It’s copywriting 101:
Nobody wants to hear you talking about yourself.
They want to know what’s in it for them.
Even entry-level copywriters swiftly learn the importance of stressing benefits over features. Instead of talking about what your product does, you talk about how it can help your customer. What pain does it alleviate? How does it make life easier for them?
It’s a simple tactic, but it’s powerfully effective.
It’s also grossly misunderstood.
Say you’re selling a laptop. One of its features is that it has 8 GB of memory.
8 GB of memory is a feature. A benefit of it is that it allows for smooth running of intense programs.
And here’s where the mistake comes in.
A lot of copywriters think that the benefits over features tactic means they should only focus on the benefit. Something like, “Ensure smooth running of your programs with a powerful system memory.”
The thing is, for people familiar with the spec, simply stating the benefit without the spec is meaningless.
They know what the spec means. If you say 8 GB of memory to them, you don’t need to tell them the benefit because they can figure it out on their own.
But if you just tell them the benefit, they can’t figure out the spec.
And that spec matters. Without it, your benefit is just a claim. You haven’t backed it up.
So where do you draw the line? How do you decide when to focus on the spec or the benefit?
The easy answer is don’t. Do both. Write the spec and the benefit. For example:
“8 GB of memory ensures smooth running of even the most intense programs.”
As CopyBlogger puts it, the benefit tells them what they get out of it and the spec backs it up.
And that’s what benefits over features really means:
A focus on benefits, backed up by specs.
Eli Landes is one of those weird writers who just can't get enough. A marketing writer by day and a fiction writer whenever he can squeeze in the time, he spends his spare time working on his novel, writing short fiction, or daydreaming (I mean, researching). His main genre is Jewish fiction, but he's been known to dabble in the weird, the absurd, and the truly dark.
Eli Landes (the dude whose blog you're reading right now) is a marketing copywriter by day and a fiction writer whenever he can squeeze in the time. He's gotten pretty good at it, and has decided to share his "wisdom." Sigh. I guess they let everyone do this these days.
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