Standard copywriting advice is to focus on benefits over features. Then again, one of the most famous copywriters in the business — Robert Bly — states that that just aint so when it comes to engineers and most B2B copy.


Those guys, it seems, distrust benefit statements without features to back it up. They want the features because, well, they’re engineers; they can translate features to benefits just fine on their own, thank you very much.


And that’s not a phenomenon that’s exclusive to engineers. If you think of features vs. benefits as a spectrum, then every audience has it’s own perfect messaging set-point on that spectrum, with some pegged out totally on benefits, some leaning more heavily towards features, and others in between.


And I mentioned that after seeing this recent contest/wi:n


So what’s interesting about this contest is that the keyword group is “Album Art,” which means the losing add did a much better job of using keywords in the headline and body copy, and also did a better job of vividly explaining the features and mid-level benefits:


  • “Scan For & Add Missing Album Art”
  • [Fix] “Song Names & Genres, too.”


Now, it’s kind of hard to talk about these things as features, per se. Fixed Album art and song names is more of a benefit, right? But it’s still sort of feature-like in that the ability of the software to fix these things might be considered a feature.


But the ad that won didn’t mess with any of that. It focused in on the end benefit of all those other mid-spectrum benefits: “Clean Up Your Entire Music Library.” Then it made that benefit more immediately available: “Download Your Free Trial Today!”


And those two changes made for a 64% boost in CTR


So how do you tell where YOUR audience set-point is on the Features-Benefits Spectrum? You gotta test you ads. You are testing and optimizing your PPC ads, aren’t you? Because that’s really the ultimate Tip From the Boosters.