You've heard it many times: If you want your marketing materials to do their job, you have to stress benefits, not features. Ultimately, your target readers don't care about what your product does. They care about what your product does for them.

Yes, for good reason, "benefits, benefits, benefits" has become a rallying cry. And, diligent marketer that you are, you make sure your copy communicates them.

But guess what: This still doesn't mean your readers will take the action you want them to.

With all the focus on "benefits," it's easy to forget that benefits don't work in a vacuum. Whenever you write copy, there's more you must always keep in mind:

1. Effective copy establishes context

Does your copy immediately dive into the benefits of your specific product or offer? In many cases, that could be the proverbial kiss of death.

Why? Because maybe your reader isn't aware she has a need for your product. Or even that there is a need.

The likely result? She glances at your copy... and moves on to something else.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike O'Sullivan is an independent marketing writer. His Web site is www.mikeos.com.