Reconsider Explaining the Benefits, Not the Features When Writing Copy or Content

Hi guys, thanks for stopping by.

There are a lot of things to consider when trying to become a better copy or content writer. As someone who’s been in sales for quite a lot of years, I tend to explain the features over the benefits of something. I’m taking courses to become a copy- and content writer and I’m learning something new every day.

I’ve learned that nobody buys things based on the benefit a product or service provides. Well, not only based on features. For sure features add credibility to a product or service. But it’s not strong enough to generate sales alone.

How This Applies to Anything

Imagine you’ve got severe pain in your back and you could do a massage. You go onto Google to find services and stumble upon two different websites.

The first one says: “Back massages at affordable prices

The second one says: “Back massages that relieve severe back pain

I bet that nine out of ten times you’d pick the second one because it’s more powerful. Would you get a back massage based on it being affordable? No, you’d get a back massage because you have muscular pain that you want to relieve.

“Benefits give customers a reason to buy because they explain how your product or service improves their lives”

This is why you should focus on the benefits and not the features.

Example From the Real World

To put this into perspective, I wanted to show a real-world example of how you should use this in your business. Below you see an image from emma-mattress.co.uk.

I want you to focus on the main text at the top of the page. It says “Perfect Sleep from A to Zzz”, which of course is a play on words on how people sound when they sleep.

The point is that the title focuses on the benefits of the product and not the features. Imagine you’re looking to buy a new mattress. It’s most likely because your current one isn’t comfortable enough, right? You want a better night’s sleep. This is why the title is perfect. It tells you that you’ll get a perfect sleep if you buy this mattress. Which is a benefit of buying the product.

Would you feel the same urge to buy this mattress if it said: “Our mattresses are great”?.
After they’ve talked about the benefits, they list the features below the image of the bed. They aren’t the main focus but they’re there as an extra service to the customer.

How to Translate Features Into Benefits Using the โ€œSo Whatโ€ Strategy

If you struggle to come up with a list of benefits, you can use the “so what” strategy. The “so what” strategy is where you list out a feature of a product or service and then ask yourself: so what?

Imagine you’re selling an oven. One of its special features is that it has a fast preheating system. This is a feature because it’s a fact about the oven. It explains what the oven does.

To define the benefit, you should ask yourself: so what? Why does this matter to me?

  • Well, that means the oven preheats faster. So what?
  • Well, that means it’s ready to cook your lasagne faster. So what?
  • Well, that means your food is on the table faster. So what?

Well, life is less stressful. There’s less hanging around the kitchen waiting for the oven to get ready. And you don’t have to worry if you’ve forgotten to preheat your oven. So, the preheating feature ended up with a ‘less time in the kitchen’ benefit. This is how you should sell the product.

Start from the top with the features and come up with benefits. You can always squeeze more benefits out of your product or service. Keep asking the ‘so what’ questions and it’ll come up.

Wrapping It Up

This is something I’m still learning. Writing copy and content I tend to only focus on the features of the products or services I design or write for. It feels more natural because we always look at the specifications of the product. But if you think about it, we only consider products if it has a benefit for us.

The “so what” strategy is something I’ve implemented into my workflow. Especially when coming up with content strategies. I want to make the products or services I work with tailored to the viewers or readers.

Do you use this strategy or do you consider benefits over features for your products or services? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment with your strategy or opinion.

A final thing, I’ve finally launched the Facebook page for my freelance company – Clickidy. If you want to show some support and follow the page, you can click right here. Or, you can search for “Clickidy” on Facebook. Any support is very much appreciated.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Take care,
Rasmus Bak

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