Talking about features, not benefits

Philip Morgan

Alrighty, here's our final member-submitted peeve (actually a list of peeves!). Let's talk about how they might be developed into point of view (PoV) content:

_In no particular order:
- Email campaigns that don't consider the individual
- No emails whatsoever
- A crowded/demanding UI
- Talking about features, not benefits

And they all relate back to how I get results for my clients. I help them identify the benefits their product provides to their customers, speak to those benefits based on an individual customer's journey, use email to better communicate with those customers, and improve their UI in the process._

Alrighty, let's think these through.

As a reminder, mapping them on this 2x2 matrix can be helpful:


I know some context you might not: the member who submitted these peeves is very good at helping subscription-revenue companies use email to increase revenue. So I think we can pretty confidently place the pet peeves in the top row, meaning they actually are of relatively high importance to the client's business.

That's the main hurdle you need to clear for PoV content. Your pet peeve(s) need to be relevant to important business outcomes your clients care about. I think in this case we're good.

Now for some more nuanced considerations about these peeves and their potential to become PoV content...


Is it possible these peeves could become part of an emotional appeal? In other words, can they be linked to something that your ideal prospects feel, or something they feel strongly about?

I think they have this potential, especially the last one ("Talking about features, not benefits"). People who have made some kind of product or service they are charging a subscription for are rightly going to feel some pride about the product/service's features. Some of those features were ones the makers sweat blood over! So I think there's going to be an emotional element to this discussion, and that can be good for PoV content.

Data Stories

Could any of these peeves be linked with interesting data stories?

What's a data story? I made that term up, but just now as I was procrastinating on finishing this email I came across a good example of one:


Here's the text from that tweet on case it's not easily read via the image:

_A European Research Council report suggests 79% of projects they fund “achieved a major scientific advance”, & only 1% make no contribution. Also, that they fund mostly “high risk” work.

I don’t know what “high risk” means if almost e’thing is succeeding.

Notice how that little bit of data was elaborated into a tiny little story. That's a data story.

I don't know for sure, but I'd guess that several of the peeves above could be linked to several interesting data stories. In other words, there are probably reasonably credible numbers out there to support PoV content built on these peeves.

Data stories make your PoV content more compelling.

If you're taking time off for the 4th of July next week, I hope you get those mental and emotional batteries fully recharged! As usual I'll be haunting your inbox with daily emails. :)