Think quick. In 10 seconds, can you list the 5 key benefits you offer your customers?
I bet you said “Yes”. But are you sure you listed benefits? If you’ll bear with me for another 10 seconds, I’d like to test out a theory on you.
Recap your answers – maybe even write them down. Now list the 5 main things your business does. In other words, what are your 5 core services? What are the 5 core features of your product?
If your first list looks anything like your second, chances are you’re mistaking features for benefits. As a result, it’s likely that your marketing materials aren’t engaging your customer. Customers don’t want to know what you can do. They want to know what you can do FOR THEM.
Don’t talk features – talk benefits.
Don’t be alarmed. You’re not alone. hire a nerd Most business owners and marketing managers are so close to their product or service that they have a lot of trouble distinguishing benefits from the features of their offering. Ask a web host “what are the benefits of your service?”, and you’ll likely hear something along the lines of, “we offer load-balanced server clusters.” But that’s not a benefit… that’s what they do. The benefit is superior uptime and performance.
In fact, so many people think features instead of benefits that it can work in your favour – to dramatic effect. If you can accurately identify your benefits, and convey those benefits to your market, you’ll be light-years ahead of most of your competition. You’ll be converting leads into sales while they’re still bogged down trying to promote features.
So if you’ve ever sat down to write a sales letter and wondered how you’re going to grab your reader’s attention, or you’ve ever gone ’round in circles writing draft after draft of web copy without ever hitting the mark, now you know where you were going wrong.
The only question remaining is, how do you do it right? Advertising copywriters and website copywriters do it all the time – and most of the time, they do it with benefits. Benefits are the copywriter’s holy grail. But if you’re not a seasoned copywriter, how do you identify the benefits you offer your customers?