullet Points can be a great way to highlight the pets positive qualities. Use the built-in checkboxes in your Adopt-a-Pet.com pet listings to add those bullet-points quickly and easily.

The words you take a moment to write now can spark the kind of immediate connection that can save a life and turn into a lifelong happy home!

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