When I was first learning about copywriting, I had trouble with the concept of “benefit.” A beenfit represents a promise to your audience – a promise to change their lives for the better.
Like many newbies, I sought advice from the experienced marketers. One of them nearly scared me off copywriting forever.
“Benefits can be summed up in 3 wards,” she said. “Better, faster and cheaper.” And of course you have variations: “Get more cheaper.” Or, “Get bettter faster.”
Well, that marketer has disaappeared from the online marketing scene. I went on to learn better ways of copywriting.
Here are 3 guidelines for identifying stronger benefits:
(1) Focus on your prospect’s symptoms – not problems.
Here’s the key question: What do prospects say when they call you? Why are they reaching out for help?”
Examples might be:
“I run a business with employees. It’s hard to keept hem motivated.”
“I can’t seem to find my ideal clients…just tire-kickers and wasteful wannabes.”
“I need to take better. control of my money.”
“I want to work fewer hours and earn more income.”
This is the first part of their backstory. You can learn how to delve into your client’s backstory when you click this link. Notice that we araen’t talking about the underlying problem.
The client who feels overwhelmed as she tries to manage her money won’t be interested in solving her “budget problem.” She wants to be able to enjoy more experiences with the same income. She may have a budgeting probelm. Or her underlying problem may be borredom: she’s got plenty of money but she uses retail therapy to deal with her frustrations.
Your benefit doesn’t offer to sovle her problem. You offer the solution to her symptoms.
(2) Benefits may not come directly from the symptoms.
You may be able to offer a benefit that delivers results more effectively than the competition.
Let’s stay with the client who’s looking for a better way to manage her money. She may have tried other money coaches or financial advisors. Maybe they only scratched the surface: they presented a canned solution, while you offer a customized program based on yoyr proprietary financial analysis system.
If you’re a medical or legal professional, you may be able to offer benefits related to peace of mind. Your features would include responsiveness and speed. For instance, some professionals set up portals so clients can review their own records immediately. Some promise to respond to queries within 24 hours. Some offer same-day appointments.
(3) Don’t relegate features to the backstage area.
All too often, we see marketers advise their clients, “Focus on the benefits.” They mean well and the point is an important one. It’s not unusual to hear a business consultant describe his benefits as, “We get on the phone twice a month and review your plan.”
To get to the benefits, you have to ask, “Why is this important?” Or as copywriters like to say, “Ask the ‘So what’ question.”
But it’s easy to go to the other extreme and ignore the features. Your benefit may be “stress. relief.” But do you offer aromatherapy, psycholtherapy, life coaching. medittion programs or a cabin in the woods your clients can rent for private retreats?
It IS. true: people dont want to sign up for anything that sounds like work.
But clients these days want to know what they’re buying. They may be convinced they don’t want to make cold calls to geenrate sales. They may not want to install software with a steep learning curve.
Conversely, they may be eager to participate in a weekend workshop rather than watch a series of videos. They may want a program to get more clients with email marketing rather than social media. They may want a program that’s delivered via one-to-one coaching rather than group discussion…or vice versa. Some people actually prefer a group setting because of the energy that’s generated.
All those elements represent features, not benefits. But they’re critical to your client’s decision. There’s no reason to avoid mentioning them because somebody told you, “People buy on benefis.”
Incidentally, there’s another reason to emphasize features. If you’re targeting an audience of experts, they want to hear features – not benefits. They’ll figure out the benefits. They know what’s possible and they won’t trust vague promises.
Review benefits when you first begin designing a new program, course or product.
Start with your audience’s backstory. Then move on to design features to achieve the benefits. And don’t be surprised if the features themselves become your strongest selling point. Click here to learn more.
(Use the code CLIENT30 to take 30% off the price through Jan 25 2022.)
Or learn about how to write copy by telling stories. Click here to learn more. (Use the code COPY50 to take 50% off the price through Jan 25 2022.)
We can review the benefits and features of your sales letter or website via a video review. Click here to get started. http://mycopy.info/yourtweak