Fact-Benefit List

Ever wonder why copywriters fail to make sales?

Learning Dynamics Incorporated (a sales training firm) claims it’s because…

they don’t know how to translate the product features into customer benefits.

Instead, novice copywriters cite endless specifications… Facts… Trivia… Production methods… History… Stats…

Leaving all the hard work of thinking for the customer…

Now…

SPOILER ALERT: Thinking is HARD. And EVERYONE hates to do it.

Let alone the busy prospect.

Just image having to think deeply about every single damn ad you saw on your way to work. You’d die of exhausting halfway there!

What Is a Feature, Anyway?

A feature is a property of a product that you can clearly notice.

It’s the bone dry description. Facts. The obvious.

A benefit, on the other hand, is the usefullness of the feature… TO THE PROSPECT.

That leads us to…

The Kōan

Study, use, research an everyday object in your home. Create a list of its features.

Then imagine a prospect in your mind’s eye – try to “get under his skin”.

Read the list again. But this time stop after reading each line and shout…

“SO WHAT! WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?”

Answer it. And write the benefit(s) of the feature in a parallel column.

Example

My Chemical Pen(ance).

FeaturesBenefits
A cylinder.Won’t hurt your thumb.
+ Grab it anyway you want without much adjustment.
Made of plastic.Is durable, and sweat resistant.
Is see-through.Can see how much ink is left.
Has ergonomic rubber handle.Ensures a tight, comfortable grip that won’t slip.
Button that hides the ink cartridge.I can protect the tip when I’m carring it around.
+ I won’t accidentally smear my clothes.
Inner spring mechanism.The tip jumps in the pen with a click on the button. No double-hand pulling, pushing or twisting required.
Plastic clip near the top.Ensures the pen doesn’t roll off the table.
+ A sleek way to tuck it behind my clothes or pocket for easy transportation.
Can be disassembled.I can replace parts that don’t work (usually the ink cartridge). So I don’t have to buy a whole new pen with it dies: thus saving money.
Is 1/4 inch in diameter.Slender shape. Easy to hold and write.
Is 7 1/2 inch longLong enough to last quite some time.
Black exterior.Signifies the color of the cartridge. If I have a lot of pens I can easily identify the correct one for the job.
“Pilot G-2 05” writing on top.Don’t have to remember the model – which is needed to buy a new ink cartridge.
Is made in France.Signifies quality. Makes me feel secure that this pen will last me a long time.

By Mihael D. Čačič

Published by Mihael D. Cacic

Copywriter and Email Marketing Specialist.