Sitegeist Blog - Post

Benefits beat features (aka: So what?)

This one is simple. It’s straight from Marketing 101:

Customers are more interested in benefits than features.

Here’s why, and – more importantly – how to make it happen on your website…

The bulk of your online activity needs to be devoted to explaining why potential customers should buy/use/contact/believe you. Yet too many businesses spend all their time explaining their products or services – often in painful detail.

Of course, describing what you do (or what your product does) is important, but it should always be done with your potential customer in mind. What benefit do they want from your business?

Here’s Sitegeist’s simple 5-step plan to improving your website content, and boosting effectiveness at the same time:

  1. Look at a claim or product feature on your site.
  2. Ask the question, “So what?”
  3. Write down the answer. This is the benefit.
  4. Now, delete the original copy, and replace it with the benefit.
  5. Repeat throughout your site.

Benefits vary, and include:

  • saving time
  • saving money
  • making it easier
  • improving status
  • feeling good
  • getting rich
  • knowing more
  • looking better

Here are some examples of product features that become stronger when pitched at a customer need:

We’ve got the best-tasting coffee
So what?
Our coffee might be the best you’ve ever tasted; perfect for turning a 10-minute break into an island of indulgence in your busy day.

We have the cheapest printing service
So what?
Save on printing so you have more of your marketing budget to spend on the great copywriters at Sitegeist!

We have the most experienced climate scientists in the country
So what?
Our climate research is the most highly respected, so you can be sure that you are 100% correct at your next dinner-party global-warming discussion.

Our political party has the best policy on refugees
So what?
Our refugee policy allows us to look the rest of the world in the eye and say, “We’re doing the right thing”.

So if you know what your customers actually need, give it to them.

And if you don’t know what your customers need, maybe it’s time to ask them.


Date: Friday, 15. January 2010 9:56
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Subject area: Being good, User focus
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