Emphasizing features vs. benefits has been a continuous debate among marketers.
Some argue that businesses should highlight benefits because they have an emotional response in customers. Meanwhile, others think that prioritizing features is essential to avoid insulting buyers who are interested in facts.
That said, using both features and benefits the right way is essential to copywriting.
This article will cover the definitions of and differences between features and benefits. It will also provide tips and real-life examples of employing both to boost the profits of your online business.
A feature is a specification of a product or service. For example, a smartphone’s features include its memory size, camera quality, and battery life. Meanwhile, the features of a domain checker tool can include the number of domain extensions it supports and whether it has customer support.
In electronics, automotive, and other industries, many businesses use features to emphasize their unique selling points (USP) or stress what makes the product stand out from its competitors.
Take a look at the copy for iPhone 12. It highlights the device’s features as its USP, including 5G networking, the A14 Bionic chip, and its OLED display. This helps users quickly notice the differences between iPhone 12 and other smartphones.
A benefit refers to the value or outcome users experience by using a service or product. For example, the benefit of using a smartphone with a higher camera quality is the ability to capture great photos even in low-light conditions.
Identifying benefits is essential when people are not familiar with the technical terminology or the features of new products.
An example of a brand using benefit-driven marketing is Slack. Its copy compares the product and emails, directly addressing a problem – endless email chains – and demonstrating how its messaging app helps users.
Essentially, features are facts about the product, and benefits explain why they should matter to the customers, addressing problems and inciting emotions. They inspire people to act – studies have shown that emotional response increases sales by 23%.
However, if your target market mostly consists of knowledgeable audiences, you shouldn’t focus on the benefits. It’s better to highlight USPs and let your audience connect the dots, so they don’t feel like you’re trying to tell them something they already know.
To boost the profits of your online business, emphasize both features and benefits. This way, savvy buyers will immediately know the features, and regular consumers will understand what to expect from the product.
This section will contain tips on how to use features and benefits to help increase your sales.
Begin by researching your target audience – find out what their needs, wants, and pain points are. By doing this, you can learn which benefits would have the most impact on them.
One way to understand your audience is to ask past customers why they bought your product or service.
Alternatively, seek trends related to your industry. For example, if you sell home furniture and have discovered that many people working from home experience neck and lower back pain, try to highlight that your ergonomic desks reduce the discomfort and have a positive effect on customers’ health.
In addition, try to identify specific buyer profiles – the members of your target demographics may have different goals. For instance, some people may consume a diet product for health reasons, while others may do it to get in shape. In such cases, you need to differentiate the benefits that you highlight.
List all of your product features and come up with their benefits. A simple way to do this is to use a table.
For a more thorough method, you can use a feature-benefit matrix. In it, include product features, possible benefits, and suitable CTAs to encourage specific actions. This format will help you quickly identify the unique benefits of each feature and tailor the marketing message easier.
Craft engaging sentences for the benefit. A rule of thumb is to avoid jargon and buzzwords. Instead, translate the technical terms into a language that customers can understand and value.
Mailchimp is an excellent example of such practices. The brand specifies features in technical terms and then explains how they can solve users’ problems below.
Another famous example of this is the first iPod from Apple. The company highlighted how many songs a person can store on the device rather than focusing on its storage space.
Choosing which benefits and features to point out can be difficult. Therefore, consider conducting A/B testing to compare the efficacy of available options and decide which version has the biggest potential impact based on various factors like engagement and conversion rates.
Examples of the best available A/B testing software include VWO Testing and Optimizely. These tools feature a user-friendly interface and detailed reporting dashboards.
A feature describes what the product does and acts as a USP. Meanwhile, a benefit emphasizes how this will help the consumer.
Instead of participating in the unending debate of features vs. benefits, combine both in your copy instead. This way, you’ll make sure not to irritate savvy buyers with long explanations, and average consumers will still understand the value of your product.
Here’s a recap of the discussed practices you can employ to improve your copy:
- Understand your target market.
- List your product features and benefits.
- Translate features into benefits.
- Conduct A/B testing.
We hope this article will help you employ features and benefits the right way to increase your online business sales.