Writing For The Web: Do You Sell With Benefits?


February 25, 2006

People don’t care about me — but I don’t take it personally. Everyone is too busy caring about themselves to care about me.

That’s why I try hard on my company’s website to speak in the second person (“you” not “me”), and to write about benefits. All my website visitors have only one question: “What’s in it for me?”

Look at this company feature: “We create key performance indicators for your web analytics.”

Now for the corresponding benefit: “Once you have key performance indicators, you won’t have to wade through hundreds of reports – you’ll see your site’s performance at a glance.

OK, let’s try another example, feature first: “This barbecue light is battery operated.”

And now for the corresponding benefit: “This barbecue battery-operated light enables you to see when outlets aren’t available — like in your back yard.”

The first one is more about the seller: This is what we’ll do for you, or this is what our product does. The second one is about the buyer, “We’ll work our magic and here’s what’s in it for you.

Selling with benefits isn’t limited to the web. We should sell with benefits in
brochures, in sales calls, in advertisements. But I’ll leave that to the brochure blogs and the sales blogs and the advertisement blogs…