Features vs Benefits?

by steve-w 49 replies
HI All,

First off, I'm by no means a copywriter. But sometimes I try to write my own stuff, and have bought some good copywriting books.

They say that the only "stupid question is, the one that you don't ask"!

Ok, here it goes! This will be a breeze for you folks but everyone has a different opinion..

Sometimes I have a hard time with describing benefits. ..

Why I don't know.

Sometimes it's hard for me to distinguish between the two.

I would just like to get some feedback from you guys, how to bring out the benefits in ME!!

Thanks a bunch!
Steven
#copywriting #benefits #features
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  • Profile picture of the author Jo_Shua
    Features = Logical Facts

    Benefits = Emotional Desires

    You sell on emotions, and not facts. You present facts via emotional desires (benefits), and you close the sale by offering the solution to that desire.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
    Hey Steve,

    Good question.

    The feature is a fact about your product. And the benefit is what's in it for your prospect.

    Like this..

    The Honda Civic has a 1.8 litre engine... so it is fuel effecient and saves you money on gas.

    The new Maytag air conditioner has 11,000 btu's... so even on those hot summer days you'll stay nice and cool.

    Hope that helps

    Bill
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
      Originally Posted by Bill Jeffels View Post

      The Honda Civic has a 1.8 litre engine... so it is fuel effecient and saves you money on gas.

      The new Maytag air conditioner has 11,000 btu's... so even on those hot summer days you'll stay nice and cool.
      Whilst there's no technical description between the two... to me these are still features.

      Sometimes that's okay though. Sometimes you can give the reader the feature and they'll automatically extrapolate the benefits... but usually not.

      One popular way I've seen that gets to the REAL benefit is the "so what?" angle.

      Here's an example:

      =======================

      The new Honda Civic has a 1.8 litre engine

      So what?

      So... it uses less fuel

      So what?

      It's good for the environment and saves you money

      Now, at this point, it splits into two separate "benefit paths"... let's go with the "environment" angle.

      So what?

      You will be contributing to helping us keep our environment alive

      So what?

      You will feel as though you're making a positive difference in the world, leaving behind a positive legacy?

      So what?

      You'll feel good about yourself.

      =================

      Here's a quick tip: EVERY benefit is about feeling good about yourself... all of them.

      It's how human beings work.

      But they also like specifics and reasons why... so you have to match the features and benefits THEY CARE ABOUT to them.

      Saying "it'll make you feel good" is pointless... but saying "You can sleep soundly at night knowing you've made a positive contribution to your children's future" or whatever might not be (depending on the market).

      Essentially, a benefit is why your customer should care... but sometimes getting the the REALLY powerful benefits takes a bit of sideways thinking.

      -Dan
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      • Profile picture of the author Jo_Shua
        Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

        but sometimes getting the the REALLY powerful benefits takes a bit of sideways thinking.
        Two thumbs up

        It is funny you say that. Yesterday, while at Wally-world doing some shopping, I started getting 'sidetracked' chatting on my Blackberry with someone talking to them about copywriting.

        I believe all that 'sideways' brainstorming we did was responsible for my walking sideways while pushing the buggy and running into people and shelves

        LoL
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      • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
        Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

        Whilst there's no technical description between the two... to me these are still features.

        Sometimes that's okay though. Sometimes you can give the reader the feature and they'll automatically extrapolate the benefits... but usually not.

        One popular way I've seen that gets to the REAL benefit is the "so what?" angle.

        Here's an example:

        =======================

        The new Honda Civic has a 1.8 litre engine

        So what?

        So... it uses less fuel

        So what?

        It's good for the environment and saves you money

        Now, at this point, it splits into two separate "benefit paths"... let's go with the "environment" angle.

        So what?

        You will be contributing to helping us keep our environment alive

        So what?

        You will feel as though you're making a positive difference in the world, leaving behind a positive legacy?

        So what?

        You'll feel good about yourself.

        =================

        Here's a quick tip: EVERY benefit is about feeling good about yourself... all of them.

        It's how human beings work.

        But they also like specifics and reasons why... so you have to match the features and benefits THEY CARE ABOUT to them.

        Saying "it'll make you feel good" is pointless... but saying "You can sleep soundly at night knowing you've made a positive contribution to your children's future" or whatever might not be (depending on the market).

        Essentially, a benefit is why your customer should care... but sometimes getting the the REALLY powerful benefits takes a bit of sideways thinking.

        -Dan
        Dan,

        You are Wrong.

        1.8 lite engine... saves you money on guess ( Benefit )... So What?

        So it saves you money on gas... money in your pocket... that's not a benefit? Saving money is not a feature. As I stated due to the size of the engine you save money that's a benefit.

        Environmentally friendly? Dan, seriously... when it comes down to it people want to save money. Feeling good about the environment isn't going to pay the bill's.

        Bill
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        • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
          Here's a good way to approach it ...

          Feature - What the product HAS
          Advantage (also known as weak Benefit) - What the product DOES
          Benefits - What the product MEANS to the prospect

          So in the example of the 1.8 litre engine:

          Feature - 1.8 litre engine
          Advantage (weak Benefit) - saves you money on gas
          Benefit - you can buy more things on your trip

          And using the "so what" technique mentioned above, you could take "buy more things on your trip" and drill down further if you wanted to.

          Alex
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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
          Originally Posted by Bill Jeffels View Post

          Dan,

          You are Wrong.

          1.8 lite engine... saves you money on guess ( Benefit )... So What?

          So it saves you money on gas... money in your pocket... that's not a benefit? Saving money is not a feature. As I stated due to the size of the engine you save money that's a benefit.

          Environmentally friendly? Dan, seriously... when it comes down to it people want to save money. Feeling good about the environment isn't going to pay the bill's.

          Bill
          If that's true... care to explain the formation of groups like Greenpeace... or the fact that people are growing more and more environmentally conscious every day?

          Money's not a benefit.

          It's just some pieces of paper.. or, more likely, some ones and zeros in a computer somewhere.

          the benefit is what the money MEANS to you... what you can do with it... and how that makes you feel.

          Benefits are ALWAYS about emotion and feeling good... ALWAYS.

          The ultimate benefit is, anyway... as Ray said, precisely what is a benefit/core desire/advantage/feature can be a little sketchy at times... and I think to be perfectly honest that in using terms like "feature" and "benefit", what we're really doing is trying to simplify things.

          To me, the whole feature/benefit argument is simple... find out what people REALLY want from what you're selling... and show them they can have it.

          Doing it can certainly be more difficult... but that's what we do, right?

          And Bill... to some people... money doesn't matter... but the impact on the environment does. It's all different frames of mind... and you do not have the same frame of mind as everyone else.

          "You are not your market".

          There are lots of different emotional appeals that a car can generate... and IMHO saving money on gas doesn't mean much (although the feeling they get from that... and the personal resonance... is a different matter).

          I'm not saying it's not a great selling point - it is - but as others have mentioned... there are more advantages to using less fuel than just money.

          -Dan
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          • Profile picture of the author dtendrich
            With gas as an example...

            A lot of people I know will "shop around" before going to a gas station. Even if they save 5 cents on the dollar, they'll take it, because over the course of a year that means $50 or more for other things. This seems to be the dominant mindset of people in a certain income bracket and below (maybe $30k a year and lower), or people who need to carefully watch their income because they have a lot of responsibilities (lots of kids, etc.).

            I also know people who earn millions every year, and they think about which gas station they pull into as little as they think about what time of day they take a sh*t. Price isn't a benefit for these people. The only thing that might get them thinking about gas stations is if they read an ad that says Shell donates millions to charity and works to save the environment.

            So this is what I'd do as a copywriter:
            • If I were targeting people of lower incomes in my pitch, I'd hit the "saves you money" angle with everything I got. And then I'd throw it in as a side note that they can also feel good knowing they're helping the environment.
            • If I were targeting people of higher incomes, I'd focus solely on why the company is such a great Samaritan, helping the environment, donating to charity, etc., so they feel like they're doing a noble deed by buying gas there, like they're changing the world by pumping gas into their car. And then the icing that tops this cake is that they save $50 or more a year.
            Basically, the market determines what a feature is and what a benefit is. If you're pitching mechanics about a new car, then saying "400 V8 engine" is a benefit. If you're pitching average Joe American, then that's a feature.

            Hope this helps,
            David
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            Atlanta Copywriter, serving clients worldwide.

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            David Tendrich
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            • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
              Originally Posted by dtendrich View Post

              Basically, the market determines what a feature is and what a benefit is.
              Not really, IMHO.

              What you're touching on is market wants and desires... which is different to features/benefits (although still undeniably important).

              And even when people KNOW what a benefit does... you still have to spell it out for them.

              I think David Garfinkel said it best when he said (and I'm paraphrasing), "Making people think costs money."

              Basically... you still have to spell out the benefits. Sure, the customer may "connect the dots" themselves... but generally you'll get a much higher CR if you do it FOR them.

              -Dan
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              • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
                Basically... you still have to spell out the benefits. Sure, the customer may "connect the dots" themselves... but generally you'll get a much higher CR if you do it FOR them.
                This is absolutely true, and Dan Kennedy himself has a story illustrating it.

                One of the markets he sold to very successfully for years was professional speakers. One year his sales to that market took a big dip, and he stopped to try to analyze why. What had happened was he thought, "I've been selling to this market for so many years, they all know who I am and why they should listen to me." And he neglected to introduce himself properly in his annual mailing and explain why it would benefit them to learn from him (as opposed to others selling to that market).

                The next time around, he put that part of his pitch back, and his results bounced back.

                People do not connect the dots so easily on their own. Even things they may know, they need to be explicitly reminded of. Assume the benefits are self evident to a particular market, and your sales will plunge.

                Marcia Yudkin
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                Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author CopyMonster
    How to quickly convert features to benefits:

    Ask yourself what that feature/characteristic/element of a product or service does for the prospect ie. what does that mean?

    Example: (feature) this course includes 11 step-by-step videos... (benefits) you don't have to scratch your head figuring out how to do it, the course leads you step by step through each part of the process and you get the results (make money, lose weight, write cash sucking copy) you want faster.
    Signature
    Scary good...
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    In the final analysis, the real definition of 'features' and 'benefits' can
    only be determined by the customer. I think this is a little deep but my
    blog post will explain what I mean by this ...

    Copywriting Tips And Tricks Sell More By Showing Consequences

    -Ray Edwards
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    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Let a VETERAN Copywriter and Teacher get your skills up to speed in little time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Revolves
    Hey steve-w,

    I just noticed you said you own some good copywriting books. Bob Bly's "The Copywriter's Handbook" has a good section on features vs benefits. He has nicely tabulated a feature and the corresponding benefits. In the book, it was for a pencil.

    So if you have that book, then you can give it a quick read.

    Regards,
    Revolves.
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    • Profile picture of the author steve-w
      Originally Posted by Revolves View Post

      Hey steve-w,

      I just noticed you said you own some good copywriting books. Bob Bly's "The Copywriter's Handbook" has a good section on features vs benefits. He has nicely tabulated a feature and the corresponding benefits. In the book, it was for a pencil.

      So if you have that book, then you can give it a quick read.

      Regards,
      Revolves.
      Yea, I don't have that one. But I have Two and I can't find one of them but one is by "Maria Veloso" and it's pretty good!

      All of the feedback has been great!

      I know for most of you it comes easy, and really it should be something that simple.

      Sometimes it the simple things that gets us...Or me anyhow... :rolleyes:

      Thanks
      Guys & Gals
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      • Profile picture of the author dtendrich
        Hey,

        I think there's a middle-ground here.

        I think depending on the target market, "saves you money" will be enough of a benefit. But for the market that isn't so money-conscious, that is, the higher income market, then they might need the "environmental" direction, or the "feel good about yourself" direction, to secure the deal.

        David
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        Copywriting Tips, internet marketing jargon, thoughts, and rants by me.

        Atlanta Copywriter, serving clients worldwide.

        Write your life.
        David Tendrich
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      Environmentally friendly? Dan, seriously... when it comes down to it people want to save money. Feeling good about the environment isn't going to pay the bill's.
      With an attitude like that, you're going to miss out on many, many important benefits for all kinds of products, whether for consumers or for businesses.

      Human psychology is a lot more complicated than everything coming down to money.

      Very often, saving time is more important than saving money.

      In other situations, for other kinds of products and target markets, having the positive regard of people one cares about is the most important benefit.

      In still other situations, being able to fulfill a long-delayed dream for the sheer enjoyment of it is the biggest benefit.

      Open your mind to the richness of human behavior. We are complicated beings.

      Marcia Yudkin
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      Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    The following post might help you:

    How To Become A Copywriter (Part 7 - Feature Converter, Desire Magician) | CopySnips

    FEATURES are just what something has (i.e. “four wheels”), ADVANTAGES are what the feature can make happpen relative to not having it (i.e. “get there quicker”), and BENEFITS are what the customer will get out of the advantage; how it will help them.

    The problem with benefits is that you can't always spell them out.

    For instance, think of Joe who buys that $50,000 car. He doesn't just want to get from A to B. (A $1,000 car can do that.)

    He wants to feel good driving down the highway. He wants the feeling of power and control, and he wants the status symbol and something he can show off to the girls to make him feel more attractive to women.

    So really, there are FEATURES, ADVANTAGES, BENEFITS and then CORE DESIRES which are even deeper and more subconscious than even benefits.

    Car advertisers understand this, which is why they have guys driving their cars super fast through the wilderness, through hoops of fire, with a girl at the end, or in the passenger seat.

    These advertisers know what they are doing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jo_Shua
    Could not have said it better Paul!

    Many people confuse benefits with advantages... I know I once used to, and I believe that is why I used to have a hard time separating features from benefits, because I was stuck on a middle ground.

    Look at it this way:
    Your prospects are stuck on an island, and need to cross a bridge. There are two bridges: Bridge A takes you to another island, and Bridge B takes you to the mainland.

    Now, the island they are stuck on is the feature, the bridges are the advantages, and where the bridges take you are the benefits of traveling that bridge.

    Each bridge has the EXACT same advantage -- they get you off the island. What is important to your prospect is WHERE that bridge takes them.
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    • Profile picture of the author steve-w
      Many people confuse benefits with advantages... I know I once used to, and I believe that is why I used to have a hard time separating features from benefits, because I was stuck on a middle ground.
      Paul Great Point...Well Taken!

      Joshua, You hit it on the head...That's where I've been stuck!!

      Steven
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  • Profile picture of the author dtendrich
    I tried to edit this into my post but I keep getting an "title is too long" error.

    If you're pitching a copywriter your copywriting services, then having Dan Kennedy as a testimonial speaks for itself, and is thus a benefit. But if you're pitching your average businessman, then you would have to explain the importance of Dan Kennedy endorsing you, making it a feature.

    David
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    Copywriting Tips, internet marketing jargon, thoughts, and rants by me.

    Atlanta Copywriter, serving clients worldwide.

    Write your life.
    David Tendrich
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  • Profile picture of the author devilishsaint
    Features are the characteristics of a product/service on the other hand how benefits are directly connected with the needs of the consumer. Benefits are sometimes explored after consumption. That's why most of the companies use sampling technique to reach the ultimate list of benefits which they could market.
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  • Profile picture of the author dtendrich
    lol yes... I mean, woulda been nice if you'd put a book title, or your take on what features and benefits are, but hey! who's counting?
    Signature
    Copywriting Tips, internet marketing jargon, thoughts, and rants by me.

    Atlanta Copywriter, serving clients worldwide.

    Write your life.
    David Tendrich
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  • Profile picture of the author abdoue
    here my idea about how to turne your features to benefits by explaining from my extensive research and experience :
    there isn't business owner in the world who
    hasn't wrestled with the features vs. benefits dilemma tossed at them by well-intentioned marketing gurus. The funny thing is, as critical as the concept may be, I've found that not one in 10 businesses really understands the difference. And that's one of the main reasons most small-business marketing efforts don't work!
    Most SOHO owners decide what business to start based on two factors: 1) what they're good at and like to do, and 2) what they assume possible customers will buy. Often those latter assumptions are correct, but small-business marketers also assume that prospects will understand why they should buy the product or service just because they've been told about it. Thus, business owners only communicate the features of their product or service to prospective customers and neglect to mention the benefits.


    and so on you can differentiate between the two terms





    thanks hope it help,
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    • Profile picture of the author Greg Jacobs
      Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post

      It amazes me when copywriters or direct response marketers debate
      what features or benefits are.

      So what is the difference? (btw.. im not a copywriter - just like to lurk here)

      Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post


      Tell me the benefits of owning a Hummer (there are benefits, obviously)
      Well thats obvious. You can be in a Rap video.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jo_Shua
        Originally Posted by Greg Jacobs View Post

        So what is the difference? (btw.. im not a copywriter - just like to lurk here)
        They have been mentioned in the previous posts. If you need it expanded upon further, then, take Paul's advice and read a book.


        You can be in a Rap video.
        :confused:
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        • Profile picture of the author Greg Jacobs
          Originally Posted by Joshua Collins View Post

          They have been mentioned in the previous posts. If you need it expanded upon further, then, take Paul's advice and read a book.


          :confused:
          Joshua

          Thank you for your response, or I could just use Google, which ironically brings me to this thread
          http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...es+vs+benefits
          in which I have now been instructed to go read a book. Wonder what would happen if I went and got that book what it would tell me?

          "however" that was not the point of my question. The point of it was that that people still constantly debate features vs. benefits (look at this thread) which means that the line is either undefined or "in the clouds."

          Meaning that I was hoping that since there seems to be lots of knowledge copywriters in this thread and one of the responders suggested that there is in fact an easy answer, I was hoping that someone could just give their thoughts.

          and yes, my understanding of a benefit of owning a hummer is you can be in a "rap video" or if you are a Caucasian male from Kentucky, you can go fishing in a nice place. Its about the fishing, not the car. Am I missing the mark there?

          -Greg
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          • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
            Originally Posted by Greg Jacobs View Post

            and yes, my understanding of a benefit of owning a hummer is you can be in a "rap video" or if you are a Caucasian male from Kentucky, you can go fishing in a nice place. Its about the fishing, not the car. Am I missing the mark there?

            -Greg
            Would the average male in Kentucky WANT a hummer?

            Now, I'm not a car nut. When I think Hummer, I think yellow Hummers from shows like "Entourage" and from Jay-Z Filmclips (back when he actually had good music).

            First, think about the kind of people who would buy Hummers... and then think about why they would choose that particular car.

            Without researching the market, I can't say for CERTAIN, but most likely it's because a Hummer is a status symbol.

            Owning a Hummer says "I"m rich and possibly famous". It makes people feel important, successful, and, in some cases, more successful with women.

            Obviously military Humvees (they do use them in the U.S. military right?) would have a different set of benefits attached. Again, not having researched, I can't be certain. But I imagine they would be reliable, safe, rugged... whatever.

            Basically, people don't want to die... and Hummers are the best car to make that happen in a military situation.

            Does that make sense?

            -Dan
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          • Profile picture of the author Jo_Shua
            Originally Posted by Greg Jacobs View Post

            Wonder what would happen if I went and got that book what it would tell me?
            Hrm... maybe they would refer you to a $997 copywriting course? :p

            But in all sincerity, I did not mean to sound like an ass. There is no debate on WHAT is a feature and WHAT is a benefit. The only debate is WHAT benefit you need to use in your sales copy to get the reader to TAKE the desired action. For that, you need to know your audience.

            Dan brought up some good benefit points of that Hummer. Each was a benefit (no debate about that), however, which benefit to use for which target audience MIGHT be debatable, but in all reality -- that, too, is not debatable.

            Why? Because you should ALWAYS test your copy (and that includes which benefits you present to the audience). So, expand upon a few different benefits for each product -- and test them.

            Never know, that 'outside of the box' benefit might be the best one to use.

            Anyhow, when it comes to features vs. benefits, there is no debate. However, for those that are still uncertain as to WHAT a feature is and as to WHAT a benefit is... then, you need to read Paul Hancox's blog post (mentioned in a previous post). It will help clarify the difference.

            As to reading a book to learn more about benefits... I still suggest that. Really.

            I recommend Joe Sugarman's book 'The Adweek Copywriting Handbook' -- also, take a look at that sticky thread of AWESOME books in the Copywriting Forum.

            I apologize for my Jackassness :rolleyes:


            JC
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            • Profile picture of the author keithflaherty
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              • Profile picture of the author Jo_Shua
                Originally Posted by keithflaherty View Post

                Jackassness, thats a new one. I like that
                Much obliged
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                • Profile picture of the author Greg Jacobs
                  Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

                  Would the average male in Kentucky WANT a hummer?


                  we should do a separate thread on double meanings in words.



                  Originally Posted by Joshua Collins View Post

                  Hrm... maybe they would refer you to a $997 copywriting course? :p
                  well out of all the $997 courses, if I bought a copywriting course, I will know that I am getting good information (as they convinced me to buy it - hence job done)

                  And thank you for the other resources. will check em out

                  -Greg
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                  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
                    Anyhow, when it comes to features vs. benefits, there is no debate.
                    The question was raised here not as something for debate but as something the person posting was unclear about and wanted to learn. It is not that helpful to tell someone to read a book if they've already read them and don't understand. They're looking for examples that will make the light bulb go off for them.

                    I have actually taught the concept of features vs. benefits to both business owners and to copywriters in training, and generally it is not an easy distinction for most people to master.

                    It may take lots of examples and lots of practice.

                    In my opinion, a forum like this should be a place where people who are learning can ask questions without being told that this question is completely settled and they should go to the library.

                    I have nothing but empathy for anyone who is finding the distinction tricky.

                    Marcia Yudkin
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                    • Profile picture of the author Jo_Shua
                      Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

                      The question was raised here not as something for debate but as something the person posting was unclear about and wanted to learn.
                      Jackassness coming back out

                      The 'question' WAS raised. Not by the OP, but by another poster. That is why I stated the fact: features vs. benefits is not debatable.

                      Why? Because they are stuck on advantage vs. benefit and not feature vs. benefit.

                      EDIT: I had a Loooong post, but deleted it. I do not want to get into a flaming argument. Just consider the following:

                      No matter what resource you choose to learn from (forum, blog, book, video, webinar, coaching, etc...), you will not understand feature vs. benefits until you comprehend the difference between an advantage and a benefit.

                      JC
                      P.S. If you skimmed Paul Hancox's thread post (post #14), but did not read his blog post, I suggest you do it NOW. In my opinion, it is the best teaching on the subject of what a feature is and what a benefit is -- And, get this: You do not have to read a book to comprehend what he posted.

                      Here is the link again: http://copysnips.com/copywriting/how...sire-magician/

                      P.P.S Oh, and he uses examples
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                  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
                    Originally Posted by Greg Jacobs View Post

                    we should do a separate thread on double meanings in words.
                    We're talking about the car here, my man. Not the other thing.

                    EVERY guy wants that

                    -Dan
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                    Always looking for badass direct-response copywriters. PM me if we don't know each other and you're looking for work.

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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    Here's a real-life example of something I said earlier in this thread, that benefits are very often not about money.

    This is the headline for an ad for RosettaStone software (for learning languages) in National Geographic Adventurer magazine:

    You've Always Wanted to, Now You Can.

    There is no way you can twist this headline into being a money benefit. People targeted in this ad want to learn a language for no practical purpose - or just to have more fun while traveling to exotic places - and the software gives them the idea to start doing it now.

    The readers of this magazine believe in indulging their desires, however outlandish. And the ads appeal to that.

    Marcia Yudkin
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    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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    • Profile picture of the author John_S
      A simple rule-of-thumb: When you're writing or talking about the product or service it's a feature.

      When you're talking about achieving tasks, objectives and goals of a targeted customer, it's a benefit.

      Think about it this way. If it would exist without a single customer -- or without getting to know your customer -- then what you're writing about is a feature.

      It's difficult because benefits mean letting go of the "everybody needs this" myth and getting down to the segment who'll actually pay because they desire it. One requires some thought, and research about the market. The other only requires the product or service in a vaccuum.

      And lots of people resent the notion of taking their attention off the product they've fallen in love with. They reject the very idea, for instance, a product has to be easy to use for someone who didn't build it.

      Users have to interact with a feature and have success in achieving a task for ease of use ...a task which reaches a larger objective. Ease of use using a feature requires there be users -- a feature alone does not.

      Benefits can only exist when you understand the customer and their goals. Too many want to surgically remove user and customer from the equation. Some think they can be anything to anyone that way. They end up being nothing to everyone.
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