How to write about boring products…

…and make them interesting.

Resort PoolLots of things in life are easy to write about. I’ve had plenty of fun writing about things like luxury travel, unusual restaurants and interesting days out. Who wouldn’t want to know about these things?

But not everything is interesting. There are lots of businesses doing useful and important things, that aren’t so naturally eye-catching: those selling stationery, DIY materials or insurance, for example.

Can you make boring interesting?

You can’t change the nature of a product, but you can sell anything as long as your product has potential benefits for your customers.

Anything can be sold as long as you sell its benefits, rather than its features.

And that’s what you should always be doing, whatever you’re selling.

If anything, better copywriting is easier when you’re selling boring things. You’re forced to concentrate on what they do not what they are. 

Benefits and features

 Imagine you’re writing about a holiday insurance policy. You could write something like:

If you have an accident on holiday, your can call our 24-hour helpline.

Or you could write:

All you need to worry about is enjoying your holiday. If you need us, we’re here, 24 hours a day.

The second example tells us the benefit of a feature (24-hour helpline): a stress-free holiday. Who wouldn’t want a stress free holiday?

The first just tells us about the feature. And it’s boring. 24-hour helplines are not interesting or desirable in their own right. It’s the things they do for us that are important.

By focussing on benefits, not features, everything becomes interesting (at least a little bit)

NailsEven a packet of nails can be interesting. Nails make our lives better by allowing us to fix things, put pictures up and make flat-pack furniture. They’ll do those things better if they’re good quality, strong nails which come in a choice of sizes. If I wanted to sell these nails, might talk about how easy it would be to fix something with them, given how strong they are.

Nails aren’t as exciting as luxury holidays, but they’re just as easy to sell with a little thought. They could even be easier to sell. Many a holiday brochure will include lengthy, wordy descriptions of a resort’s facilities, without ever stopping to talk about why they’re so great. This is probably because the writer thinks it’s obvious why. Even if that’s true, you’re not likely to get someone reaching for their wallet just by telling them there’s a swimming pool. You might do if you tell them why that swimming pool will make a holiday at your resort better than the one next door.

What’s interesting got to do with it anyway?

Selling boring things is just like selling interesting things. The process is the same: sell the benefits. Why? Because it’s not about you and your product. It’s about the people you’re selling to and what your product can do for them.

 

Want to see how your business can sell better with words? Call me: 01273 803 471. Email alice@cuninghamecopywriting.co.uk

www.cuninghamecopywriting.co.uk

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