Buying and selling real estate depends on three things:
Writing copy also depends on three things:
What’s a benefit? I’ll tell you what a benefit is not. If it has anything to do with the product, it is NOT a benefit. WHAT?
Here is where it gets really tricky. When I say ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE PRODUCT, I mean ANYTHING. Keep reading, you’ll be able to sell better than ever by the end of this article. For example: Let’s say you are writing about a ladder. Here are examples of what you could say about the ladder:
- The ladder extends to 12 feet, making clearing the rain gutters easier than ever
- Clearing your rain gutters will be so much easier than ever with this new ladder
- Every time my wife would ask me to change a light bulb or clean the gutters, I would always make some excuse not to because it is such a chore. Until I got this ladder
Each of the above make it clear that your life will be easier than before because of the ladder. At first glance, these might even seem like you are talking about a benefit. After all, isn’t having an easier life a benefit we are all after?
I’ll go back to my definition of what a benefit is *not*: If it has anything to do with the product, it is NOT a benefit. All of the above examples have something to do with the product. So, how can you write about the benefits of the product without writing about the product itself?
Going back to the ladder example:
- Become a virtual Superman!
- You can be the star of your own do-it-yourself television show
- Be the neighborhood handyman you’ve always wanted to be
Sound like tall tales? Well, you aren’t selling someone a 12′ ladder. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of choices of 12′ ladders. You are selling him the excitement, the thrill of becoming a virtual Superman who can save cats stuck in a tree. You are selling him on being the guy that everyone goes to in order to find out how to clear rain gutters. You are selling him on being such a great handyman around the house that his wife is going to brag (NOT nag) about him to all the neighbors.
NOTE: I want to clarify that I am not saying to NEVER write anything about the product. You MUST write about product features. However, features are what people look for AFTER they are sold on the item, not before.
After you’ve hooked him with the virtual Superman line, you can give him all the features of the item. Now, when you describe the features of the product, it should be in line with the virtual Superman theme.
- Leap into action when your cat is stuck in a tree with a sturdy 12′ reach
- You can help save your cat when she gets stuck in a tree. The extra 12′ reach you will have with this ladder will turn into a virtual Superman
Even though the second example utilizes the virtual Superman idea, it doesn’t hold true to the idea of Superman. Remember, superman is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. He’s faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. When you tie your copy to that powerful of an image, you need to make sure that the rest of your copy is not a bunch of Kryptonite.
NOTE: In this example, I used a male subject. Same thing applies to women. Obviously, becoming a virtual Superman might not appeal to a woman, but becoming a virtual Oprah or having a virtual Superman husband might.
Now, let’s hope this helps the guy I’m coaching on writing copy for his email marketing campaigns