Growing Your Business With Email Marketing

Sep 6 2011   6:39PM GMT

Write About Benefits, Not Just Features!

JaninePopick Profile: JaninePopick

Tech marketers often market or promote their product or service with long lists of specs. While engineers and product developers might be impressed, chances are, your everyday customer who’s not in the industry, might not be convinced. Why? Because you’re speaking to them using features, not benefits.

One of the things I often wrestle with is the fact that so many companies are so enamored with their features, they fail to talk about the benefits; that is, what problems the features are going to solve. This was one of the points I made in my last post about writing for technology marketing, but I’d like to dive a little deeper and focus on writing benefit-oriented copy in email marketing campaigns.

Benefits, Benefits and More Benefits

Your copy should tell your recipients why they’d want your widget, not just how cool your widget is. People are emotional; they buy because they want to know how your product or service will benefit them first. Features are secondary.

Here’s a great way to test your copy; when you list a feature, make sure you include “… so now you can …”  or “… for better …” in your copy.

Some Beneficial Examples

I went through my inbox and found a couple emails that outlined both the need for, and good use of, benefit-oriented copy.

In one email, a company that has a partnership with Amazon sent me a note saying it transferred my Amazon account and log-in information to its e-commerce system. The email text read:

“You’ve got the password, we’ve got all the hot new toys! To make shopping easy for you, we have transferred your username, password and address book to our new website. Now you’ll be able to shop using your existing account information.”

Why doesn’t it work? We’re never told why it’s going to be better for us to shop using our existing account information. If I were drafting this email, I might’ve also added:

“So now you won’t have to create another new account and manage yet another user name and password! More time for shopping and saving!”

Or something to that extent.

Here’s an example of a great way of presenting three benefits for a tech product. In this case, it’s for a computer:

“Thin and light 14.1″ widescreen for incredible performance in a compact notebook. Optional TrueLife display delivers a stunning viewing experience. 5-in-1 media card reader and Media Direct Buttons for on-the-go entertainment.”

They’ve listed a few of their popular cool features and the reasons why they are actually cool.

So take another look at your email marketing copy and make sure you explain the benefits, not just the features, of your awesome product or service!

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2  Comments on this Post

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  • GilesFarrow
    I agree, for software marketing it should all be about the benefits, there is far too much focus on features. When you look at your copy, I think the question you should be asking yourself is "so what?"  If you can reasonably anticipate a prospect asking "so what?", then it's a feature If you can't, it's a benefit
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  • JaninePopick
    Thanks Giles; I definitely agree! - Janine
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