Features and Benefits: Lead with Benefits

What’s the difference between features and benefits, and why does that matter for your website copy?

Well, your business is awesome! You have an exciting product or service, and you want the world to know about it. When you focus your sales copy on the benefits of your goods, it’ll help keep your leads interested, and put them in the mindset to buy.

As the old adage says, “features tell, benefits sell.” Let’s sell.


Features are cool things about your product or service.

Let’s say you sell cat shampoo. Features of your cat shampoo might be a seven different cat-friendly scents, organic ingredients, rinses clean, free shipping, or frustration-free packaging.

These are details about your product that your customer does want to know. They belong in your website somewhere.

But do they sell?

Sure, if your client is looking for something very specific and they already like you and your business. But most of the time, your goal is to hook the prospect to try to keep them interested and on your site. As we discussed before—people do not read. They’re not going to hang around more than a few seconds to figure out if they want what you’re selling.


Now, let’st think about how those features benefit your customer.

Got cat scratch fever? Stop the struggle at bath time, thanks to our clean-rinsing formula.

The clean-rinsing formula is still there, but now you’re reminding people how that benefits them. It saves them from holding down an angry cat longer than they have to.

For example…

To make this a little more clear, I talked to a couple of women who own beauty businesses here in Portland, Oregon. They were kind enough to help me illustrate this a more specifically, using their beautiful examples.

Best Year Ever—Caity Hubert

Caity Hubert is running a program to help self-employed hair stylists make more money. (Love it!) It’s called Best Year Ever.

Features of the program:
  • Lifetime access to a membership site including video lessons and PDF workbooks
  • Access to a FB group exclusive to paid members of the group
  • Monthly livestream trainings that build upon the course content
  • Weekly “office hours” that provide coaching and mentorship
  • Budgeting, pricing, and expense trackers and calculators

That all sounds good. My soul is not stirred yet, but this is good to know.

Five benefits of the program:
  • Clarity in marketing and branding strategies
  • Increase confidence from the support and encouragement from other group participants
  • Knowledge to help build clientele quickly
  • Increase in retail sales, service sales, and tips
  • Higher and more consistent take-home pay

That’s the soul-stirring stuff! Would I like to make more money, and consistent money, as a self-employed person? Yes, please.

Caity didn’t point this one out, but one feature immediately leapt out to me when I checked out the website.

“You can wear your PJs, drink wine in ‘class,’ or learn on the go.”

Feature: Online class.

Benefit: Drink wine while taking said class.

See what I mean?


Sandra Kafka Beauty

Sandra Kafka is a makeup artist and hair stylist at Sandra Kafka Beauty.

Feature: Professional makeup application for headshots
Benefit: Look more polished

Feature: Professional wedding makeup application
Benefit: No stress day of wedding, looking & feeling your best for photos that last a lifetime

Feature: Licensed professional makeup artist
Benefit: Up-to-date licensing on sanitation & insurance means no chance of infections

Feature: Only professional grade makeup
Benefit: Makeup that lasts all day and through the night

Feature: Personal makeup shopping
Benefit: An expert to help pick the best products for you without the pressure to buy

I love that last one. I think I need her to hold my hand and take me to Ulta.

Baby bulldog with text overlay

That’s why we lead with benefits. Your clients do want to know the details of your offer, but you have to hook them first.

Thanks to the fantastic Caity and Sandra for taking the time!

Need help parsing features vs. benefits? Let’s work through that in a consultation.
Kelley Gardiner head shot

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