ProfessorHugh Mac Donald
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Module 8: Communicating Reader Benefits
How do Reader Benefits work?
•Reader benefits: benefits or advantages that the reader gets from using
your services, buying your products, following your policies, or adopting your
•Appeal to both the audience’s attitudes and actions
•Makes it easier for you to accomplish your goals
How do I identify Reader Benefits?
1. Consider your readers’ needs
- Best-known analyses: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs lower-level needs
- A product or idea can meet needs on several levels focus on ones that
are more relevant to audience
2. Translate features into benefits
- Different features may benefit different subgroups in your audience
- To develop benefits, think about specific details of each one to elaborate
How detailed should each Benefit be?
•Use concrete, vivid details paint a mental picture
•Need 3-5 sentences to give enough details about a reader benefit
•Psychological description: means creating a scenario rich with sense
impressions, so reader can picture themselves using your product or service
and enjoying its benefits
- Use to describe the problem your product will solve
- Works best early in the message to catch readers’ attention
- Use subjunctive verbs or maybe or perhaps to prevent miscommunication
How do I decide which Benefits to use?
•Use at least one benefit for each subgroup in your audience
•Use intrinsic benefits
-Intrinsic benefits/rewards: natural outcomes of doing something, or
using a product
oAppeal to our need to feel good about ourselves
-Extrinsic benefits: “added on”; do not necessarily come from using the
product, or doing the action
- Things people say they like about their jobs are mostly intrinsic benefits;
extrinsic features are never mentioned to be motivational or satisfying
•Use the benefits you can develop most fully
- Convincing the reader takes two steps: ensuring benefit appeals to reader
and really will happen, and explaining it to the reader
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