Feature + Benefit = Better Understanding

“But what does that mean to me?”

This morning, one of my colleagues pointed out that I frequently don’t draw a connection between the “features” of our services and the benefits.    This hit me like a ton of bricks!  I’ve been assuming people SEE the benefit of “passing the five second test,” but what if they don’t? I need to tell them the benefit!  “Your website will pass the five second test.  This means better retention, which in turn means people will start digging in to see if you’re the right fit for their needs.

On your website

For quite some time now I have been telling my clients “don’t assume visitors will assume in your favor.”  By this I mean, make it explicit.  For instance, if you’re a moving company and you’re insured, put that on your website!  Don’t assume, “prospective clients know we’re insured.  That’s just standard.”  (Having recently hired a moving company, I know I didn’t assume everyone I found online was insured.)

As your virtual salesperson, your website needs to do the same thing you would expect of a real-life-salesperson.  It should explain the core benefit of each “feature” of your product or service.  If you are a moving company and you offer “professional protective wrapping of your television and other electronics,” you should explain what this means for the family moving; so you don’t have to worry if you did it properly” (and I’m sure with some word-smithing, this could be much better.)

It may seem simple enough, but as you browse the web this week, take a look for instances of features and benefits being tied together.  This is the kind of thing I do for a living and I find most sites do a poor job of showing the benefit.

In my experience, this is because most web designers/developers don’t have the business-savvy to suggest this type of thing to business-owners and most business owners still think of their website as a marketing tool versus a sales tool.  Owners need guidance in website effectiveness from people in the trenches.

Review your benefits

What does tying your benefits to the features of your services or products mean to you?  Potential clients with a more clear understanding of why they should work with you or choose your product (see what I did there?)  I encourage you to review the pages on your website where you describe your services or products and list the features of each.  Do you express the benefits of each feature or is there room for improvement?

In the real world

Have you seen a good example of tying features to benefits?  What do you do to show your benefits?

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