Turn Features into Benefits



Before you write the first word on any copywriting project, particularly sales materials, make sure you know the difference between features and benefits.

A feature is something the product has or does. A benefit answers the customer's question, "So what?"

To make sales literature more appealing, turn your product features into benefits. How?

Identify the features

You can do this by writing a physical description of the product. Explain what the product does. What sets it apart from other similar products?

If you offer a service, list all of the tasks that you perform as part of the service. What makes the service special?

What does it do for the customer

All the features in the world won't sell a single item. Unless you tell the customer what that feature will do for them.

  • What pain do the features eliminate?

  • Pain does not have to be physical pain. It can be stress, anger or fear, as well. If one or more of the features helps to eliminate the pain your customer is feeling, which ones and how? For example, a massage chair will help alleviate stress at the end of a tough work day. This is a pain your customer can relate to.

    Elminating pain must be a benefit. Your customer must want that pain to go away. So, spell out the benefits of soothing away stress after a day at work. Maybe it improves their overall health. Or lets them have better quality time with family in the evenings. Know why they want the pain gone.

  • What pleasure is gained?

  • If the product or service does not eliminate pain, perhaps it provides pleasure. The ways in which pleasure is gained are so many, I can't possibly list them all here. But, I will give a simple example.

    When a person goes to buy a sports car, do you think that person is buying the leather seats? The speed? The slick paint job? No. That person is buying the experience of driving a fancy sports car. They are buying a status symbol. They are buying the chance to attract others to themselves. Leather seats, slick paint and speed are the ways in which the person gains the pleasure they seek.

Describe benefit in active words

Once you've settled on the primary benefits of your product or service, describe it in the most visual words possible. Use strong verbs like makes, eliminates, burns or grows. However, don't over exaggerate what it can do. You want the customer to be thrilled with the purchase, not disappointed.

The best way to get your description written is to write a long description. Put it aside for a while - days if possible- then go back and cut unneeded words.

Remember, the goal of copywriting is to show readers or customers why they need what you have to sell. When you turn features into benefits, you do just that.


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