When writing copy, which features should you focus on?

Like any copywriting trainer worth his salt, I teach the importance of stressing benefits in marketing copy. After all, it’s the benefits of a product or service that the customer is truly buying. However, during a recent workshop a participant asked, “Do we need to connect a benefit to each and every feature? Our services have dozens of features. If we explain the benefit to each one, the copy is going to be a mile long!” Good point. Of course, you don’t have to “benefitize” every arcane feature of your product or service. That would be like dramatizing the benefit of a gas pedal. “As you press your foot down on this lever, the car will begin to move forward, magically transporting you to…” The trick is to focus only on those features that are important to the prospect – those which are most likely to motivate him or her to take action. How do you figure that out? The simplest way is to organize features into three categories. 1. Common features. These are features that your product or service has in common with the competition. For example, if you (or your client) offers an in-house sales training service, then the fact that the training is done live at the client’s location is a common feature. Most, if not all, of your competitors can claim the same thing. Touting the benefits of that would be a waste of copy space. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to list “me too” features. Often, you do. You just don’t have to emphasize them nor connect them to benefits. 2. Superior features....