Set Your Sales Copy on Fire With One Word

September 21st, 2009

We recently installed two new fire places in our Vancouver Island home so we’re on the lookout for firewood and kindling. Today I saw a roadside sign that read, “Free Wood”. Like a lot of people, I love free stuff - always have. istockphotofirewoodpile

So why did I speed past the ‘free wood’ when I definitley would have stopped for ‘free kindling’ or ‘free firewood’?

Here’s why.

A birdhouse is made of wood. So is a dock and a shed and a fence and a telephone pole…you get the picture. 

This free wood could have been anything from the size of a bread box to a trailer truck load. I didn’t think they were offering either, but since they weren’t specific, I wasn’t sure - so I drove on past.

What’s this got to do with your sales copy for your coaching practice, speaking event or information product? 


 This is a classic example of  feature vs. benefit in action. A feature focuses on the offering. A benefit focuses on how it helps the consumer.

‘Free wood’ tells me the feature - it’s wood and it’s free.

‘Free kindling’ tells me SO much more: it’s wood; it’s free; it suits my purpose (lighting fires); it’s easy for me to carry; it’s small enough to fit into my car; it’s ready for my fireplace, etc.

The power of a single word…

The reason I didn’t stop for free wood is exactly the same reason online traffic speeds past the ‘buy’ button of most sales copy - because it doesn’t highlight the benefit.

What’s the one word that will set your sales on fire? You’ve probably figured out already, it’s different for all of us.

The challenge is to go through all of our sales copy to find that one word and add or remove it.