It’s a pretty safe bet that your prospects care about themselves and their loved ones a whole lot more than they will ever care about the product or service you’re trying to market to them. In all likelihood, you’re just one of a number of different companies trying to sell them something that looks pretty much the same to them.
As a marketer, you’re probably trying to figure out ways to show people just how different you actually are.
There are a number of ways to do this and today I want to focus on features versus benefits and how to write perfect website copy.
If you browse the ads in any category (in both traditional or digital media) you’ll see a number of campaigns that rely heavily on listing the many impressive features of an offering. There’s nothing wrong with features of course. They tell us exactly what a product or service is or has. And many people involved in creating or managing products or services think of these features as the really valuable aspect of their offering. Quite possibly they are.
Here’s the problem though. For most of your prospects, these features will mean close to nothing. And even if they do mean something, communicating a feature still leaves a prospect with the tough job of trying to figure out exactly what this feature would mean for them in their actual life.
This is where benefits come in. Benefits tell your prospects exactly what’s in it for them. Benefits tell the story of exactly where the value exists for someone who uses your product or service. A beautifully explained benefit means prospects no longer need to do the hard thinking of translating features into something useful for them because you’ve already done the work for them.
Time for an example. Imagine your company is selling the incredible ability for people to make ice cubes at home. Your brief is to generate interest in this ‘unique’ offering.
If you were to go down the feature's path you might describe your offering as something like:
Make amazing ice cubes from home!
- Made from pure water
But with just a little bit of extra work, you could use our Features vs Benefits Grid to think it through more deeply. What does an Ice Cube really mean to someone in terms of benefits?
Click here to download our Features vs Benefits Grid and create detailed benefits for your campaigns!
When you see something as simple as an ice cube broken down this way it seems obvious that benefits are much more valuable than features. But as with so many things, the obvious is often the first thing that goes out the window when the pressure’s on.
The power of benefits doesn’t mean you should completely ignore features though. They are still a key part of any campaign as they provide the raw facts which are often critical in getting a prospect to make a decision. Benefits get people engaged emotionally. Features give them the rational facts they need to justify their decision.
And a final tip – most benefits focus on what the prospect will get in the present. If you can take it one step further and describe the benefits they will enjoy in the future then you are telling them how your product or service will change their life.
This allows for much bigger thinking and much bigger benefits. It means a much larger emotional connection when you get it right. Changing someone’s life will turbocharge a campaign in ways no single feature ever could.
Your campaigns should always use a mix of benefits and features to maximise the impact of your message. If you can include future benefits you’ll be even more effective.
1. A feature tells someone what a product is or has.
2. A benefit tells them what it does for them.
3. A future benefit tells them how it will change their life.
If you think this approach could transform your thinking and, in turn, your campaign success, click the button below to download our Features vs Benefits Grid to get started now. If you have any questions let us know!
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