Features vs. Benefits: leverage this conversions opportunity

Greetings!  In today’s video how-to, we’re addressing the web-writing fundamental of distinguishing a product/service feature from its benefits. Understanding the difference is crucial for effective copywriting, and presents a tremendous opportunity to dramatically increase site conversions.  But before you can master the art of transforming a mere feature into a compelling benefit, you first need to know the essential difference between the two.  Enter Heather to discuss just this:

Here’s a recap of the essential points:

Features = Facts:

  • We have a 15,000 square-foot warehouse
  • Our company employees 30 people
  • Our Timer App keeps accurate time
  • Open 24/7
  • 10.1 megapixel camera
  • Blue cashmere sweater

While these features may be important to the prospect, they don’t help them in making a purchase decision.  Features alone don’t compel a person to buy. We are wired to know what is in it for us.

Benefits = What’s in it for Them

Benefit statements go beyond a mere description of the features of a product or service and tell your prospect what is in it for them.  Benefits solve a problem, as illustrated by this famous quote:

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill.  They want a quarter-inch hole!”  — Theodore Levitt

Thanks for tuning in!  Be sure to check in next week to learn how to transform features into powerful benefit statements!

5 replies
  1. Dave Saunders
    Dave Saunders says:

    Great summary of features vs benefits. As a copywriter I constantly run into clients who think their industry is the exception to the rule when it comes to communicating benefits to their market.

    “But our customers only understand FEATURES!” Sheesh

  2. Ken Jansen Kansas City
    Ken Jansen Kansas City says:

    Hi Heather and Laura,

    Very nice article, as always. One thing I would add is to cover emotion too. Feature, Benefit and Emotion. Especially in B2C business. The large back seat with two rows of chairs (feature) provides room for the whole family to go on a trip (Benefit) and won’t that make your family happy Mr. and Mrs. car buyer? I think the benefit can help the sale when you bring out the emotion of having solved the problem.
    Thank you.

  3. Laura Crest
    Laura Crest says:

    Ken, hi! Yes, you are absolutely right about speaking to a core emotion — and yes, especially in the B2C market. Thanks for your input. As always, your comments are much appreciated :)

  4. Laura Crest
    Laura Crest says:

    Hi Dave! Yes, that can be a challenge, to educate clients that they are neither immune nor the exception to fundamental copywriting “laws” such as the need to convey benefits to would-be customers! So much of our work is in client education, and while it can be exasperating, in the end (hopefully) the clients’ improved conversions will in turn “convert” them! Thanks so much for your comments :)


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  1. […] last week’s video post, Features vs. Benefits, Heather pointed out that while we all can claim impressive features (i.e., facts) that we know make […]

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