Your company website can serve a variety of purposes. Increase customer loyalty, boost awareness, promote new products and services; all very practical motivations for a web presence. But at the core of online advertising, we pursue believability. We want users to believe in our product or service, and make the next step in our direction.
We believe in products or services that answer the question: “What’s in it for me?” When we can envision the benefits of our experience with the product or service, we can believe that it is the right choice.
You can bring this positive message across in your promotional web copy with this strategy:
Offer Benefits, Not Features!
We are inclined to describe our products or services by the features they possess, because that seems like the most impressive mode of description. New-and-improved this, state-of-the-art that. But what do these features mean for the user? Without a clear understanding of how specific features improve lives or make certain processes easier or more pleasant, users may be left thinking: “So what?”
Copywriter Michael Fortin defines a benefit as “what a person intimately gains from a specific feature.” A description of your product or services’ benefits can answer the “So what”.
“So what,” you think. “It’s OBVIOUS.” The benefits of your product or service might seem so transparent to you. But wait a minute. Imagine approaching your company website as an outsider: someone who has never heard of your product. A list of its features will aid a description (perhaps bolstered by graphics and testimonials), but can it underline its value to an unknowing individual?
You recognize the value of your product or service, sure. As a small business owner, you live and breathe it. But without a rich understanding of your audience’ buying motivations, you will fail to make the connection with them online. Web surfers are mostly scanning and assessing website content with hasty judgment, asking:
“Does this have what I’m looking for?”
“What’s in it for me?”
Your website can answer these questions by offering descriptions of benefits. Discover the true benefits of your product or service with copywriter Peter Stone’s “So that” technique (as referenced by Michael Fortin):
Pick a feature of your product or service. Here’s an example:
“Our trailer tracking devices have motion-sensing capabilities.”
Okay, awesome! Add a “So that”:
“Our trailer tracking devices have motion-sensing capabilities, so that any movement around the trailer is detected immediately.”
“Our trailer tracking devices have motion-sensing capabilities, so that any movement around the trailer is detected immediately, so that cargo theft can be responded to quickly, so that your cargo is better secured, so that you experience lower insurance premiums.”
From the feature (motion-sensing capabilities), we have discovered benefits (increased cargo security, lower insurance premiums).
These benefits can propel the homepage web copy, because they pinpoint the web surfer’s droving questions: “What’s in it for me?” (Increased cargo security, lower insurance premiums) and “Is this what I’m looking for?”
Fuel your web marketing presence with a concise understanding of your targeted user’s motivations. Presenting product or service benefits will compel users to make the next step, because the answer to their question has then been made clear. They do not have to work hard to believe in what you have to offer. The process can be seamless. Start with our web marketing copy advice.
Contact us today to see how our designers can create seamless workflow experiences for your targeted user. We’ll explain the benefits first.
Fortin, Michael. “The Oft-Confused Features and Benefits.” MichaelFortin.com: http://michelfortin.com/the-oft-confused-features-and-benefits/