Benefits first!

Originally sent via email as a Letter. Subscribe here or over to your right in the side bar.

Benefits first!

Benefits first!

The rallying cry of every copywriter in the world!

And as a tactic it makes a ton of sense:

  1. Determine how your product solves an emotional problem for your customer.

  2. Use that to hook ‘em.

  3. Reel ‘em in with your features.

Easy as 1, 2, 3.

Easy as Do, Re, Mi.

(you're welcome for the Jackson 5 earworm)


And a lot of websites use benefits perfectly to sell their products.

I mean, take a look at Quickbooks’ home page.

  • “Make organization easy.”

  • “Get time on your side.”

  • “Keep more of what you earn.”

Um, yes, please.

But... (you knew there had to be a ‘but’)

Benefits have to be more than just a really savvy marketing tactic.

When I’m taking someone through my Branding Power Hour I always pause when we get to the Benefits portion of the workshop.

At this point, we’ve gone deep into the emotional needs of their customers - working through both external (“I want to make more money”) and internal pains (“I need to support my family”).

Before we even start writing their benefits, I try to really drive an idea home:

Benefits aren’t just your emotional solutions to your customers’ problems, they are your promises.

If Quickbooks is telling me they can help me keep more of what I earn, that’s a promise.

In fact, you should start thinking about your benefits as your brand guidelines.

Let’s say Quickbooks is about to make a decision to add a feature.

Before they even start developing that feature further they need to put it through the test:

  • Will this feature help our customers organize easier?

  • Will it give them back more of their time?

  • Will it put more of their hard-earned money in their pockets?

If they have to say no to even one of the questions, the feature should be reexamined.

Not only do benefits make marketing easier, but they make decisions easier.

Imagine how much more agile your team could be if they had guidelines.

Imagine how much easier writing content would be if you have something guiding your message.

Here’s your task for today:

Take your 3 main benefits and flip them into questions.

Print them out, hang them by your desk, and share them with your team.

They will help your brand stay consistent and trustworthy to your customers...which means better retention and higher lifetime value.

If you don’t have clear benefits for your company yet, no worries.

Book my Branding Power Hour.

For just $347 and 60 minutes of your time you’ll get benefits, features, a rough draft of your new elevator pitch, and a messaging framework that you can use across all of your content.

I promise you'll leave with greater clarity about your brand.