February 20, 2020 at 7:03 am #3133SARubin
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QUESTION: Which is more important in sales copy – features or benefits?
ANSWER: It depends…
Conventional wisdom says “features tell… but benefits sell”.
And I was always taught, when we’re selling to consumers, we want to translate our features into benefits, and paint a story of word pictures that allows our reader to feel what it’s like to own our product.
And on the surface that makes perfect sense.
But there’s a caveat that most copywriting preachers leave out of their sermons. And over the years I’ve learned that conventional wisdom is not always true.
Years of trial and error has taught me, when we’re selling to experienced enthusiasts features alone can often make the sale.
And sometimes telling a story about benefits can lose the sale…
For example: If we’re selling a high end computer to a gramma, who’s never owned a computer before, then of course we want to tell her all about how easy it will be to keep in touch with friends and family. And the joy she’ll feel seeing pictures of her grandkids in her email inbox.
In this case it’s all about painting a picture of the benefits.
But if we’re selling that same computer to a tech geek, then all that crap is just wasted real estate in our sales copy.
In this case all we need to do is tell them about the 128 gigs of RAM, 2 Terabyte SSD harddrive, and the state of the art high speed processor and graphics card.
They’ll tell themselves the story of how it all fits into their lives. And a long benefit driven story in your sales copy might even come across as boring or patronizing (losing you the sale).
So the next time someone tells you to showcase all the benefits in your sales copy because ” features tell… but benefits sell.”
You can answer back with “Yeah, but it really depends on what you’re selling, and who you’re selling to”.
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