Write Copy That Sells ~ Focus on Benefits

Are you writing "Benefit-Driven" Copy?

Or, are you boasting about your product's features? Believe it or not, it is way harder to write copy for your customers than it is to write copy describing your products. And it is way easier to fall into the trap of "feature-driven" writing than "benefit-driven" copy. Here are some tips to help you know the difference.

When a customer has a problem, you have an amazing opportunity to help him/her out.  If you write "benefit-driven" copy, you certainly stand a higher chance to differentiate yourself from the gazillion providers that are out there competing with you. Why? When a customer realizes that you truly understand his NEEDS or WANTS, you are setting yourself appart.

First, Let's Define What A Benefit Is

A benefit is "something" that will help me with "something" that I WANT or that I NEED.

The "something" that I WANT may be as follows:

  • I WANT to get ahead of my competition
  • I WANT to look stunning for tonight's party
  • I WANT to sell more of my product
  • Etc.

The "something" that I NEED may be as follows:

  • I NEED to solve a problem
  • I NEED to make a decision
  • I NEED to use less resources on this task
  • Etc.

In both cases, it is very probably that I do not have ALL the resources needed to take an action. Hence, here is where your product or service gets a chance to be a protagonist. The kicker is to clearly and undestandably tell your customers how your product will assist him or her to move forward.

Let's evaluate the copy to solve the problem "I NEED a Joomla template"

Feature-Driven Copy Benefit-Driven Copy 
  • Responsive Layout
  • Adjusts to any screen size (mobile, pc, tablet)
  • Preset Styles
  • No need to hire a graphic designer
  • Built on HTML5
  • Friendly for search engines 
  • Floating Modules
  • Ad postions always on-screen as user scrolls down
  • Built using <name> Framework
  • Built on <name> Framework to load quickly

An Easy Way to Identify Benefits

As you prepare to write copy to showcase or market your product, always ask the question What does the user needs or wants?

  1. A Responsive Layout OR a site that adjusts to any screen size.
  2. Preset Styles OR save time and money by not needing to hire a graphic designer
  3.  A site built on HTML5 OR a site that search engines can find more easily to drive traffic to?
  4. Floating Modules OR a visible area that is always present to the eye of the site visitor?
  5. The use of <name> Framework OR a site that loads as quickly as possible?

According to Jakob Nielsen, an authority in user experience, this is the major difference between User-centric vs. Maker-centric language.   

Notice too that when you focus on benefits, you can easily get away from technical, convoluted language that customers may not understand. This is critical to keep in mind. You want customers to understand, NOT interpret, how your product can help them solve a problem.

Benefit-driven writing is a skill worth having.  Start today!