I remember hearing a story about the great Gary Halbert.
If you haven’t heard of Gary, you’re missing out. He’s seen as one of the best copywriters ever. And even though he passed away a few years ago, his work still very much lives on in.
Anyway, I remember someone telling a story about Gary.
I think it might have been Doberman Dan, who Gary mentored. But don’t quote me on that.
See, the story was this:
Gary went to a copywriting event once. And the cool thing was, you could choose if you wanted to go to the “beginners” event, or the “advanced” event.
Now remember this:
Gary was already one of the greatest copywriters in the world. No question. And you’d presume he wouldn’t have thought twice about putting his name down on the advanced list.
But you know what?
Instead, he went to the beginners event.
Now, everyone else was baffled. Why the heck would THE Gary Halbert go to a beginners copywriting event? It just didn’t make sense.
Or so they thought.
Yet here’s the thing. Gary said that a lot of copywriters forget the basics. They forget the fundamentals that get results.
Sure, the advanced stuff is cool. But it’s the icing on the cake. No more, no less.
You’re far better off to master the copywriting basics, as opposed to learning all the fancy shit.
And here’s the thing:
So many copywriters don’t do that. They’re looking for that bright, shiny object. They’re looking for that magic pill.
And let me tell ya…
It doesn’t exist.
The Biggest Copywriting Mistake You Could Be Making
What I’m about to tell you isn’t anything new.
It’s nothing “revolutionary”.
It’s nothing “ninja” and all that bollocks.
Instead, it’s a proven copywriting principle that, if you use in your own sales copy, will see you make more sales.
What is it?
Well, it’s the fact you need to…
Stop Focusing on the Features of Your Product
No one cares about your product. They care about the result it gives them.
They care about how it can help them overcome a problem in life, or how it can help them fulfill a pressing need or desire they have.
Let’s say you’re selling a weight loss supplement. Your target market is middle-aged Mum’s who want to lose weight.
In this case, you are not selling a pill or an ingredient.
Instead, you’re selling…
- The fact they’ll be able to feel sexy in their favorite dress again…
- The fact they’ll have more energy to do fun things with their kids…
- The fact they’ll have more energy so they don’t feel like zombies when they get in from work…
- The fact their husband won’t be able to take his hands off her and that he won’t have eyes for anyone else…
- And, yes, the fact she’ll have more (and better) sex, because she’ll feel super-confident in her body.
Think about it:
If you write copy that focuses on these benefits, and you go up against a copywriter who focuses on the features, who’s gonna come out on top?
You, of course.
It’s not even close.
Should You Ever Mention The Features?
If I’ve given you the impression that you should never mention features, you’d be mistaken.
See, your prospects have two “states” – emotional and logical – and you have to appeal to both of them. If you don’t, then they won’t buy.
They’re both important
So how come I’ve been banging on about selling the benefits over features? Am I not contradicting myself?
Nope. Here’s why:
See, you must sell to the emotional side of somebody’s brain first.
That’s a given.
Your words have to show people, in all its vivid color, how great life will be when they buy your product.
You do this through telling stories. And you do this through focusing on the benefits they get.
But what happens after you’ve “sold” someone emotionally? Well, you then have to back it up with logic. If people don’t believe what you’re telling them, then they won’t buy.
And you do this by telling them about the features. But not in a boring way. Hell no.
You have to use those features to justify why they will benefit from your product.
In the weight loss supplement example, your pill could have a certain ingredient in that speeds someone’s metabolism up, meaning they lose more weight without having to do more exercise.
And so you see, that’s how to use features in your copy.
They’re there to satisfy the logical side of your prospect’s brain.
Selling to people’s emotions – selling the benefits they will get from using your product – is the first hurdle you have to overcome.
The product’s features then back-up your claims.
PS- Remember, it’s easy to get caught up in all the “brand-spanking-new” copywriting techniques.
Thing is, a lot of them are BS.
They don’t work. Someone’s just come up with the idea because it sounded cool. And “cool” doesn’t often sell.
Instead, focus on the basics. Master them. Make them your bitch.
And if you do?
Then your copy should convert like crazy.