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Whenever someone mentions advertising or sales you can be sure
the phrase "features vs. benefits" will come up in short order.
Everyone knows that phrase. Everyone knows that features don't
sell, benefits do. However, exactly what is a benefit and how do
you turn features into them?
Let's get some definitions set forth first. A feature is an attribute
of a product or service. Web site hosting companies will often tell
you there package offers "catch all" email addressing. That's a
feature. That type of email is a mechanical part of the hosting
To determine the benefit, you look at how the catch all email adds
value to the customer. In other words, "What's in it for me"?
The customer doesn't care about the mechanical feature of the
hosting. What they do care about is how the catch all email can
improve their life. Catch all email allows anything typed before the
"@domainname.com" to go through the system and make it to the
"primary" email box. The benefit of catch all email is that even
messages with a misspelling in them make it through so you stay in
contact with your customers. Every online business owner cares
One of the most effective ways to derive benefits from features is to
address problems or concerns your customers have. Let's turn our
attention to the ebook industry for a moment and define some
concerns these customers might have.
When publishing an ebook, the concern is primarily about getting the
information across to readers. It needs to be in a format they can
readily access. While reading the sales copy for some ebook compilers,
the phrase "no reader required" came up. This is a feature. It didn't
mean much to me until I read the benefit
The benefit of "no reader required" is that the software is complete
within itself. Unlike some ebook compilers that require the ebook
purchaser to download special software in order to view the book, this
feature offered the benefit of being all-inclusive. As soon as the book
was downloaded, the customer could begin reading without further
delays. That spoke to the concern and answered the question, "What's
in it for me".
As you can probably tell by now, the benefits are what make a
difference to your customer. The benefits - more or less - explain why
the feature is important. This is why benefits have selling power and
most features do not.
Here are a few steps you can use when working with the features vs.
1. List the features of your product or service. (Catch All Email.)
2. Next, list the concerns or needs of your customers. If you don't
knowâ€¦ ask them. (Being able to get emails even if misspellings or
other mistakes occur.)
3. Next, ask yourself, "Why does this feature matter to my customer"?
Write your answers on the list. (Catch all email allows you to stay in
touch with your customers.)
4. Finally, take it one step further. As yourself, "What problem or concern
can this feature address"? (You can know that any email sent to
firstname.lastname@example.org will make it through to you.)
5. Write down the benefit.
By explaining your sales information in language the customer can
understand you are helping them reach the point of purchase more quickly.
So, the next time you create an ad, be sure to focus on the information
that's important to your customersâ€¦ benefits.
About the Author
Butch Pujol offers a safe haven for online business owners. Whether you're
a Newbie or a Pro, you'll find legitimate and safe Internet business solutions and tools that can help your company grow. Visit http://www.safeinternetbusiness.com today.
Karon Thackston is President of KT & Associates who offers targeted
copywriting, advertising assistance and ezine article services. Karon's Web
site is located at http://www.ktamarketing.com.