Begin with the “Why”, End with the “How”
How I personally prefer to write my feature bullets and descriptions is to focus entirely on BENEFITS (the WHY) and then follow up with the FEATURES (the WHAT and the HOW).
I write this way because, from a purely psychological point of view, people are ego-driven and care only about themselves in the context of what they are looking for to meet their immediate need/want/desire.
For example, let’s say you sell a wireless security camera.
Shopper John is on Amazon today because yesterday afternoon someone stole a package off his front porch.
John has some core feelings and needs that have to be met right now:
- He feels like his privacy and security has been violated
- He wants to PROTECT himself, his family, and his property from future violations
- He wants to stop feeling this way NOW.
- He thinks that having a security camera will ELIMINATE these uncomfortable feelings and HELP his family to stay safe in the future.
So we have a very clear understanding of what John is feeling and wanting right now. That’s why he’s on Amazon searching for a “wireless security camera.”
As a seller of a wireless security camera, your product is exactly what John needs to solve these problems:
- Eliminate the feelings of insecurity and uncertainty
- Fulfill the desire to be a protector for his property and family
The above are the BENEFITS of your wireless camera. The camera allows John to have 24-7 visibility on his front porch so he can see who is coming and going.
By having this level of visual control, John can leave his house with peace of mind, knowing that everything is recorded. If something is ever stolen from his front porch again, he will be able to see who it was and send this information to law enforcement for investigation.
Now that we have a good idea about WHY your product is the solution, HOW will that be accomplished?
This is where the FEATURES are used to accurately describe the functionality of the product.
The features will be the components and functions of the actual wireless security camera that are going to provide the benefits of safety, security, “peace of mind”. These could be features such as:
- Cloud-Backup Storage
- Night-Vision enabled for day and night security
- Anti-Theft enabled to prevent camera removal or vandalism
- Wireless control by Smartphone App
- Weather-Proof Case
Other features may help reverse or reduce risk in the purchase – such as “easy to set up”, “Alexa voice activation compatible,” and “excellent optics” …
When you’re writing your feature bullets, you can mix up your features and benefits in a way that makes the most sense in terms of how it reads to the customer, so it’s not necessary to adopt a “hard and fast rule” of always with benefits. Rather, focus on the quality of the content within the bullets and that it reads naturally (in the natural voice).
How to Structure Your Feature Bullet Statements
Knowing the Why behind having a security camera, and knowing our features that could address the reasons for why someone would want a wireless security camera to begin with, let’s write out some optimized bullets.
Again, while I don’t think there is a definite order to go with here, you should always experiment with the ordering of features. I typically sequence my bullets in this way:
- Features and Benefits that validate the customer’s emotional reasons for wanting the product to begin with
- Features and Benefits that validate functionality and use
- Features and Benefits that answer commonly asked questions
- Features and Benefits that reduce risk (risk-reversal statements)
- Features and Benefits that are “throw away” statements (such as “bonus” items and things that will help your indexing of important keyword phrases but not might be read by the customer because many people won’t get to the 5th bullet and in some categories, only the first 2 to 4 are highlighted, depending on how many characters you use per bullet – such as in Beauty and Personal Care)
Now that you have a general outline of the sequencing, let’s start writing it out for our wireless security camera.
I used a popular brand of wireless security camera sold on Amazon (eufy) as a basis for the content, but I rewrote it in a way that follows my methodology. Some content has been modified and does not reflect the features actually being sold.
- SECURE YOUR HOME 24-7: Gain the peace of mind that you deserve with a 100% wireless full 1080p HD resolution surveillance system with IP-65 weatherproof night vision technology and an anti-theft alarm built-in
- 365 DAY BATTERY LIFE: Designed to run one full year on one battery charge (or 3 years in standby mode). Data backs up to the pre-installed 32 GB microSD card which is more than enough to store a full year’s worth of video data
- SUPPORTS UP TO 16 CAMERAS: You can add up to 16 cameras to the base station (included) to add even more security points to your home for complete coverage
- EASY INSTALLATION: Easy and frustration-free set-up with 3 different installation methods: 3 easy ways to install: 1) screw onto the outdoor mount, 2) stick onto the magnetic mount, 3) stick on metallic surfaces
- NO MONTHLY FEES: With our SmartApp, Use your mobile device to access high-resolution live streaming of what the camera sees in real-time, and warn trespassers they’re on camera
It is worth noting that if you do sell in a category that displays your feature bullets as shown below, you should pay special attention to testing the character length (about 150 characters or less is ideal) of your bullets and ensuring you can get as many bullets displayed (ideally the first four):
The feature bullets are not just about the features (functions and attributes of your product).
They should be a balanced blend of features with benefits that paint a mental picture of what your product is and how it will be used.
A listing can have well-done images, which truly are worth “a thousand words”, however, sometimes this isn’t enough.
After all, we have a two-dimensional listing attempting to re-create a three-dimensional object that a shopper cannot hold and evaluate in-person, the way the would be able to if they were in an actual store.
When you write a great set of feature bullets, you are helping your customer validate their purchasing decision and eliminating any doubts that when they click “add to cart,” they are getting exactly what they want.
Additionally, every time a customer purchases from you based on a search that has targeted key search phrases in your bullets, you are signaling to Amazon’s A9 algorithms that your listing is relevant, which helps your organic search page position.
The feature bullets are just one of several components you should focus on when writing your listing, but in my opinion, they are among the top three along with your Title and Images.
Finally, as a parting piece of advice: Writing optimized bullets is a valuable skill that takes practice, trial, error, and success.
As with all skills, you must keep trying and testing. Don’t give up or get discouraged if your bullets don’t quite “hit a bullseye” the first time. 🙂
Be sure to keep an active log of your changes always – and be sure to pull your business reports before making bullet changes and after so you can see if your changes had a positive or negative impact on sales conversions.
This will help you keep a big-picture view of your listing performance over time.