Have you ever looked at advertising, whether it be on the television or in print and just seen a list of features about the product? How does this make you feel? Compelled to buy it? I don’t think so. Many business owners do not know the difference between a feature and a benefit. A benefit is what will make people buy a product or use a service.

Remember in copywriting, it’s all about the customer’s ego – what’s in it for them. This is what a benefit is and why it is so important to list benefits. Think of a benefit as ‘what’s in it for me’ when writing your copy. A feature is simply a fact. A great place to list your benefits to customers is on a FAQ page. Merely think of a question that a customer might ask and rather than explain your product/service, explain what it will do for them.

You need to be specific. Tell the customer exactly what they will get if they buy your product or use your service. There are 3 little words that help get the message across and they have been tried and tested for many years: Which Means That…

Here’s a classic example for an eBay listing mentioning postage:

“We combine shipping on multiple items to help you save”. Here, combining shipping is a feature and yes it mentions that you will save – but how much, how often or how do you know?

Here’s how to word it correctly to list benefits:

“If you are purchasing more than one item, we automatically combine your purchases; which means that you’ll get the cheapest possible postage”. Here you are showing the benefit clearly as ‘cheapest possible postage’ by using the words which means that.

Spend a little time reading through your copy, either on your website or brochures to see if you are merely self promoting, or listing the benefits of your product/service to your customers.

PS – Social networking online is great for freelancers, but let’s not forgot how to communicate in real life too.

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