Do you talk about true benefits in your sales copy?
One of the biggest mistakes a copywriter can make is confusing features with benefits. Very often, sales copy only lists the features of a product—and that’s usually just not enough to make a sale.
Don’t forget: your audience doesn’t want to hear about you or your product, especially when you’re trying to sell it to them. Buyers only want to hear about how the product can solve their problem, in other words, how they can benefit from it.
Both features and benefits are equally important for effective sales copy, but benefits create those emotions in your customer that trigger a buying decision. Features reinforce benefits by providing proof why the benefits are possible.
One of the most repeated rules of compelling copy is to list the benefits of your product.
The difference between benefits and. features
- Features:A feature is something that your product has or is.
- Benefits: Benefits are the end result of what the product can actually accomplish for the customer.
Sometimes it’s not that easy to decide if something is a feature or a benefit. They can look very similar. But remember: Just because you know how your product will make your customer’s life better doesn’t mean that they do. For example, saying that a cell phone has an integrated email application is actually showcasing a feature, not a benefit. The benefit would be the ability to check your emails wherever you are.
The biggest difference between features and benefits is the emotional aspect that audiences can relate to. Saying that a cell phone has integrated email applications doesn’t necessarily create an urgency to buy, but everyone appreciates the convenience of being able to check their email from the comfort of their phone, no matter where they are.
Why highlighting features alone doesn’t work
Because features are typically based on technical information and work on a factual level rather than an emotional one, they’re often confusing or hard for a customer to understand. For example, boasting a 24 MB/sec download speed for an internet provider might not make sense to a customer unless they’re pretty tech savvy. However, the benefit of having a fast internet connection that can download images and videos quickly and easily is something that any computer user can relate to.
Simply put, your potential customer won’t understand your message if you provide nothing but technical information.
Conduct some quick market research
You can’t effectively offer a benefit if you don’t know what problems your audience is having. Take the time to get to know your target audience and figure out how your product or service can help them solve the problems they might have.
Your benefits should be different for each problem and for each audience.
Transforming features into benefits
This process will help you build the strongest emotional impact possible through the use of powerful and relevant benefits. To achieve this transformation, tell the audience how the feature will benefit them.
- Make a list of every feature of the product or service. Narrow it down to the features that are most likely to appeal to your prospect
- Ask yourself how each feature will benefit the customer
- Find the emotions that each benefit will awaken in the prospect; talk about how he or she will feel
The thing you need to keep in your mind while writing sales copy is to sell with benefits that are supported by the features of your product. For example:
- Four-wheel drive on a truck or car is a feature. Being able to travel safely in every season and any weather conditions is a benefit.
- Modern equipment in a gym is a feature. Being able to optimize your workout and track progress through up-to-date technology is a benefit.
- Search engine optimized content is a feature. Having appealing website content that lists high in the search engines and generates hits is a benefit.
Every one of your product’s features can be turned into a benefit with a little practice. It will also help you better understand your audience’s problems and what they are looking for in a product like yours.
The “feature-benefit matrix”
If you’re a marketer, the chances are pretty decent that you’ve come across the term “feature-benefit matrix.”
Feature-benefit grids help you to successfully translate features into benefits and also to create a sales message based on the information. Set up a grid with one column for features, one for benefits, and one for the specific message and call-to-action.
|Sleeping bag||Two-inch insulation layer.||Stay warm all night.||Don’t let the cold keep you up at night! Get a great night’s sleep and wake up ready to go for a full day of outdoor activities.|
|Salad bar||Over 65 different sauces and dressings.||Plenty of choices to liven up a salad.||Salad doesn’t need to be boring! We have enough options for you to enjoy a different salad every day for a year.|
|Insurance broker||Over 35 years of experience.||Knowledgeable and experienced team of experts.||You can relax knowing our team of experts has the experience it takes to provide you with the best possible options for your life insurance needs.|
|Dry cleaners||On-site dry cleaning services.||Faster turnaround.||If you’re in a rush and need your best suit or favorite dress in a hurry, take advantage of our two-hour service. We will have you dressed to impress in no time!|
It takes time and patience to learn how to focus on selling the benefits of your products compared to just selling the features of your products. Take the time to write a Features-Benefits grid; it will help you organize your thoughts and write better copy.
Try making a list of your product’s features and practice writing benefits for each. Remember to change the benefits and the features when you are advertising to a different audience.
Do you have compelling benefits in your sales copy? Please share them with us in the comments!