begins with a feature or two of your products.
A new home has hardwood floors. That is a feature. A benefit of hardwood floors is they last longer, increasing the resale value of the home. That’s two benefits for the price of one feature.
Features focus on what makes the product. Benefits focus on the experience of that product.
In another view, features have a prominent quality or characteristic. For example, a health club is a five-minute walk from your company. The benefits are many. Such as, have a light lunch at your desk and then go to exercise. The health club may have some of the coolest health care machines not found in the local competitor. That is another feature that has its own benefits.
Benefits are more important in your advertising.
While it’s important to talk about features, the benefits hold the real power. As you start to assemble some copy for your direct marketing campaign, remember these benefits you have discovered are very powerful. Use that power in your copywriting. Plus, it’s a good place to begin to tell your story.
For example, in the first paragraph of your sales copy, use a teaser or two, placed on other channel sources, such as email or even a direct mail envelope. Also, if you are using a landing page, carefully convey the key benefit(s) to the reader right up front with visuals and a call-to-action. This is a powerful tactic in your copywriting. Simply state exactly how the reader can benefit from your product or service.
You cannot expect your readers to reach the last paragraph and react how a benefit applies to them. As good copywriters know, they must capture the interest of the readers immediately, in seconds. Place your most important benefits right up front where the reader will trip over them.
The next time you are at a customer’s office, writing a sales letter or making a phone call, write your notes down to explain how your product will benefit them and simply make their day at the office a bit easier.
Businesses are starting to look closely at their customers buying behaviors. They are collecting more data from their direct marketing activities. Analyzing marketing data are leading folks to consider customer segments aligned with preferential product benefits. This data is likely to increase the relevancy of their marketing messages toward building separate segments and a customer profile.
If you have not approached features and benefits in a while, here’s a great little exercise you can try today. Remember, first and foremost, features are the building blocks of each benefit your product provides. Some features offer more benefits than others.
Next, identify and fully understand that each determined feature can lead you toward a variety of benefits your product offers. In the first paragraph of this article, a second benefit of hardwood floors was added before the particular sentence ended.
Begin with a specific product or service you sell. On the left side of a sheet of paper write all the features you can think of. Leave room for more as you go through the exercise.
Down the middle of the paper, attach a “why” to each feature. The “why” means what features are important to their customer(s).
For example, look at the house with a feature of hardwood floors. Some of the potential buyers may like the long-lasting benefit, while others may go with the added value. If you target either benefit closer to the customer segments in your database, response will rise.
Lastly, add the benefits column on the right side of the paper. Think about how each feature and reason “why” each benefits your customers. List every possible way each benefit brings value to your customer’s and prospect’s life. Think of it as the customer who asked, “What is in it for me?” The desires it fulfills? The problems your product or service solves?
It’s always a game of twenty questions. As you talk with more customers you will uncover more whys, how and benefits. These will lead to better and more efficiency with your marketing campaigns.
As you keep adding data, you’ll almost always find new ways your customers can benefit. But don’t stop there. Keep drilling down deeper to arrive at other reasons and benefits. You might hit pay dirt.
Now, the benefit is on you.
After all, not every customer or prospect is the same. That’s an advantage of looking deeper into your customer needs and wants. Or is that a benefit?
Got a question? Ask. Please share this post with anyone you know that may find it of interest. And thanks for reading!
Everything marketing starts and ends with your customers… cater to them, listen to them and react to them. The results will amaze you!
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Mike Deuerling, aka MarketingDoc
Marketing Communications Group, Inc.