The ONLY reason any rational human being ever purchases anything is to derive a benefit from it!
That means …
Any scrap of sales copy that fails to clearly, dramatically, emphatically, credibly and repeatedly present the benefits a product will deliver IS DESTINED TO FAIL MISERABLY!
I’ll go even further …
Any copywriter or ad agency that sells TV or radio spots, print ads, direct mail pieces, Web-based ads, landing pages or e-mail blasts — or anything else that fails to shout a product’s benefits from the rooftops — deserves to be fired immediately – without notice.
Of course, since benefits are so important, it might be handy to know precisely what one is.
Here’s my own, personal, made-up definition …
“BEN-e-fit” — noun:
1. Anything a product or service does to improve a prospect’s physical, financial or emotional state.
2. In advertising, a claim or promise that the prospect will experience a specific improvement in his or her physical, financial or emotional state — the reason why the prospect should buy.
… So what, precisely, does all this mean to you?
It means that what John E. Kennedy first told Albert Lasker nearly 100 years ago was the gospel truth: To be successful, all advertising must present the reasons why the prospect should buy.
Today, we call those “reasons why”… the “benefits.”
Now, let’s go a step further …
Fact is, every product or service you promote delivers several kinds of benefits:
1. Objective positive benefits:
It makes your prospect thinner, better-looking, healthier or smarter.
It makes him or her more productive, more successful, richer.
It saves time. It saves money.
2. Problem-solving benefits:
It melts ugly fat, re-grows a healthy head of hair or whitens teeth, erases troubling or painful symptoms or lifts your mental fog.
It eliminates obstacles to productivity, success and wealth.
It ends or shortens his time-wasting chores or eliminates situations that waste her money.
3. Positive emotional benefits:
It makes your prospect feel more confident, happier, more empowered and more fulfilled. It makes him feel proud, enjoying the envy of his family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.
4. Emotional relief benefits:
It erases your prospect’s fears and frustrations.
It eases his feelings of guilt, shame, self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy.
It soothes her nerves and ends shyness, embarrassment, prevents future humiliations.
It delivers blessed relief from loneliness, sadness or depression.
It protects them from future feelings of regret.
OK … so what’s that whirring sound? What’s that light bulb doing over your head?
… Some ideas starting to ping around? Good for you!
You probably know what I’m going to say next: Take out a campaign you’re writing or using now and begin thinking about this …
• Your product delivers many more benefits than you’ve ever dreamed of: Your product delivers objective (practical) AND emotional benefits … it delivers something the prospect wants, AND helps him eliminate something he does not want … and it’s the solution to a current adverse situation AND the prevention of a future one!
How many new objective and emotional benefits can you identify?
• Including benefits adds response points: Make a list of EVERY benefit your product delivers – and then make sure you include ALL of them in your next promotion. No promotion is complete until you have fully explored ALL of the benefits your product offers.
How many new benefits should you add to your sales copy?
• Lead with your best combination: In my experience, leading with 1) The elimination of a dominant resident (i.e. powerful and current) negative emotion and 2) The promise to eliminate the negative situation that caused this negative feeling — generally works best.
So think about how can you can prioritise the benefits that your prospects desire most – and bring them up front to strengthen the appeal of your promotion.
Let me know below if you need any help coming up with the most powerful benefits for your specific products or services – I’ll be happy to help :0)