This is the most fundamental technique in sales letter writing and yet it is the most commonly made mistake.
Remember, your prospects are selfish and they don't care who you are and what you do. The only thing they care about is themselves.
In other words, they are only interested in "What is in it for ME?"
If your sales letter fails to convey the answer to "What is in it for ME?", your prospects will close the browser!
The most common mistake made by advertisers is they answer the questions of "What is in it for ME?" with a list of product features.
You may ask what's wrong with that?
It's totally wrong because product features is all about the product, not about the prospects!
From the prospect's point of view, the sales letter is all about your product, not about him/her!
What advertisers should highlight is the benefits of their products, not their features.
What are the differences between benefits and features?
What are features?
They are descriptions of what qualities a product possesses. For example,
The XYZ car delivers 55 miles per gallon in the city.
Our ladder's frame is made from a lightweight durable steel alloy.
Our glue is protected by a patent.
This database has a built-in data-mining system.
Then what are benefits?
They are what those features mean to your prospects.
Translating the above 4 features into benefits, you will get these:
You'll save money on gas and cut down on environmental pollutants when you use our energy saving high-performance hybrid car. Plus, you'll feel the extra oomph when you're passing cars, courtesy of the efficient electric motor, which they don't have!
Lightweight durable steel-alloy frame means you'll be able to take it with you with ease, and use it in places most other ladders can't go, while still supporting up to 800 pounds. No more backaches lugging around that heavy ladder. And it'll last for 150 years, so you'll never need to buy another ladder again!
Patent-protected glue ensures you can use it on wood, plastic, metal, ceramic, glass, and tile…without messy cleanup and without ever having to re-glue it again—guaranteed!
You can instantly see the "big picture" hidden in your data, and pull the most arcane statistics on demand. Watch your business do a "180" in no time flat, when you instantly know why it's failing in the first place! It's all done with our built-in data-mining system that's so easy to use, my twelve year-old son used it successfully right out of the box.
I just made up those examples, but I think you understand my point.
Does it mean you can forget about writing the features and just include the benefits into your sales letter?
Features are important in substantiating the benefits of your offer.
In fact, logical people such as engineers at large are sold on features, not so much on benefits. If you tell them it's cheaper, they want to know cheaper by how much.
Some even want to know why it is cheaper, just to make sure it sounds logical to them!
So it's important that you have both features and benefits in your sales letter, with the benefits giving more emphasis.
Remember, after reading a sales letter, most people would have forgotten what they've read, especially the features.
All they can remember are the benefits.
If you don't agree, try recalling what you remember the next time you read a sales letter.
If you fail to highlight the benefits of your offer, you have left NOTHING with the prospects because they can't recall a single thing!