In fact, if you had a quarter for every article out there that talks about features vs. benefits when writing a sales letter, you’d never have to plan another marketing campaign again. #SetForLife
However, if you’ve been living in a cave (I hear the rent is rock-bottom) and haven’t seen any of these articles yet, here’s a brief overview:
Features are about how your product functions and all the cool data points that make it the best choice for your target buyer.
Benefits explain how buying your product is going to make their lives easier/better/sexier/insert-result-your-buyer-wants.
Both are important but for very different reasons.
Benefits are what creates the desire to buy, while features are the sticking points that justify the purchase – and often clinches the sale.
In the litany of articles out there, most would agree that it’s benefits that drive sales…
Unless… you’re not exactly “great” at writing a benefit statement.
Somewhere out there is a frustrated business owner that’s tried it all. He’s probably reading this yelling, “I tried to write a benefit statement and it doesn’t work.”
Here’s a question for you, guy-yelling-at-a-blog-post…
What kind of benefit statement did you write?
Was it about how awesome you are and that you’re willing to give up an hour of your time to have a conversation with your customer?
Were you talking about how robust your offering is and all the neat things a person can get from it?
If so… that’s the cause of your frustration.
It stems from copywriting that’s too self-centered to convince me, or anyone else, that you have our best interest (and not just our money) at heart.
If nobody’s buying your amazing offer, it’s because they don’t see the direct value in it. At least not yet.
Now, there might be any number of reasons for this:
- Your authority factor might be unconvincing
- Your offer may not be appealing
- You may be fishing in the wrong pond
But chances are…
The direct benefit to your target market isn’t apparent or compelling enough.
So how can you make it more compelling? And how can you know when it’s compelling enough?
That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
So let’s dive in.
What Makes Your Offer So Beneficial?
When you’re writing sales copy and you’re coming up with your benefit statement, you need to put yourself in the reader’s shoes and answer the following questions:
“So what? What’s in it for me?”
“Yes. And why should I care?”
Or the ever-so blunt:
“Great. What’s your point?”
Statements like, “When you purchase X product, you’ll also get a 1-hour strategy call and my newest ebook, ‘How to X Your Y.’” are not benefit statements.
It’s basically saying, “You buy this thing, I give you these other things.” Which is more or less a bonus statement.
There isn’t one word about how that’s going to benefit whoever buys it.
“But that should be obvious!” I hear you say.
Not even a little.
I know that seems harsh, but have you ever spoken to someone that assumed you knew the same information they did, even though there’s no way you could have known it?
That’s how these benefit statements land with an audience.
They might try to pick up what your putting down, but unless you have a reputation that screams for itself, you’ve probably lost them.
Here’s how to know if your benefit statement is DOA, even if it’s clear to you and your team:
Test it on a small part of your market and see how they respond.
When you’re getting the kind of response you’re looking for from a small test group, you can roll it out on a larger scale.
These smaller groups are a good indication of how the majority of your market is likely to respond.
Didn’t get a great response? Survey the test group and find out why they didn’t like it.
If they didn’t see the value in your offer, it’s time to work on your BS (Benefit Statement – of course).
How To Make Your Big Juicy Benefit Statement Compelling
Let’s go back to our benefit statement from above and apply the “So what? What’s in it for me?” question.
“When you purchase X product, you’ll also get a 1-hour strategy call [So what? What’s in it for me?] where we’ll dive into [prospect’s biggest frustration] and I’ll help you create the roadmap you need for [desired outcome]. I’ve even included my newest ebook, “How to X Your Y”, [So what? What’s in it for me?] which will give you the very formulas I used to create [desired result] in [related area of interest].”
This method will help you convey how beneficial your offer is to the buyer, what they can expect when they purchase, and why your solution might be perfect for them.
To be honest… there is no secret formula that’s going to make people convert.
However, your sales copy will be a lot more effective when you put your focus where it needs to be; the outcome people will get from your offer and how it’s going to affect their quality of life.
A Quick Word About Retail Vs. Services Benefit Statements
If you’re running a direct-to-consumer retail shop that sells gourmet chocolates, you’re selling a product that’s essentially a luxury item.
Your sales copy and benefit statement is often better off focusing on lifestyle enrichment, exclusivity, and indulgence.
For example, if you’re selling a gift set, your benefit focus could be your customer’s romantic interest loving the extravagant chocolates he gets them.
The benefits are still there, but the focus is on intangible (but desirable) results.
A service-based business, on the other hand, tends to have an easier time figuring out what would be appealing to their consumers. Their clients are often dealing with problems that are directly affecting their livelihood.
In other words, their target market usually has specific challenges and they’re actively looking for solutions.
Their copy is going to focus on the tangible benefits of signing up for their service – whether that’s making their client’s lives easier, saving them time, making them money, etc.
Now, I realize that I’m painting in broad strokes here… But the main goal of this post is to get you thinking about your benefit statements differently.
I want you to stand in your reader’s shoes and start asking the question, “So What? What’s in it for me?” Then I want you to test the results, and finally give them those big, juicy benefits that make your product hard to resist!
We’d Love To Hear From You!
Tell us! How are you going to apply what you’ve read to your benefit statement? Show us your new benefit statement below.
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