Landing Page Copywriting: Why benefits earn more conversions than features

Remember the last time you bought something at a gift shop? Maybe you were at a museum and bought a commemorative spoon or something? You probably didn’t realize it, but that experience taught you about landing page copywriting.

Landing Page Copywriting at the Museum
Landing Page Copywriting at the Museum

Whatever you bought, it was insanely overpriced. But you were feeling good. You were on vacation with the kids. You had extra money. Why not?

About a week later you probably saw the spoon and wondered, “What was I thinking?” The truth is that you weren’t thinking. You were “feeling.”

“Feeling” is stronger than thinking

Everyone wants to be logical. We want to weigh facts, consider options and make good decisions. But many times we don’t.

We are emotional. We act from our feelings more often than we realize (just ask Dan Ariely). Whether we’re scared, happy, excited, or angry, has far more impact on whether we buy than the offer.

That is why your landing page copy needs to appeal to my emotions and desires. Rather than telling me what I can have, tell me why I want it. Tell me how your product will improve my life. (See our eye tracking landing page optimization test about how emotion is stronger than eye path.)

In short, focus on benefits, not features in your copy.

We’ve seen benefit-based copy outperform feature-based copy in test after test. What’s the difference? Here are a few examples:

I don’t want products, I want to feel “special”

Here are two homepage ads from Blue Nile, a jewelry e-retailer. The first ad tells me why I want this jewelry.

Landing Page Copy - Benefits

I want to click the ad because I want to be chic, feminine, and fabulous without going broke (OK, I don’t want to be feminine or fabulous, but you get the point). These are the benefits I will receive.

Another homepage ad, however, just tells me what I’ll receive.

Landing Page Copy - Features

Clicking the ad will show me detailed, artisan-crafted jewelry – buy why on Earth would I want that? I don’t know. No one knows. You haven’t told us!

The first ad appeals to desires, motivations, and emotions. The second ad presents a product. Which do you think is more likely to inspire action?

B2Bs want benefits too

B2B marketers might read this and think, “That’s great for Target and Coca-Cola, but my customers are rational business people. They’re more logical than consumers.”

And that would be wrong.

B2B landing pages need to focus on benefits. You have to understand your customers and why they need your product. Here’s a great example from IBM. It’s a landing page for a search on “website analytics”:

Landing Page Copy - Benefits

This is the first screen of the page. Notice it doesn’t list the reports I can receive or how many visitors I can track. Instead, these phrases reaffirm why I’m here:

  • “win”
  • “outperform”
  • “don’t get left behind”

Winning and outperforming the competition make me feel good. Being left behind worries me.  These are emotions invoked by the copy – and emotions will get me clicking.

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5 thoughts on “Landing Page Copywriting: Why benefits earn more conversions than features

  1. Hi. I’m in the process of changing my landing page and introducing some pages to my blog. I’m going to try this. Thank you for the great suggestions.

  2. I often tell people that understanding benefits vs. features means you understand about 90% of marketing and copywriting. Unfortunately it’s something that you can only understand in retrospect. It’s a deep concept that takes a lot of experience if you want to work out all of its consequences.

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