I didn’t quite understand the difference in features and benefits until recently, and to be honest I’m still struggling with it, which is why I wanted to post about it! If you’re struggling, wondering which descriptions should go in the features section and which should go in the benefits section, you’re not alone. I’m going to pass on the tips I’ve learned recently and I’m hoping you can leave some comments and pass some tips right back to me!
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Features VS Benefits: Which is Which?
This post (The Oft-Confused Features and Benefits) has helped me understand this subject quite a bit, so be sure to check it out if you’re wanting to read more into features vs benefits.
In this post, I’ll be using my free Pinterest course as a real life example so you can follow it step by step.
Teachable is a great platform to use for course creation because the features and benefits are all front and center. When you allow access to your module titles, your customers can envision the benefits immediately.
What are features?
Features are what products have. My free Pinterest course has videos and PDFs. The add-on has a workbook.
What are benefits?
Benefits are why the features are good for the buyer. The videos in my free Pinterest course save you time because you don’t have to search the web for tons of information and sift through what’s good and what’s bad. The add-on workbook teaches you how to offer Pinterest management services to your client, so it also helps you make money. Now “make money” isn’t really the best way to label a benefit. You want to be more specific.
Yes, everyone wants to make money but how will my specific add-on help you make money? Benefits are what you walk away with. By listing benefits, you are showing your potential customer the end result of what your course can help them accomplish. I walk you through step-by-step how I manage my Pinterest clients. It’s a tried and true, step-by-step guidebook that will have you ready to raise your prices and take on new clients within 24 hours. Now that’s a benefit, right? You walk away with the knowledge and confidence to expand your services and build a client base around Pinterest management services.
Sounds simple. So what’s the problem?
Confession: I’m terrible at writing sales pages. I could probably write one for you, and for your product, and do a great job. When it comes to writing my own sales copy? Fugghetaboutit. I don’t know if this is a problem a lot of people have or it’s unique to me, but I’m not a great salesperson for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I can sell anything for someone else – just not for ME. It’s not for lack of confidence, as I know everything I put out is awesome (or I wouldn’t put it out yet), it’s just a mindset thing.
If you struggle with writing your own sales copy as well, you could:
A) Hire a copywriter and pay like $2,000 for a sales page to be written
B) Trade with someone else who is a great writer but just sucks at selling their own stuff
A good copywriter is worth every. single. penny. but it’s not always in the budget to shell out a grand or two when your course hasn’t even launched yet, right?
Time for homework.
Grab a pen and paper if you don’t have one out already (what kind of monster doesn’t have a pen and paper handy?!), and jot down the top 5 features of your course. Then, jot down the top 5 benefits. If you aren’t sure which is which, you can sort that out later! Just write. Leave space in between each because we’re going to add to this list.
After you have your 5 features and 5 benefits, expand on each. You might have written something like “videos, PDFs, workbook” for features, but now I want you to drag that out a bit. What kind of videos? Do the videos come with transcripts? Are the transcripts printable? Do the videos include action-packed tips for getting started with XYZ? How long are the PDFs? Are they beautifully designed? Is your workbook printable or is it a fillable PDF? Write it all out as if nobody’s ever heard of you, your course topic, or anything else for that matter. You want to draaaagggg it out. I’m not saying to drag it out and make it boring, by any means! I’m just saying drag it out a bit so you aren’t saying you’re just offering “videos”. Because that shit’s boring, yo.
Let’s get specific.
Features tell your potential customer what your course is about, and what it does. Benefits sell the course. Obviously you didn’t create a course for it to sit dormant, right? You want it to SELL! So, you’ve gotta get specific.
Who is your target customer? If you’re reading this post, I’m betting you’ve already read allll about your target market, identifying your ideal client, blah blah blah. If you haven’t, you definitely need to (yay, Pinterest!). Some business experts will even suggest grabbing a photo of your ideal client and posting it up on your desk somewhere to you keep him or her in mind when you make decisions about your course.
Keeping in mind who your course is for will help you create the perfect sales page. For example, I follow Melyssa Griffin and her website says “I help heart-centered hustlers grow their audience and income online.” For that reason, she has courses around list building and social media. Both of those courses fit her target market, and identify and fill a need.
If you aren’t sure who your target customer/client is, think about problems you had when you first started your business. Work backwards to identify a need, and then move forward to fill the need by creating your course.
Sample Features + Benefits
To figure out the benefit, ask yourself “so what?”:
Our doors have strong hinges. So what? They won’t bend when the door is slammed shut a thousand times.
We monitor your servers. So what? Your servers won’t go down, so you and your staff can continue working.
I write high-converting web copy. So what? You can convert more web visitors into leads and business.
The examples above are from this post (Features vs Benefits), and asking that one question really helped me wrap my mind around how to solve the puzzle and plug in features and benefits.
Benefits don’t always have to be tangible, per say. Sometimes benefits solve a problem on a purely emotional level. If you’ve got a menu planning service, it will save your customer time, which can also save their sanity!
The gas mileage on a car is the feature. The amount of money you’ll save in gas is the benefit.
Amazon Prime 2-Day delivery is a feature. Not having to wait a week for your item is a benefit.
You only have a few seconds to get your potential customer’s attention. Making sure the copy you write is directed to your ideal client or customer is the key to higher conversions. Pull on their heart strings, tell a story (a true story!), and make sure they know IMMEDIATELY what’s in it for them. Don’t talk over them or use technical jargon that could confuse a newbie. Use headings and bullet points to convey the features and benefits without boring them.
It’s going to take me a little time to get used to separating features and benefits, and using each properly in my sales pages. Practicing on my free Pinterest course will help me learn what works best and which types of statements help convert. While the course is free, it’s a great tool to grow my email list, and at least half of the folks who go through the free course end up purchasing the paid add-on. Of course it’s only $10 but everyone can afford $10. That $10 adds up quickly, and it helps each customer make a heck of a lot more than that.