Be a Copywriting Ninja: The Modern Rules of Benefit-Driven Copy

Every internet marketer and copywriter knows how important it is to have the ability of describing the benefits that a “great product” can bring to its owners. The hard part is that sometimes it’s difficult to notice subtle details which separate benefits from features.

Both have their place in the sales process, but the fact to the matter is that people decide whether or not they want to buy the damn thing based on benefits not features.

But that’s nothing new. If you’ve been using this internet thing for a while then you’ve probably came across many interesting pieces of advice on describing benefits. So today I have only one simple tip to share with you.

Make your benefits measurable

Try to state benefits in a way that they can be measured. Try to make them easily verifiable, so as a result they will become more credible.

An example

Let’s say that you’re selling a great piece of software for keeping track of home budget. Here’s what your benefit might sound like (in a non-measurable way):

“You will never be late with your car payments ever again.”

Here’s the second version of the same benefit (in a measurable way this time):

“Forget about paying higher interest for being late with your car payments.”

The difference is subtle but significant at the same time (just bear with me). The former example describes an almost abstract situation. In a sense that, even though, it can take place, it’s hard for us to connect it with any real consequences (at least without a moment of reflection). It’s not explicitly stated why this particular benefit is a real thing. No one likes to be late with anything. Nevertheless, the first example creates no direct link (for our brain) between the fact that we’re late and the loss of something as a result of it.

In the latter example, it’s a little clearer. Additional interest have been linked to the situation of being late with the payments. I’m sure the bank has stated specific amount of money that would have to be paid in such a case. Therefore this makes it easily measurable. You know that this benefit is a real thing as you read it. Even though you know that you probably won’t be late with any of your payments, the vision of losing more money will motivate you to take action anyway.

Why it’s worth to write like that

There’re many important things to be aware of while writing sales copy. One of which is the fact that you should try to make the whole pitch as simple as possible (remember, people hate advertisements). You want to make your message a no-brainer, so even a child can understand it.

Numbers and a possibility to measure something are among the things that tend to appeal to us directly. We know that someone’s really tall if he’s 6’7” because we can easily imagine how much 6’7” actually is. We know that 10 kg is a lot for a bag of apples. We know that 100 miles is not a distance you can travel by foot. The numbers are what make all these information understandable.

If you describe benefits using simple association with numbers, specific values (even implicitly), then your final copy will be easy to understand, and will have a better chance of succeeding.

Sometimes, a big problem with writing benefits is that in the end they tend to sound a little fake… as if they were invented just for the sake of it. Let me give you an example: “have more freedom while …”. Such a sentence is impossible to understand because how can you measure freedom? How do you know that you have 10% more freedom than your neighbor? Where do you stand on the scale of freedom? Sounds a little fake (or silly at the very least).

If you know how to use numbers and other measurable characteristics while describing benefits, you will create copy that is much more understandable and communicative. That’s what it’s all about really. If you want to sell something, you have to be and sound like you’re credible.

More examples

“Don’t lose more time” vs “Get back 2 hours of your life each day”

“Learn Spanish rapidly” vs “Learn Spanish in three weeks”

“Understand the basis acrobatics” vs “Do a backflip on your second attempt”

“The safest car in its class” vs “The safest car in its class. 5/5 stars in the independent EURO NCAP test.”

“Learn the secrets of the best guitarists” vs “Learn the secrets of the best guitarists, you need only 4 chords to play every pop song ever”

“Type as fast as a typist” vs “Type as fast as a typist, 2 times faster than an average human being”

“Don’t lose time reading a HTML textbook, learn all of the most important secrets with this short cheat sheet” vs “Don’t lose time reading a 1216 pages long HTML text book, learn all of the most important secrets with this short cheat sheet that’s only 2 pages”

Have any ideas for some more examples? Shoot me a comment.