Remember the WIFM (what’s in it for me) in your copywriting

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WIFM.  What’s in it for me?  There is no more important concept in sales….you have to be able to tell a potential buyer what they will gain by purchasing your product.  Yet this simple rule is forgotten time and time again.  We get so caught up in talking up features, not to mention talking up ourselves we forget that a potential customer cares about one thing and one thing only.  What’s in it for them!  After spending over ten years in sales I have become pretty good at getting the WIFM across both verbally and in writing so keep reading and I will show you how you can too.

Let’s start with the basics.  Features are what the product or service does.  For example, one feature of a smartphone is it allows you to check your Twitter or Facebook account wherever you are at any time of day.  A feature of a copywriting service is they can write the content of your website or brochure.  Talking about features alone will only sell to a person who has already decided to buy.  If someone has decided they have held out long enough and want to upgrade to a smartphone then letting them know the various features of the product will only confirm the decision to buy that they have already made by themselves.  This is not selling, it is order taking.

Now let’s look at benefits.  A smartphone allows you to check your Twitter and Facebook pages wherever you are at anytime of the day.  This means you can keep up to date with the latest news and tweets related to your business and friends even if you are stuck in traffic.  Benefit.  You can keep in touch with people when you are on holiday so you do not miss anything important. Benefit.  A copywriter can write the content of your website or brochure.  This means you will have professional, well researched content that will communicate to your customers why they should buy your product thereby increasing your sales.  Benefit.  You can save time and money by having someone else research and write your website and blogs leaving you free to move on with other projects.  Benefit.

Can you see the difference?  If you can communicate both features and benefits or WIFM clearly in your copywriting your content can sell a smartphone to a person who is perfectly happy with their old mobile phone, thinks it does the job and sees no point in upgrading.  Or you can convince a small business to invest in a professional copywriter to write the content for their website even if they think their existing website is just fine.

A great rule is to write the first draft of copy and then comb through every line making sure that every sentence that contains a feature also contains a benefit linked to that particular feature.  No exceptions.  Every time you talk about a product’s features ask yourself “so what”. And then write down the answer. That way you can be confident that your content communicates clearly and concisely why a prospect should part with their pennies and invest in your client’s product or service.

Always remember the WIFM.

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