Features & benefits (WIIFM?)

Customers don’t care that much about your company or product. Customers care about their problems and how your product will make their life better.

That’s why it’s so important to understand the difference between features and benefits. Far too many businesses spend too much time talking about themselves. Customers care about themselves, not about you. A little harsh, perhaps, but all too true.

Features are what your product is. They describe the product.

Benefits are what your product does for the customer. They describe how your product will improve the customer’s life and why the customer wants your products.

Here’s a great video from John Crestani explaining the difference, with some real world examples:

Customers buy benefits. Benefits are what they get from the features.

A helpful way to think about features vs. benefits is this:

Customers buy products because of the benefits they’ll get from the product features. Benefits are what the customer gets, features are how they get it.

In many cases there will be layers of benefits a customer could get from a given feature. Here’s a great vidoe from Joanna Wiebe on this topic:

What’s in it for me?

This is what your customers are subconciously asking when they look at your website, emails, ads, and other marketing materials: what’s in it for me? (Abbreviated as WIIFM.) They want to know if your product will solve their problems and give them the benefit(s) they want.

WIIFM, What’s In It For Me, are without a doubt, the most important five letters in your business writing, your website, maybe even in your business success. Always tell people what’s in it for them when they do business with you.

Website Magazine

When you’re writing copy, always take a break to look at it from the customer’s perspective and ask: WIIFM? Does your copy clearly communicate the benefit(s) you’re offering to your readers?

Be sure that you really understand the difference between features and benefits before you start writing sales copy.