Benefits that Sing and Soar
— in Five Simple Steps: Part 2
So now you know as much as my beloved Cubs about features, it’s time to catch you up on the next steps for writing benefits that sparkle …
Turn Features into Benefits
The simple act of completing Steps #1 and #2 could easily multiply sales and profits at tens of thousands of businesses from coast to coast — merely by shifting the spotlight off of the advertiser and his product or service and on to why their features are important to the customer.
But still, we focused entirely on a company and a product or service. Now, we’re going to bring your prospect into the picture — and answer the question, “What’s in it for me? How does each of these features — these facts about the business and product or service — directly connect with and improve my life?”
Think about how each feature and “Reason Why” benefits your customer, and list every possible way each one of them brings value to your prospect’s life.
We’re going to ask the one question that’s constantly at the forefront of your customer’s mind: “What’s in it for me?”
And we’re going to answer by listing the problems your product or service solves … the desires it fulfills … and the future disasters it will help your customers avoid.
Be sure to think about immediate benefits as well as those the customer will experience later on.
If you’re selling one-hour oil changes, for example, you can save your customer oodles of time right now, today. But you also make it easy for him to properly maintain the family chariot, thereby helping him avoid an inconvenient or even dangerous breakdown and costly repairs later on.
Write each benefit as a “you” statement — as if you’re talking face-to-face with your prospective customer, patient, or client.
Then, go back over your list of benefits … look at each one … and ask yourself, “What additional benefits does this benefit bring to my life?” Keep drilling down until you hit the mother lode — the benefits that mean the most and bring the most value to prospects’ lives.
Dimensionalize Each Benefit
I don’t know who first coined the word “dimensionalize.” I do know that it drives my spell-checker bonkers, so it’s probably not in any dictionary you’ll ever see.
But the word “dimensionalize” does a great job of describing what “A”-level copywriters do — the extra mile we travel to make sure each benefit in our copy is as compelling as possible.
When you “dimensionalize” a benefit, you give it added dimension by painting word pictures of all the ways the prospect will enjoy that benefit. You compare that benefit with those offered by others. You add specifics that demonstrate all the ways the benefit will enrich the prospect’s life.
When you’ve finished, your list may look something like this, for example:
Feature: Constructed of carbon steel.
Why: Never wears out.
Benefit: The last drill bit you’ll ever buy.
Dimensionalized Benefit: You can save up to $75 a year in broken drill bits … hours of unnecessary trips to the hardware store … and hundreds of dollars in lost income!
Or in our hypothetical promotion for a dentist, your list might look like this:
Feature: A TV in every exam room.
Why: More comfortable for the patient and time passes more quickly.
Benefit: Your appointment is over before you know it!
Dimensionalized benefit: Great for fidgety kids: The time zips by. In fact, just last week, littlie Jimmy asked if he could stay longer.
The benefit drawn from a feature offered by an investment newsletter might go like this …
Feature: Daily e-zine included with subscription to monthly newsletter.
Why: Stocks move fast; opportunities could be lost without constant updates.
Benefit: You’ll never get caught wondering what to do when major events break!
Dimensionalize: You’ll lock in your profits when the market sags and go for even greater profit potential by getting into each up-move on the ground floor.
Or, if you’re writing for a book on health, your list might look something like this …
Feature: Specific prescription for each age group on each supplement recommended.
Why: To eliminate reader confusion.
Benefit: You’ll always know precisely what you should be taking … how much you should be taking … and even when to take it.
Dimensionalize: You’ll know what is best for your lifestyle so you’ll never over or under medicate. You’ll know how to achieve the best balance for your system so your body is always at peak performance. You’ll prevent any medical issues that hamper people and keep them from living their best life.
Connect Each Dimensionalized Benefit
with a Dominant Resident Emotion
I’ve already written reams about this — and these articles are already running a bit long, so there’s no need to go into great detail at this time.
The point is simply to identify how your prospect is likely to feel about each of the dimensionalized benefits on your list.
Do NOT stop at listing just one emotion per benefit. Think about how the prospect feels about the lack of this benefit in his or her life now. And about how the prospect will feel as he or she is enjoying that benefit. And about how they’ll feel as others see them doing things better … being healthier … richer … happier.
One last thing: When you’re done, review your inventory and rate each benefit/emotion combination on a scale of one to five.
As you assign each ranking, think about three things:
- The relative importance of the improvement each benefit brings to prospects’ lives: A benefit that can prevent cancer would be scored higher than one that merely produces sweeter breath, for example …
- The relative number of prospects most likely to covet that particular improvement: More people are likely to have arthritis than cancer …
- The relative intensity of the emotion(s) connected to each benefit.
Finally, sort the entire spreadsheet by these rankings in descending order.
When you’re done, you’ll have systematically created a comprehensive inventory of features, benefits, and dominant emotions for your product.
Then, USE your inventory to make sure you press every possible hot button as you begin writing your copy — and please, for mercy’s sake — to get real, dimensionalized, emotionalized BENEFITS into your lead copy!
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