One of 20 Insider Secrets to Great Copywriting
By Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero
Each weekday during the Red Hot Copywriting Bootcamp, attendees (or recruits) get a daily drill designed to reinforce the training I give on the weekly phone calls. The drills are illuminating and fun. Plus these drills build your copy from the ground up. By the end of Bootcamp, you actually have a sales letter that would have cost you anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000 to have written professionally.
So how do you get going? Grab a kitchen timer or stopwatch, a piece of paper and a pen. Your bite-sized drill today is to separate out the features from the benefits. So let’s do an exercise.
Before you write a single word of copy, you must define your product or service using features and benefits if you want to really connect with your reader. (When I’m trying to get my features and benefits to poke their heads out, I like to write by hand. I think there’s a connection between the brain and handwriting.)
So, now that we’re on the same page, here are the definitions of each.
A feature is the adjective of the product. It describes what the product is.
The benefit is the emotional component of what the person gets out of the product.
Now schedule 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to play and let’s go!
- Set your timer for 10 minutes. So take a sheet of paper and fold it in half vertically. In the left hand column write the word “Features”. And on the right, the word “Benefits”.
- Start brainstorming about what features you offer to clients. Then for every feature find a corresponding benefit. Benefits are what sell. Remember we all want to know, “What’s in it for me?” That’s just the way we’re wired. “How is your product or service going to benefit me?” While the timer is doing its thing, let the ideas flow freely. Don’t judge your answers or edit yourself. Stop on schedule. (You’ll edit later).
- Reset the timer for the last five minutes. Review your list. Circle the ultimate benefit – this is the benefit your copy and headlines should focus on.
- Put the other benefits in order of importance. These will become your bullets and subheads.
Author Resource -> Copywriting guru Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero has been helping entrepreneurs and copywriters get their marketing messages razor sharp since 1999. Get free access to 5 tips to turn your “blah” sales message into red-hot copy that ROCKS… at redhotcopy.com.