Why copy that focuses on feel over features works.
There’s a problem in many “About us” pages and product descriptions I’ve seen—there’s such a tendency for the copy to focus on features and attributes that I might as well be reading a manual.
Here’s the deal, when describing your business or your products and services to your audience you are likely to sound more compelling when you appeal to your audience's emotions rather than when you describe a boring list of features. This is why effective copy needs to focus on feel over features.
Features are important though.
Let’s qualify things before we make any more copywriting mistakes. Yes, features are important. In some types of businesses, a detailed description of features and attributes is even legally required. Maybe you sell products and services that are technical in nature or you have a B2B model, and your customers look for specific features. Perhaps you’re even in a regulated industry that requires you to provide in-depth details of what you are offering. And yes, there are customers who thoroughly look into the details and look for specific attributes of a product or service before they make their purchase decision. Advertising regulation in some countries will also demand that your copy be specific and accurate.
That said, features alone do not make for a persuasive pitch because we buy based on how we feel. Consider these questions.
Can you list all the features of your laptop or smartphone?
Can you list the features of those new sneakers you just bought?
How about that Starbucks coffee you buy every morning?
To dive into this further, let's consider how we decided on which laptop and smartphone to buy. Most people buy a laptop and a smartphone to stay connected and productive but the purchase decision rarely depends on an exhaustive comparison of features among different brands. I can barely tell you a single technical detail about my Macbook air but it's made me feel like a hipster, green tea matcha latte drinking creative since the exciting purchase in 2013. That’s because we are more likely to be loyal to certain brands. Ever wonder why?
Many studies across neuroscience, advertising, psychology, and sociology have shown that our emotions influence what we buy. Our emotions are the primary reason why we are drawn to and are loyal to certain brands, even when the products these brands sell aren’t necessarily the best option in the market.
We are loyal to brands because we feel an emotional connection to them. Buying their products makes us feel good about ourselves. Maybe it gives us a sense of nostalgia, or it helps us feel closer to achieving who we aspire to be. Or, maybe it makes us feel like a more successful person.
To sell and write copy that effectively connects with your audience, you need to appeal to the feels.
So if we buy based on how we feel, shouldn’t how we describe our business, or our products and services appeal to our audience's emotions? To answer this questions, think of what Maya Angelou famously said,
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
The lesson is that if we want to be memorable to our clients and our customers, we all need to work hard on weaving a narrative that will make them feel good about themselves and special to us (read: unforgettably compelling copywriting).
If you have any further questions about this topic or if you’d like to chat about the content in your health and wellness business, feel free to send me an email. I'd love to hear from you!