Business Writing Copywriting 2020-01-16 00:00

Use Benefits Rather than Features to Connect with Customers

Benefits vs features ]

Are you discouraged because your content isn’t getting the response you want?

You may be creating content to get attention without creating a connection with your potential customers. Content that serves its customers needs will always outperform content for attention. People buy based on their emotions.

  1. Know the Difference Between Features and Benefits
  2. Present Your Product from the Other Side
  3. How to Know What Your Customers Want
  4. Benefits Convert

Know the Difference Between Features and Benefits

For instance, your business has an exceptional product and your natural desire is to tell prospective customers all about it.

You list all the features, demonstrating how your product offers more than your competition. Then, you beef up the credentials of the team, listing their professional background and credentials on your About page.

So far you have shown website visitors features. Features don’t convince or sell.

A feature is something your product or service does. A benefit illustrates how it helps customers. Benefits stress the outcome for the buyer. When you emphasize benefits in content, you create a connection your customer understands. They see how your product will impact their life.

Present Your Product from the Other Side

Stand back from your product and put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. Think about the need he or she has and present your product as a solution to meet that need.

Whatever quality standards, brilliant technicians, or unique design you have are not as important as what your customer wants.

Use the Customer’s Language

Drop your technical or industry jargon and speak the way your customer speaks. When you write in your customer’s language they form an immediate bond. Just speaking in their language reassures them that you understand.

Search Engine Journal said recently in an article on features and benefits:

a key component of effective content marketing is being able to speak your audience’s language. By understanding their pain points, struggles, and desires, you can effectively communicate the benefits your product or service provides over your competitors.

In search optimization terms, using the customer’s language is call natural language. Search engines read natural language and present answers to queries framed in customer language.

Address One Customer at a Time

Think the singular you. We don’t have a word for singular you in common English. Long ago, thou was used for singular you. We don’t use it anymore, but think one person when you create content.

You want as many visitors to your website as possible, but each one is an individual. What you say about your product speaks to that one person visiting your page.

Address the Pain and Show the Solution

Create your content around your customer’s need. Describe the need and show how your product or service meets the need. Help your customer visualize how it will be with your solution.

Focus on your product as the solution by showing how it will improve their life. Paint a picture of the customer’s new life without the problem as a result of using your product or service.

Use Emotional Words to Trigger Customer Response

Color both sides of your customer’s problem and solution with emotional words. Unlike listing the features of your product, emotional words trigger responses in the reader, your future customer.

As you mirror your customer’s current state of frustration, the reason they are searching for a solution, use words that reflect confusion and helplessness. Here are some examples:

  • Hesitant
  • Disillusioned
  • Frustrated
  • Unsure
  • Overwhelmed
  • Ordeal

If you are new to content writing you can find lists of emotional words. Do a search for emotional words.

As you focus on how your customer will feel after they have your product or service use words that denote a safe and satisfied state. Your aim is to help them feel the emotions they will feel after making a purchase and using your product.

Here are a few to get you started:

  • Genuine
  • Authentic
  • Comfortable
  • At ease
  • Carefree
  • Confident

The strategy of using benefits to sell is based on the emotions that drive people to make a purchase. Even people who claim they are rational make buying decisions based on emotions.

cooking utensil product

Tie Features to Benefits and Emotions

All of this is not to say don’t mention your features.

Frame your features within the benefits. You might say your exterior paint withstands weather because of its acrylic base, but within the framework of the satisfaction of knowing the paint will last for years to come.

Lead with benefits, tie them to emotions, and back up your statements with the features.

How to Know What Your Customers Want

Audience research is the best way to discover what your customers want. Learn their obstacles and the solutions they want to make their life easier. Information you gather from customers provides the prompts you need to create content that speaks to their needs.

Ask Your Current Customers

Your current customers already experience your product or service. They know and use what your business offers. Ask them what benefits they experience. Also, ask them what benefits they want.

The answers will tell you how customers perceive the benefits of your product or service. Pay attention to the answers because they may not be what you think are the benefits. The benefits your customers find are a good indicator of how users appreciate your business.

Survey Your Audience

Target your survey toward potential customers. These are people who are familiar with your business. They may follow your business on social media or be part of an email list. A survey asking them what benefits they want from your business helps you identify exactly what prospective buyers want.

Use free survey tools like Google Forms, Survey Monkey, or Typeform to learn what prospective customers want.

Use questions like:

  • What is your biggest struggle when it comes to XYZ?
  • What three solutions have you tried to overcome your struggle?
  • What is the #1 benefit you would like to see from XYZ?

Ask for Clarification

If a potential customer sends you an answer you don’t understand, get in touch to eke out a clearer response.

Don’t be shy. Your potential customer will perceive your personal attention as a benefit. They’ll see your business as one that cares about them.

Quantify and Record

When you receive responses, count the number of responses that you receive. Group similar responses. The higher the number of responses about a particular benefit, the more customers see this benefit as a need they want from your business.

Use the top 5–10 benefits as focal points for your web pages and subjects for new articles.

Benefits Convert

Benefits drive powerful emotional connection to your product. With benefits, customers and potential customers understand how your business impacts their life and helps them accomplish what they want.

Think benefits first as you create your content. Your business can take advantage of a spectrum of online places to present the benefits you offer.

  • Web pages
  • Articles and blogs
  • Email messages
  • Social media
  • Ad campaigns

Improve your content by focusing on what your audience wants. Your business will thrive with more conversions by showing customers how you help solve their problems. They will be eager to do business with you.

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