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How To Feature The Ultimate Benefits for Your Customers
by Lisa Manyon -- April 9, 2008
To create the most compelling marketing and promotional pieces possible, you must first think from your customer’s perspective.
 
Once you know what you want your promotional copy to do, who you want to talk to and how you need to say what you want to say to get results, it’s time to explore features and benefits.
 
Tell your readers/customers what’s in it for them.
 
Features by definition are a distinctive element, a special attraction or a prominent characteristic.
 
In copywriting, features are what you have to offer. What makes your product or service different?
 
Benefits by definition are a service or right or something that promotes wellbeing.
 
For copywriting purposes benefits are what you get from the product or service. This is where you tell your customers how your product or service will positively impact them.
 
When thinking of features and benefits don’t forget to include emotions. What makes your audience tick? What feature or benefit could be a hot spot that your customer’s identify with? The goal it move your customers towards the sale by speaking to them in a way they’ll relate and respond to.
 
I’ll share an example with you. I was hired to write the company history for a client who sells faux fur blankets. The blankets are beautiful, available in a variety of colors and styles, repel pet hair, reasonably priced and support a great cause. These are features (what’s available to you) of the products. Each feature also has a correlating benefit (the “how does this effect me factor). A huge BENEFIT is that a portion of all sales are donated to breast cancer research. This benefit allows customers to feel good about what they are buying. Customers are able to purchase a product for themselves or others while making a difference. This information is integrated into the promotional copy and the blankets are marketed to an audience who identifies with breast cancer and are more apt to purchase a product that supports the cause. Instead of simply selling faux fur blankets (formerly referred to as fake fur), my client is now “Sharing the warmth of hug with the world one blanket at a time”. Plus, she’s supporting a cause that is an emotional trigger for many people, selling more products and making a difference.
 
A great way to determine your features and benefits is an exercise that top copywriting guru Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero of Red Hot Copy uses. Ferrero creates two columns and uses a red ball point pen to illustrate features and benefits.
 
First she lists the main features of the item to illustrate what the pen has to offer. Second she elaborates on the benefits of how the pen will help you.
 
For our purposes and since my signature color is purple, we’ll use a purple ball point pen and the features and benefits will change accordingly.
 
Feature: Purple

Benefit: So that your correspondence stands apart from the boring standard blue and black ink. Plus purple is a perfect blend of traditional blue and corrective red ink.
Feature: Durable
 
Benefit: So that it doesn’t break and leak in your purse or shirt pocket. Plus, it’s pressurized so that ink doesn’t leak after traveling on an airplane.
Feature: Waterproof Ink
 
Benefit: So it doesn’t smear when you spill water (or wine) on your important “to do” list and you don’t lose any valuable information.

Now you try it for your service or product. Set your timer for five minutes and see what you come up with. When you’re done, pinpoint the most compelling benefit and that’s how you’ll form your headline.

Lisa Manyon
Copyright 2008

 
About the Author
Lisa Manyon specializes in POWERFULLY communicating business messages to increase results. She is a professional copywriter and marketing strategist. Her work has been featured by the National Association of Women Writers, Absolute Write, Copywriting TNT, Lewiston Tribune and more. Sign up for Manyon’s complimentary ezine and get savvy marketing insights delivered right to your inbox at zero cost to you.

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