If there is one thing that confuses and frustrates new (and even seasoned) copywriters it’s the not-always-obvious features vs benefits and how it gives you better sales copy.
We want to share all the great things about our new training or coaching program that we are launching, so we say things like:
- 6-week self-study course
- Includes workbooks and live training
- Members’ only discounts
The hope is that we will entice them to read further. And while these are all good points, they’re pretty bland.
Honestly, it might cause a snore rather than a WooHoo. That’s because they are features and not benefits. These statements tell us about the program but not why we should buy it.
Benefits, on the other hand, tell us the “so what” and the “why” of the features. The benefits are what will draw the audience’s interest, it is what makes them want to know more, and how the product will help them.
“6-week self-study course.” So what? Why should your reader care?
- Because she’s busy and needs to work on her own schedule, not yours.
- Because she’s already studied shorter, less comprehensive courses and needs more in-depth information.
- Because she prefers to learn on her own, not in a group.
“Includes workbooks and live training.” So what? What are the benefits of workbooks and live training?
- Your student can put what she learns into action with workbooks.
- She can get her specific questions answered during live training.
- She can work through complex issues with the help of the group.
As you can see, benefits go much further than simple attributes, such as length and format. Benefits are what reaches your prospective client by showing not only what’s in the program, but why the product is exactly right at this specific moment in their life and career. It shows how this program will help them and let’s face it we all are looking for help to do things, faster, better and accomplish more.
Features and benefits work better when we put them together in sales copy as two halves of a statement, like this:
“6-week self-study course so you can learn at your own pace, when it’s convenient for you.”
In fact, this powerful feature/benefit combo is often the basis for the bullet points you see in sales copy, and the format of them makes them easy to write, and to read as well.
Simply list all the features of your product, then for each one, ask yourself “Why?” Why should the reader care? What am I giving them that will help them? But don’t stop there! Dig deep, really deep. Uncover “the why behind the why.” In the above example, the why behind the why might be, “so you don’t have to spend family time on webinars that have been scheduled to benefit someone else.”
When you write your copy like this, really reaching for the true value and sharing it, very soon you’ll be crafting truly irresistible sales pages. Pages that will convert far better than you expect. Think about it, your prospective client is working at their own pace, and also freeing up time to spend with family. Those are some pretty great benefits, don’t you think?
It’s easy to list all the features of your product or coaching program, but far more difficult to uncover the benefits that will drive sales. So, if sales are what you are looking for, and I am sure they are, get digging, go deeper and share those benefits. When you truly understand the difference, and you find those benefits, not only will it become easier to write copy, your sales will reflect the change, and you will have a happy client!
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