6 Types Of Benefits For Your Copywriting

Aaron Hoos

One of the fundamentals of copywriting and sales is: “features tell; benefits sell.” (I’m pretty sure they cover this on the first day of all sales trainings everywhere!)

And, while that statement is true, it simplifies the complexity of using benefits in your marketing. Newbies are forced to ask: “What exactly is a benefit? How is it different from a feature? How do I describe and explain a benefit? How do I present it to my prospect?”

Great questions. (For further reading to answer some of these questions, check out these 2 posts: 9 StepsTo Identify The Benefits Of Your Product Or Service, and, How To Construct Persuasive Sales Benefits.)

In this post I want to dig into benefits a little more and identify 6 types of benefits that you can write about.

(There are other types of benefits. But these are the 6 types of benefits that I tend to write about when I’m copywriting.) I’ll use the scenario of someone selling an entrepreneurial opportunity so I can give an example for each one.

#1. The Obvious Benefits

The obvious benefits are usually the first ones that come to mind. They’re often the stated benefits that your prospects claim to be looking for. They’re the benefits that you uncover when researching the SEO keywords to target on your website. (These benefits are often a little too general if not presented correctly.)

Example: “Take control of your financial future by escaping the rat race and starting your own business.”

#2. The Biggest Pain, Solved

When you list the obvious benefits above, you’ll probably find that there is one BIG pain point that is solved; perhaps it is the amalgamation of all the benefits you listed, or maybe it’s just the biggest one.

Example: “When you start your own business, you break free of a limited income that keeps you from enjoying the lifestyle you want to have, and it gives you the vehicle to earn as much as you want without any limits on your income.”

#3. Small But Immediate Benefits

One way to avoid over-generalizing the benefits is to go really small but immediate. Instead of dealing with the full range of benefits, you show how your product or service provides a benefit within the first few moments of the decision. It won’t be EVERYTHING but it will be something (and it will feel great).

Example: “Imagine the look on your boss’ face when you march into his office and tell him that you quit.”

#4. Compare To Others

Compare the reader to other people who have not purchased the product or service. Show what their life is like now or later, and how it is different from your prospect’s life because of the purchase.

Example: “Imagine a few years from now bumping into someone who still works at the job you’re leaving… you go out for coffee and see that the same old problems exist at your company—the pay is too low, the demands are too high, the bosses are infuriating. But you have none of that anymore… and then your former co-worker leans over and asks you to show them how they can enjoy the same freedom you have.”

#5. Hidden Benefits

The hidden benefits are the ones that your prospects aren’t even thinking of right now. You should still mention them because they can help tip your prospect over the edge and make a purchasing decision from you. The hidden benefits are often extensions of the obvious ones, taken into the future or to the extreme or to a granular level.

Example: “You’ll not only make more money and be in control of your future, consider how much money you’ll save: never buy another suit and tie again; stop packing lunches; stop paying for gas while you idle in commuter traffic.”

#6. Ultra-Emotional/Tactile

A tactile benefit is a benefit that has a deep emotional connection to your prospect. It’s not just about solving a problem or getting to the next level, these benefits go super-deep into the emotional stories of your prospects to create a visceral reaction. These can be simple or written as mini-stories.

Example: “Imagine this: you sit in the audience at your daughter’s school. She walks on stage and starts to recite the lines of her play. She looks out into the audience and sees YOU there. She smiles her biggest smile at you and starts delivering her lines with confidence. These plays, dance recitals, and soccer practices are missed now at your current job but when you have the freedom that an entrepreneur has, you can see your daughter’s smile from stage.”

Summary

Features tell; benefits sell. When you’re writing copy or selling to prospects, it’s the benefits that will convince them to buy.

Not all benefits are the same. The more you understand benefits and their different types, the more tools you have in your selling toolbox. These are a few. There are many others. Become a master of benefits to sell more.

Published by Aaron Hoos

Aaron Hoos is a writer, strategist, and investor who builds and optimizes profitable sales funnels. He is the author of The Sales Funnel Bible and other books.