One day last week I posted a suggestion for those of you who are copywriters or copywriter “wannabes” to tell me what approach you would take if you were asked to write ad copy to sell a high-end piece of medical ID jewelry.
I didn’t get many responses, but those of you who did respond publicly and privately were on the right track, I believe. You suggested you would “sell” the idea of the fine jewelry aspect and attractiveness of the ID bracelet.
The point I was trying (lamely?) to make was this: There’s an old adage in copywriting that says something like, “Features inform, but benefits sell.” That’s really pretty fundamental, but sometimes we writers need to review the fundamentals (especially you new writers out there), so I thought it worthwhile.
But what does that MEAN, really? I believe it means something like this. A “feature” is information about how a product works, what it is to be used for, how it will save time, perhaps how the product rates compared to similar products, what it does better than similar products, etc. A “benefit” sort of tells me what’s in the deal for ME. A benefit tells me how this scrub brush will make my toilets sparkle so that they’ll be the talk of the neighborhood. (If your neighbors are talking about your toilets, you probably have very shallow neighbors. Move.) A benefit tells me that wearing a medical ID bracelet may be embarrassing, but I can turn that embarrassment into social triumph as all my friends and neighbors see me sporting a $700 diamond studded medical ID bracelet.
So remember that — features inform, benefits sell. Not unlike real life, is it?
[tags]copywriting, sales copy, features, benefits, advice for new writers, writing tips at garyspeer.com[/tags]