Reach readers by leading with the benefits, substantiating with the features
I once reviewed an article for a company’s sales force with the headline:
Extraordinary customer experience: Be a customer advocate. Be Extraordinary
What followed was a reminder about the company’s guiding principles, an announcement of a new program, a bulleted list of tasks for participating in the program and a reference to a handout with all the rules.
Then, 228 words in, this oh-and-by-the-way aside:
Here’s the best part: Winners are treated to an amazing, all-expenses paid trip for two for four days in Las Vegas.
Here’s a simple tip for getting people to participate in your programs, buy your products and services and read more of your promotion. Stop writing about your programs, products and services and promotions. Start writing about what people can do with them.
If they might win a trip to Vegas, that’s your headline. That’s your lead.
It’s the easiest way to draw readers in and move them to act: Lead with the benefits. Substantiate with the features.
How to find the benefits
To lead with the benefits, first you have to find them. And that can be a tough, given that our assignments come to us in the form of features.
So start there.
Think Like a Reader
Want to learn more techniques for writing copy that grabs reader attention and moves readers to act?
There, you’ll learn to tap two rewards of reading you can use to boost audience interest in your message. And you’ll leave with a four-step process for moving readers to act by giving them what they really want.
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