One of the greatest ongoing debates in copywriting is Features vs Benefits.
I’m sure you’ve heard how features and benefits matter when writing copy.
But do you know the differences between the two?
Check out the definitions and tips when writing features and benefits!
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Features are the specific details that make your product or service unique. This could be facts, statistics or information.
As features are factual, they might seem cold and impersonal. But features help to appeal to logic. This is especially important for customers who require logical reasons to make a purchase.
You can also view features as ways to solve problems—the ‘how’.
For example, your camera could have the feature of high-definition megapixel resolution.
On the other hand, benefits show the advantages of these features. They explain how the features will benefit your customers. For instance, how these features make them more productive or how these features make their lives easier.
Benefits focus on the customers hence they’re more personal and persuasive. They also appeal to emotion which is important if most of your customers make emotional buying decisions.
Benefits translate features into results and outcomes. They help provide the missing link—the ‘why’.
For example, think about why your customers need a HD camera. You can craft a benefit like capturing your precious moments.
So… Who Wins?
Many people argue that we buy on emotion and justify with logic. Due to this, there is a strong belief that benefits are more important than features when crafting copy.
However, I believe that both are important and you need both features and benefits to persuade customers to buy. Benefits trigger customers’ impulse to buy while features justify the purchase. By crafting features and benefits into your copy, you’ll appeal to both logic and emotion.
Bear in mind that you’ll probably need to spend more time and effort crafting benefits and making sure that these benefits resonate with your customers.
Features, on the contrary, should be more or less like your competitors. For example, your camera and your competitor’s camera should have high-definition megapixel resolution. This feature is becoming an industry standard. Without this feature, your product will lag behind others.
The key is to highlight unique features that make your product or service stand out from the competition. It could be a feature that your competitors don’t have or a feature that is better than your competitors. For instance, it could be patented technology.
Features & Benefits Copywriting Tips
1. List Down All Features
The first step is listing down all the features of your product or service
- Product Specifications: Size & Weight
- Product Functions
- Service Catalog: Deliverables
Noting down the features should be straightforward and simple. You probably have them off the top of your head.
Continuing the example, here are some features of the camera
- High-definition megapixel resolution
- Small & Light
- High frame rates
2. Explain What Each Feature Actually does
I’m sure there’s a reason why you built these features into your product or service.
Now, try explaining why you created each feature and what each feature actually does that help your customers. Think of the purpose and use of each feature.
See how I explain what each feature of the camera actually does
- High-definition megapixel resolution: Take crisp, clear, sharp photos
- Small & Light: Compact camera which makes it easy to carry around
- High frame rates: High-speed camera to capture fast-moving objects and people
3. Connect Features To Your Customers’ Goals & Desires
Most businesses build strong relationships with their customers by identifying their needs and providing the best experience. You’ll also need to put customers first in your copy too.
Talk about how these features solve your customers’ problems, alleviate their pain and reach their goals. Answer the burning question that is in your customers’ mind: “What’s in it for me?”
Here’s how I’ll craft the benefits of the camera based on the 3 features
- Capture crystal clear images of your precious moments
- Bring along the best travel companion for your next trip… a portable camera that fits into your palm
- Never miss a moment of your favorite sport or epic adventure
Bonus Tip: Evoke Emotions
Finally, ensure that your benefits evoke emotions.
Think about the emotions that you want to evoke in your customers when they use your product or service. This could be happiness, relief, confidence, financially secure or even make them feel organized and less stressed.
Each of the benefits evokes different emotions
- Happiness because the camera vividly captures your memories
- Relief since you don’t have the burden of lugging something heavy
- Fear of missing out where you don’t want to miss out on capturing those important moments of action
Some common benefits would be
- Save time
- Cut costs
- Make a task hassle-free/easier
I also recommend that you read this 4-step process for extracting true benefits.
Bonus Tip: Avoid Jargon When Crafting Benefits
When crafting your features, it’s perfectly fine to include technical specifications like
- Megapixels: 100MP, 400MP Multi-Shot
- 20.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor
But if you’re a tech noob like me, this information might seem alien or even meaningless since we don’t really understand what it means.
Therefore, it’s crucial to communicate value that everyone can easily understand in your benefits.
Try to avoid jargon or unfamiliar words that are not widely recognized.
Bonus Tip: Talk To Your Target Audience
Before you start writing your features and benefits, you’ve probably created your buyer persona. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on data and research. Which means you could have conducted in-depth market research or interviewed your customers.
This is also where you figure out patterns and commonalities—what your ideal customers have in common and how they might be grouped.
- Demographics: Age, Gender
With this detailed buyer persona, you can then craft features and benefits that speak to them.
If possible, speak your audience’s language. Use words that they can understand and relate to. Adjust your tone such that your copy resonates with them.
Always remember who you are writing for and tailor your copywriting to your target audience.
Now It’s Your Turn
How do you craft features and benefits for your product or service? What steps do you take? Do you have any tips to share with fellow copywriters?
Also, consider attending classes like Copywriting For Crafters or Write Copy That Compels And Sells. Besides CreativeLive where you can watch streaming broadcasts of free online classes, there are also copywriting courses at Udemy~