Don't sell the product - sell the result

Features & benefits

Putting the ‘why’ before the ‘what’.

Yes - it’s that old chestnut - The Tweedledum and Tweedledee of commercial copywriting -
features and benefits.

I can hear the collective groan - “Oh not that one!  Everyone knows the difference.”

But do they?
Some have a funny way of showing it.

What's In It For Me?

Only the other day, I was looking for paintbrushes.
I found some on a famous DIY website and this is what I learned -  

  • Bristle Type: Synthetic
  • Interior or Exterior Use: Interior/Exterior
  • Type: Paint Brushes
  • Includes: 1 x 0.5in brush, 1 x 1in brush, 1 x 1.5in brush, 1 x 2in brush, 1 x 3in brush
  • Pack Quantity: 5

Now that’s fine.  I now know the ‘what’ - what they’re made from, what they’re made for, what size they are and how many I can buy in a pack.

But what about the ‘why’?

Why I should buy these brushes, rather than any other?
How are they going to improve my life?
How are they going to turn me into the next Michelangelo?
Or at least, how are they going to help me to decorate the
downstairs loo quickly and efficiently?

When you write about your product or service, you need to answer these types of question. Do this and you’ll be striking at the emotional heart of the matter - your reader’s pain point.

You’ll be talking about the benefits of your products or services.  And you do this by making sure that, after every statement you make about your services or products, challenge yourself with the question,

“So what? What’s the benefit?”

Otherwise known as WIIFM - What’s In It For Me.

Let’s say you’re promoting your amazing new Bison Vacuum Cleaner.

You might write like this -

Feature - It’s lightweight (11 lbs.)
So what? What’s the benefit? - You won’t strain your back carrying your Bison up and down stairs.

Feature - It has on-board accessories
So what? What’s the benefit? - You’ll save time. No more searching for the furniture brush.

Feature: It’s bagless
So what? What’s the benefit? - You’ll save money. No more bags to buy.

Feature: It has a 5-year warranty
So what? What’s the benefit? You’ll enjoy peace of mind. No worries if your Bison packs up.

When you're writing website copy, think about those features and benefits. The benefits really matter and should be highlighted at the beginning, middle and end of your web pages.  Address the client’s pain points, communicate the benefits of your product or services and you’ll be well on your way to making the sale.



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Jun 8, 2020
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