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Subject: Business, Marketing
Number of Words: 430
Features and Benefits: Which is Which, and Why Do I Need
to Know the Difference?
-- (c)2002 By Linda Elizabeth Alexander
How do you guarantee that your ads, sales letters, web
copy and other marketing materials as hard-hitting as
You've heard that when writing promotional copy, you
should promote benefits rather than features. Benefits
show the genuine value of your products to your
customers. They go beyond the specs of your product to
tell customers about all they will lose if they don't
buy from you now. How do you distinguish between
features and benefits? And once you do, how do you
communicate those benefits?
1. Write down features and benefits before you start.
People don't buy products -- they buy what products do
for them. Before you begin, make two columns for a list:
One for features (your point of view) and another for
benefits (from your customers' points of view). Are
they buying telephone service, or connection with their
loved ones? Are they buying a portable heater, or in-
home comfort and protection from the elements? Are they
buying college courses, or the lucrative career that
will ensure their financial security?
2. Write the way you speak.
Use your company's voice and personality in your copy.
Make it sound like a written conversation between your
company's personality and your customer. Every company
will have its own style and tone, depending on what the
2. Write in second person point of view.
Remember to write that conversation as if it were you
and one customer speaking. Be sure to use "you" and "me"
a lot - companies don't sell products, people do. Here
are a few examples to keep you on track:
"You will feel ... "
"You'll learn hat ..."
"...brings you ... "
"As you know,... "
4. Provide a call to action.
No, you're not ordering customers around when you tell
them what to do -- but without spelling out specific
actions to take, you'll risk losing their response.
Tell them exactly what you want them to do, and be
specific. If you don't ask for the sale, you may not get
it. For example:
"Please fill out the form and mail it to ..."
"Enter by December 13 for your chance to win ..."
"Call toll-free today 1-800-..."
"Click the blue box to read more ..."
Follow these tips when communicating features and
benefits and be sure your customers are hearing the
message you want them to hear. That way, they will also
respond to your call to action the way you want them to,
and you make the sale!
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