How To Turn Features Into Benefits or The Meat And Potatoes Of Successful Advertising

The basic building blocks of all advertising are your product’s benefits (In this section we will say product, but all of these statements are true of services also)…What does your prospect get out of it? This is the foundation to your advertising, your meat & potatoes so to speak!
The first lesson in almost every study of advertising starts (And often ends) with this point…You must list your product’s benefits, not it’s features. And you MUST know the difference.

Every copywriter worth anything has been plugging away on you for decades on this one principle. Now, it is my turn to do it as well. I am honestly shocked that more than 90% of businesses still haven’t figured this simple step out, but they haven’t.

I have looked at hundreds of ads where the writer still hasn’t figured out this simple principle, whether it was in the mail, in a magazine, or on the internet. If you don’t know the difference between the two, you might as well quit now while you are ahead.

While they have told you to list all of the benefits, not the features, I expect that you may never had anyone tell you exactly how to do it. Well, you are in for a lesson then.

Changing Features into benefits is one of the simplest parts of writing your ads, but if you have never been shown the key it can be a downright disaster.

Simply, A feature is it’s basic qualities: how many pages, the color, the financing, the durability, the warrantee, the size, the pay plan, the products, etc. A benefit is whatever a Prospect will receive from each of the product’s features. In other words, the easiest way to transform a feature into a benefit is to ask “What’s in it for me?” If you ask that of each feature, the benefit will come flying out at you.

For example, if you were selling an air conditioner, a feature may be it’s high output cooling system…BUT nobody really cares about this. What they do care about is that it will keep them at a nice cool 70 degrees even when their thermometer is melting in the 112 degree heat outside…

If you are selling a car that gets 55 miles per gallon, that is a feature. The benefit is that you will only have to stop to get gas 1/2 the time everyone else does PLUS you save double on all of your gasoline bills!

See, that wasn’t too difficult. All you have to do is go down a list of features and ask yourself two simple questions:

1) What’s In this For Me?

2) What do I get out of it?

Once you get those two questions down, you have half of the art of ad writing down pat. Every time a prospect looks at your advertising, they ARE ASKING those questions! If all you tell them are the product’s features or about yourself, you can kiss the sale goodbye.

You’re better off asking those questions FIRST! Then, your advertising will be ready to answer them when the prospects ask the same questions. Your prospects couldn’t care less who you are or what you are selling, Unless There is something in it for them.

Don’t make people search through your advertising to find out what’s in it for them. Put it right up front…In the headline, in the opening paragraph, in the offer, throughout the bullets, and all the way to the P.S. Make sure your sales letter is chalk full of benefits your prospects want and need.

That is why I call the benefits your “Basic Building Blocks” to advertising. You will use these benefits as you create your Headlines, offers, bullets, etc. THEY ARE YOUR SALES LETTER!

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