When you’re writing copy for a direct mail piece, a Facebook ad, or any other marketing material, it’s important to know the difference between features and benefits. Both are important to effectively communicating your message and getting your target audience to take action. However, they are not the same and most people confuse the two. If you’re making this mistake, it could be costing you money in the form of lost opportunities.
In a most simplistic explanation, here’s the difference between features and benefits.
A feature is a basic description of your product or service. Let’s use an example of a recliner chair as we talk about features and benefits. Some of the features are:
- Comes in brown, grey or black.
- Reclines to three positions.
- Has two cup holders.
A benefit explains how or why that feature is important or useful to the client. Why does it matter that it comes in three colors, reclines to three positions and has a cup holder? It’s important to customers because:
- It fits any décor and because they’re dark colors, the fabric doesn’t show stains.
- You can find the most comfortable one for you and relax as you watch the game on Sunday.
- You can keep your drink within reach and not have to worry about spilling it. Plus, you can keep an extra at hand and not have to get up as often.
Do you see the difference?
Let’s look at some of the features and benefits a real estate investor might offer to sellers.
|Features – We||Benefits – So You|
|Buy as-is||Don’t have the hassle or expense of making repairs or updates|
|Pay you cash||Get your money quickly and don’t have the uncertainty of whether or not a bank will approve the buyer’s loan|
|Cover all closing costs||Save thousands of dollars|
By explaining the features and then translating how each benefits/improves the life of your seller, you are essentially educating and persuading sellers at the same time. Mentioning a feature without explaining the accompanying benefit is a waste of time.
When you’re writing marketing materials, ask someone to read your copy out loud before you print or publish it. If you hear something that doesn’t explain why you should care more about the offering than you did before you heard it, it’s not a benefit; it’s a feature. Step back and either rewrite it or remove it.
Make the benefits clear, concise and relevant to your target market of sellers and you’ll start seeing better response to your marketing.