Features and Benefits: How Do You Find the Benefits Of A Product? (Part 1)

Back when I was just getting started with copywriting, I used to kinda dread Skyping with my copywriting mentor.

If he was a college professor, he’d be the kind who always managed to call on you that ONE time when you had no clue what the right answer was.

One time he was giving me a lesson on “features and benefits.”

And he grabbed a stapler off his desk and held it up.

“What are the benefits of this stapler?” he demanded.

I went completely blank.

I hemmed and hawed, and eventually I offered up a couple of feeble suggestions.

It sounds like subscriber and budding email copywriter Saumil is feeling that same pressure right now.

He writes:

How do you find benefits of a product? This is a major point and I always struggle here. Any help on this?

The reason I hit a brick wall when my mentor put me on the spot was:

I was trying to just “think up” benefits in a vacuum.

This is pretty much impossible.

This is a major theme that I bring up over and over.

Pretty much every time I find myself stuck on something like this, the problem is that I’m trying to “think creatively” without having enough information to get the creative juices flowing.

In this case, the information I was lacking was a detailed list of the FEATURES of the stapler.

The benefits of a given product come from that product’s features.

If you don’t know what a product HAS or IS (the features)…

It’s hard to get specific about what it DOES (the benefits).

Here’s the best way I know to generate a whole slew of ideas for benefits.

Sit down and study whatever you’re trying to sell from every angle.

Then start listing out every single physical attribute you can come up with.

For the stapler, that might be things like:

– 6″ in length
– black plastic body
– rubber bottom

Work hard on this.

Go beyond the obvious—get really detailed.

Try to come up with 100 different “features” for your list.

These details are the raw materials that you’ll use to prime your “benefits pump.”

More on this tomorrow.

This article is Part 1 on finding the benefits of a product. Read the rest here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5