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So What?!

When writing advertising copy, asking this question is essential. Why? Because your customer is going to ask it over and over again.

Customers do that. I'll bet you do it, too! Customers want to know what's in it for them. That's why it is vitally important to constantly work the answers to "So what" and "Why" into your copy. This is done by listing features, but more importantly by listing benefits.

Let me give you an example. Let's say you see an ad for a cat litter. The ad indicates this cat litter offers specially enhanced particles. Everyone's next question will be "So What?" The specially enhanced particles are a feature of the cat litter. The feature doesn't relate why the customer needs this product. The feature may be quite impressive, however the person watching wants to know why they should be interested in those particles. To answer the question at hand we need to list the benefit.

It just so happens that these specially enhanced particles were developed to absorb every single bit of odor left in the litter box. These particles will leave the litter box just as fresh smelling as before kitty did his business. That is what the customer needs to know. That information is what the customer will relate to. Now, are you asking, "So What"? Ok, I'll tell you.

When writing copy, be sure to include features and benefits. Let's look at our cat litter ad again. If we make just one small adjustment to the copy it becomes much more powerful.

Kitty Fresh cat litter was developed with specially enhanced particles that adsorb all odors from the litter box. Your house stays fresh smelling all day. And because these particles work so well, you won't need to change the litter box as often. Try Kitty Fresh cat litter today!

How's that? That answers "so what" and "why". The customer understands what the particles are and why they need them.

Here are some other questions to remember when writing ad copy: 1) Why does that feature benefit me? 2) Why would I use that product? 3) Why should I buy your service/product over any other? 4) What's in it for me?

When writing, focus on what is going through the customer's mind. Try having a friend or associate give you feedback on your copy. Tell them to answer the question "So what". If they can, you've done your job!

Written by Karon Thackston of KT & Associates. Karon offers targeted copywriting, copy editing & article writing services. Subscribe to KT & Associates' Ezine "Business Essentials" at or visit her site today.

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