Sales Copy… eventually every small business owner must consider what needs to be included in order to produce a successful advertisement or piece of marketing material.
You begin with a fancy graphic, your company logo, a slogan, and perhaps a special offer. However, more needs to be included in your sales copy to actually get your customers to buy. You need to include some your product's features. But, more importantly, you have to list the benefits of your product or service.
Let's begin with your product or service's features. These can include the price, colour, options, or availability. Your customer will need to know some of these features to determine if what you have to offer is what they want to buy.
But, it's the benefits of your product or service that may be the deciding factor in whether they buy from you as opposed to from your competition.
Benefits are advantages your customer gets from the purchase of your product or service. What does it offer the buyer that will be advantageous to them; that will fill a need; that will make their life easier; or that will solve a problem?
Acquiring new customers from your advertisement or marketing material will be more likely to happen if you show them the benefits they will receive from the purchase of your product or service. Show them "what's in it for them".
Let's look at Webster's Dictionary's definition of a feature and a benefit (in the context of a business' product or service):
Feature: noun: a prominent part or characteristic; the structure, form, or appearance.
Benefit: adjective: receiving or entitling one to receive an advantage; help; useful aid.
Incorporating your product's benefits with its features will help to get your customer excited about your product and how it will fill a need or solve a problem. Keep your customer and their wants and desires in mind when producing sales copy and you will have tremendous success.
For an example of how to turn your product or service's features into benefits, let's look at one of our particular services.
Product/Service: Virtual Word Processing
Feature: Over 15 years of experience in both the corporate and small business sectors.
Benefit: Your customers will have peace of mind that the work will be done accurately and to their specifications, with little or no need for them to use their valuable time to train. (Save Time)
Feature: Competitive pricing
Benefit: Your customer will save money by using the services rather than spending money on a temp who may sit idle for periods of time. (Save Money)
Feature: Globally available
Benefit: Your customer does not have to worry about where they are located, geographically. They can receive the help they need from anywhere in the world, whenever they need it. (Save Sanity and reduce stress levels)
For every feature of your product or service, you need to show that there is an advantage to your clients… something that will make their life easier.
To briefly sum things up, there are two basic rules when putting together sales copy:
1. Establish a need. (Do some research and find out what your clients have to have.)
2. Show how your product or service satisfies that need.
Don't ever forget that your potential customer wants to know what's in it for them. So, outline your product or service's features in your sales copy or marketing material but, more importantly, reel them in by associating the benefits.
About the author
Janice Byer is a certified Master Virtual Assistant and owner of Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services (http://www.docutype.net). See this and other articles on her website.
By: Janice D. Byer, MVA