How to Write Copy That Sells – Use Benefits
As copywriters we’ve all read that the best way to write copy that sells is to use benefits. But what these articles don’t tell us is how to identify and communicate the benefits that are truly going to compel your readers to reach for their wallets.
In this article you’ll learn how to:
Features are all very well, but they are not what sell your products or services. What matters to the consumer is what is in it for him and features don’t speak even half as loud as benefits (unless of course you have a highly technical readership, but we’ll come back to that in a bit). Generally, highlighting and communicating the benefits is the most powerful way to sell any type of product, service or brand.
So what’s the difference between features and benefits?
Features are the specifications of a product. They include the color, the dimensions, what it does and how it does it. They are the facts.
Benefits are what the consumer receives as an outcome of using the features. The most powerful way to use them is to identify them, then to dig deep until you can tie them into the emotional wants and needs of the prospect. Once you understand how to do this process, then you will be able to write copy that sells.
In order to provide us with an example, let’s look at how we could sell a green toothbrush to our readers
Toothbrush company: It’s green and it’s got 300 scientifically shaped bristles.
Consumer: So? Why should I be interested – what’s in it for me?
Toothbrush company: Those 300 bristles are scientifically ergonomically shaped so that within just 90 seconds you can clear away all plaque even from the rear of your mouth and brighten your smile. You can be photographed knowing that you are going to have the whitest set of teeth in the photo. You can also relax when somebody leans over to you for an intimate chat, at work or at home. You can be confident that you don’t have bad breath as this toothbrush delves deep into the spaces between your teeth to clean.
That’s an example of how to sell using the benefits. Benefits are what the consumer will want to gain in exchange for a few of their dollars. Remember that the average human is a little ‘sheep-like’. This isn’t meant in a derogatory way, but if you’ve ever taught a class of adults before you will have experienced the state that humans go into when they are not in ‘leadership’ mode. They will need to be directed in all that they do, they sit their awaiting direction and you’ve got to give it to them.
Listing an amazing set of features won’t swing it with our readers as they don’t want to and won’t put the mental work into piecing together how those features may be able to save them time or help them in anyway. They need to have everything spelt out to them to see why they should buy your product or service.
No, your readers aren’t stupid, but effective marketing communication needs to be straight to the point. After all you are competing with dozens of other marketing messages every day and if you don’t get your message across with clarity and speed then you could lose them altogether.
How to Identify True Benefits and Use Them in Copy
So what do you need to do to identify the benefits and use them?
Now you’re going to learn a 5 step process that can help you pull out the benefits and then get your message across to your consumers. We’re going to use the green toothbrush in order to demonstrate how you can apply this process to your own product.
Features can help sell your product too. People like to think that they have made a logical decision and the features will give them some justification in making their purchase. The technical a product is – the prospect will be looking for more mention of features.
So if you have a highly technical product then you’ll find that emotionally angled copy will be less effective and could even just annoy the technical reader. They are looking for a solution to a problem, and their purchase isn’t so much about want they want but about what they need.
Once you know how to pull out the benefits and connect them to the emotional desires of the consumer, you’ll have access to a powerful copywriting technique and you will know how to write copy that sells.
Action Steps to Take to Write Copy That Sells