How to persuade customers with a benefits-based marketing message...
Copywriting that focus on how your product improves your customer’s life convinces them that it will improve their life. So start prioritising benefits over features.
Here’s a quick visual definition of how features and benefits differ:
Features are something your product has, benefits are the expected outcomes of using the product.
Let’s describe a feature as what something is, whereas a benefit is the problem your product solves.
Think of the iPod… 1000 songs on a handheld device without the need to carry around 100 CDs. The iPod physically dematerialised portable music, and the benefit to consumers was ultimate convenience. The electronics industry had spent decades developing portable music players only for Apple to swoop in and own the market (the product development was seismic, and is still developing. Read more about that here).
How did Apple win? They focused on benefits, not features.
Instead of saying:
Before I describe a simple exercise in how to write benefits-based copy that converts, I want to make something clear. The benefits are the primary reason a prospect will buy your product. When it comes to purchasing, people are self-centred. They want things that solve their problems. The 5 magic words in sales are “What’s in it for me?”, and I implore you to think of this question whenever you are writing your sales and marketing copy.
Let “what’s in it for me?” be your key copywriting driver.
Okay, exercise time. I’ve modified an original Feature/Benefit matrix as it doesn’t take into account multiple customer segments, and I can’t overstate the importance of hyper-personalised targeting in product copywriting.
Speaking directly to target audiences is how you grab their attention, so make them notice with something personal.
Using the model above, you can start to shape how you introduce your product features as benefits to individual audiences. To explain how, I’ll use an example of a Hyper-Targeted Features/Benefits Matrix I’ve created for Memrise, the freemium, gamified language learning app.
Let’s start with the Memrise audiences. First, create 3 ideal customer profiles (Find a 3-minute lesson on how to do that here). I’ve narrowed each of our examples down to one sentence:
The Curious Backpacker
Embracing the cultural nuances, they are eager to know basic niceties when engaging with locals on their country-hopping trip.
The Professional Expat
Yearning to feel settled, they are hungry to learn the dialect and immerse themselves in their newly-adopted surroundings.
Health-Conscious Senior Citizens
Determined to grow old gracefully, they are proactive in optimising their body and mind for a longer, healthier life.
And so we take our feature and our audience:
Next up is the benefits specific to each audience. You can expect some of these to overlap, but the importance is how you talk about the benefits to each audience, making them as specific as possible to the customer profiles.
I’ll offer one benefit up for each audience in our example, but I would advise aiming for three so you can A/B test them against each other and decipher which one generates the most sales.
The Curious Backpacker wants to learn bitesized chunks of language in an easily digestible way.
The Professional Expat wants to feel more ingrained in their adopted country.
The Health-Conscious Senior Citizen wants to extend their quality of life.
You need to spoon-feed your audience. Don’t assume anything from them, especially that they will put 2 + 2 together. It’s not because they can’t, it’s because they are so overwhelmed with marketing messages that they would rather use their brain energy elsewhere. Do their thinking for them.
Help your target audience visualise why your product is perfect for them. Communicate how it solves their problems, how it would improve their life and persuade them into realising they can’t live without it.
Product copy that converts should sound like a friend going:
“Hey, I saw this product and I think it would be perfect for you. Have you checked it out?”
Have you completed a Hyper-Targeted Features/Benefit Matrix? Scroll up and get started!
If you'd like help with your company's copywriting, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
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