Make sure that the words you use on your Web site are benefit-oriented rather than feature-oriented. Instead of telling your potential customers what your product can do (features), tell them what it can do for them (benefits). In other words, describe the product in terms of the result it offers rather than the product itself.
Here’s how to write benefits …
Here’s a simple way of writing benefits, which I’ve used very effectively for myself and for clients.
Whenever you write a benefit, you can test whether it’s a real benefit by imagining your reader asking the question, “So what?” If it’s a feature or a weak benefit, answering that question can give you a stronger benefit.
Here’s an example …
Suppose you’re selling a digital camera that has a resolution of 24 megapixels. That’s obviously a feature, not a benefit, but you’d be surprised how many camera Web sites advertise their products that way.
Imagine a conversation between you and a customer who has only ever used non-digital cameras in the past:
YOU: This camera has a resolution of 24 megapixels.
CUSTOMER: So what?
YOU: Well, that’s the highest resolution of any digital camera available today.
CUSTOMER: Yeah, but so what?
YOU: It means your pictures have very little loss of quality.
CUSTOMER: But what does that mean?
YOU: Your photos will be as bright and clear as if you were using ordinary film.
CUSTOMER: Ah, now I understand!
Can you see how that process of asking the “So what?” question leads to strong benefits? What we started with (“24 megapixels”) is vastly different from the result (“as bright and clear as ordinary film”).
Note that I framed the example in a particular way. You were talking to a customer who had a history of using traditional cameras, so the benefit was relevant to them. If your customer was, say, a professional photographer, then you might end up with a different benefit – e.g. “This is the only camera resolution that is accepted by National Geographic”.
Here’s a quick way to get the “So what?” answers …
Start by listing all the features of your product or service. Yes, that’s right – start with the FEATURES, which should be easy for you to do.
Then take each feature in turn, ask the “So what?” question, find an appropriate answer, and add it to the end of the feature with the words “… so that”.
An example will help …
In the example above, the feature:
- It has a resolution of 24 megapixels becomes:
- It has a resolution of 24 megapixels … so that your
photos are as clear and bright as with your old camera.
OK, now it’s your turn …
Look at the products and services you’re advertising on your Web site. Are you talking about benefits, or only features?
Go through the process I’ve just described to (a) list all your features, and (b) convert these features into benefits.