One of the greatest rules for writing ad copy that works is to recognize that people buy benefits, not features. They don’t buy a slice of cooked beef. They buy a sizzling steak that smells and looks delicious.
The heart of any successful direct mail campaign is the sales piece. That’s where it all starts.
The whole point of mailing your literature to a large group of potential buyers is to put into their hands something that represents YOU. It’s as if you are personally telling them about your product and convincing readers of its value to them.
So, how do you create a sales piece that really sells? Step one is to avoid a mistake that many new copywriters make, which is to focus on the features of the product or service. How shiny it is, how cool it looks, or what that red button does.
Your Customers Don’t Care
It all sounds great to you – you love all those features. You put a lot of effort into building them in.
But the fact is, people don’t buy features. They buy benefits — whiter teeth, a slimmer waist, more money … you get the idea. And this goes for all people – whether you’re mailing to consumers (B2C), or other businesses (B2B).
Let’s say you’ve developed a new piece of exercise equipment. You spent a fortune on research and development in order to get the gear system just right. And you’ve put some high-tech switches in the control panel. You could go on for pages about all these exciting (to you) technical details.
But put those in the sales piece and you’ll turn it into a snooze fest.
Instead . . . talk about how prospects will enjoy their workout so much, they’ll look forward to it each day, and they’ll lose twice as much weight in half the time, and all their friends will ask them what their secret is – and you’ll get their attention.
Walk in Their Shoes
Here’s an example: I have a software client that I’ve been working with since 2007. The company sells event management software.
When I started working with them, they mailed about 20,000 sales pieces a year. Their message focused on the features of their software.
Their product features were VERY cool … to the people who designed them. But not compelling enough to make people buy them. (Sound familiar?)
So I had them change their offer to emphasize benefits. They focused on how their software would save money, plan events in less time, eliminate the stress, and produce more sales for clients.
That simple change made so much money for the company that they went from mailing 20,000 pieces a year to mailing over 850,000 pieces — all at a profit. That’s a 4,150% increase!
And that’s the power of focusing on benefits in your sales copy.
Let’s be honest. Most people are selfish. They don’t care about how much work you put into designing the product, or how clever you are. They care only about how your product or service will benefit them. So you have to paint a very clear picture of how much better their lives will be as a result of buying what you’re selling.