Being an entrepreneur it’s only natural for you to be excited about your product.
And why shouldn’t you be? You built your company from the ground up, you spent many a sleepless nights with it and now that it’s finally a reality you want others to be as excited about it as you are.
This is why you sat down to create your website. You want your visitors to come to your website read what your product/service can do and be so oh so very excited about it that they can’t help but click your call to action button.
The million dollar question is, how do you get your visitors as excited about your product as you are?
How do you get your potential customers to become your real customers?
Every marketer who’s either written their website copy or is in the process of writing it, knows the grueling choice between benefits or features oriented copy.
So, what exactly are benefits and features?
Features are descriptions of your product, what it can do and how it can do it better than the rest of the competition. Benefits on the other hand are explanations of how your product is going to transform the lives of those who use it. While features are focused on your product, benefits are focused on the visitors and relay to them how their lives are about to get better.
Which approach do you think is better for CTA clicking action?
That’s right a combination of both features and benefits.
Because with a combination of both benefits and features on your website you are essentially giving your visitors all the right information about your product in the correct manner, while sharing with them a personal perspective too. A combination of both features and benefits doesn’t let your website become overshadowed by your love of your product but it remains a place where you can attract your customer and make a sale.
As the folks over at User Onboarding so eloquently put it.
“People don’t buy products; they buy better versions of themselves. When you’re trying to win customers, are you listing the attributes of the flower or describing how awesome it is to throw fireballs?”
Plus, this famous tweet by jason Fried of 37 Signals pretty much lays the difference of benefits and features out for you.
We all love car analogies right? Which is why to delve deeper into the whole feature VS benefits approach let’s use a car analogy.
Imagine you have finally decided to buy a new car, but you don’t know much about what model you should buy, or how you would compare the performance of two cars. But you still need to pick a car that you like better.
So you go to the dealer and talk to the sales assistant working there. His job is to tell you about the cars that are available, and help you decide which one will be better for your lifestyle. Instead he starts talking about horsepower, suspensions, mileage and some other terms that you can’t even comprehend.
You’ve been looking up cars online but all you have looked at are pictures, you never compared their performance. You’ll probably feel really stupid not knowing anything about all those technological terms, and it was the assistant who made you feel this way. His job was to facilitate you in finding the perfect vehicle, but he totally dazzled you with terms that you could not comprehend.
This is the kind of problem users face on websites. They contain all the specifications and technical information i.e. the features. What they lack however, are ways those features are going to help the users eliminate pain from their lives.
In the business of selling laptops?
One universal feature about laptops are that they are portable right? But, how do you turn this feature into a benefit that speaks to the customer in terms of value. By asking yourself the question, so what?
This technique will help you define the benefit for your customers.
The laptop is portable.
You can use it while you travel. Take it wherever you want and have all the facilities available to you.
It will make your life easier. Your assignments and tasks can be completed on the move, and you can also entertain yourself whenever you feel like it.
So the trick here is that you need to read through your website and ask yourself, so what? Keep answering these questions keeping in mind your target audience and you will be able to write down real benefits of your product.
Now go over your website copy.
Which approach have you highlighted in your copy? If you’ve listed the features, have you followed them up with the benefits that users are going to get from it?
Looking for inspiration? These pages have nailed the whole benefit+features approach.
Twitter nails their copy with presenting a benefit in their sub-head. The page says welcome to Twitter. So what?
Twitter lets you start a conversation, explore your interests and be in the know.
The GitHub page also does this.
Always ask yourself so what? Think what your feature has to offer your customers and then put those benefits into nice digestible chunks of copy.
Your customer is coming to your website to fulfill some need they have. The copy that you put on your website should clearly tell them how the product is going to satisfy the need that they have. It is up to your benefit to try and connect their desires to the benefits that your product can provide.
Let’s say you are an interior designer, who can provide valuable services to people looking to remodel their home.
There are several services that you can provide which will fulfill the desires of your customers. How you sell your knowledge is up to you, and it is important that you recognize what the customers are looking for. Let’s use the so what technique to analyze the real benefits that you can provide.
•You will have a beautiful home.
•Your relatives and friends will be impressed when they come over.
•The interior will help you gain peace and relax.
These answers to the so what technique are the real benefits that you will be able to provide as an interior designer.
How would you feel if you had to listen to someone go on and on about the positive features of their product? Wouldn’t you get bored? I know I would.
This is something you need to keep in mind when discussing features and benefits of your product.
Let’s return to the first example where you were buying a car. Imagine the sales assistant providing you with abundant positive information about the car that he wants to sell to you. But you need to hear about the potential problems that the car will save you from. Only then you will pay attention to what the sales assistant is saying.
•In case you get into an accident, the airbag will fill up and save your life.
•Driving on uphill terrain can be very dangerous, but the strength of this car will help you drive easily.
•The ABS system will make sure the tires do not slip when you press the brakes in an emergency situation.
Listening to the problems that might come up will make sure your customer stays vigilant and pays attention to the true benefits of your product.
Keep this image in your mind when in doubt of the difference between features and benefits.
People viewing your product online do not have enough time to read through long paragraphs explaining all the details about your product. You need to be direct and straight forward, highlighting the key benefit your product will provide, and what problems it might solve for the customer. Try to avoid using overly technical words, and make things easy to understand for the reader.
Connect the desires of your potential customers with the features and benefits of your product/features and see the magic happen.