Here's the truth: Feature differentiation is dead.
Not because there's no difference in the quality of SaaS products in the market.
Your product could be incredibly superior to all other similar solutions in the market, with the power to cure racism, increase lifespan by 14%, whip up a 5-course meal within an hour and what's more- it probably smells like lilies.
And yet, it could perform worse than your competitor's.
I know it sounds impossible, but hundreds of great SaaS products die every single year: only because they failed to pivot their features to meet their audience's needs.
They failed to talk about their features in a way that would make customers listen....and convert.
Your feature section is not a place to dump your features, mechanically. It's not a place to create lists with technical sounding words that confuse your audience.
The actual goal of your feature section is to introduce your solution's major benefits.
This section shows people what your product actually does and how it does it.
It reveals to visitors how your product helps their businesses, and why it's worth purchasing.
It shows them how transformative your product can be—how the small and big features of your product come together to create a ripple in their business.
This is the meat of the matter. This is where you show them your features, and talk about the tasks your product performs.
You have talk about your features in a way that make them super powered, and shows your customers what to expect when they sign up for your SaaS product.
Here's how to do it right, with examples, so you know what it looks on a website.
Quick question: Which product are you more likely to buy, just based on the feature section?
SEO Spyglass, really?
When visitors come to your site, they're not looking for an SEO spyglass. They're looking to analyse the right keywords. They're looking to mine the most powerful backlinks of their competitors.
They're looking for actionable steps they can take to boost their business.
And if you're not providing that, someone else will.
All that is fine, but shouldn't your major features get more of a spotlight? Shouldn't they get bigger fonts and an image for themselves? Show off those big features!
Vectorly, the skill development application has a great take on this: not only they have a screen dedicated to a feature, they also have a slideshow of the different benefits the feature brings to the customer ie. the different uses for it.
Also, the copy could easily be framed as just 'Progress Tracker—Vectorly gives you data on how your team is performing'.
But this version is more human-friendly.
Have a look:
Vectorly allows you to track the development of skills in your company, which helps you grow in many ways: whether it is giving feedback to your employees, deciding who to give that raise to, or building a culture of learning in the company.
This sort of information on the uses of your product would be super valuable to businesses that are your audience.
Even better: an animation or video accompanying each benefit + feature.
Slack introduces its features by allowing people to see, in action, how the product works:
This is great in many ways:
- The BUBBLES explain the features.
- How do channels help your communication? They organise conversations! The benefits on the right side show the bigger impact the features have on your business.
- Not sure about the ease of use? The screenshots show you exactly how the interface looks and works.
Look, people are not going to be convinced by your product if they don't understand what it does, and why it's super valuable.
You need to look at your features from the customer's view, and reason 'Why would they want it, and how will it help them?'
Animations and videos make sure your customers get where the product fits in their business and how it operates.
Otherwise, they're just shooting an arrow in the dark and hoping that your features come in handy: and that's a lot to ask of anyone.
Segment your customers.
You have different types of customers that your product can help in different ways. They have different priorities and different needs.
How do you show all of that in the limited space you have on your homepage?
This is how:
Pingdom, the website performance monitoring tool, has a slider that you can use to see how the product works for your particular requirement.
Don't sell yourself short—talk about everything your product does, cater to the different sections of your audience and most importantly, show the true value of your product.
Go beyond your features: have a few sections talking purely of the sum total of impact that your product has on a business. Talk about how your product is a SOLUTION.
You need to do more than explain and demonstrate the benefits of your product.
You need to PROVE that the features you talk about bring results.
And what better way to do that than USE your case studies and testimonials to introduce your benefits?
Before you even head to specific features, Pendo, the product cloud, shows you what exactly you're getting from the product, with PROOF. It's awesome sauce, that's what it is.
But...there's no harm in also adding a bit of spice to the mixture with a few stats.
Statistics will answer the question:
They'll back up your business's position as the best solution in the market. Very few SaaS companies invest in actual customer research and success, but to show the exact benefit your customers had using your product?
The right statistics are your evangelists. They're a gateway to more trust from your visitors.
Like when Revu, the meeting tool, tells me I can have 40% better meetings:
This marks them better than their competitors, because their users have tested the product and found a qualitative and quantitative improvement in the work. Do other solutions offer that?
When you market yourself as the number one solution in the market, you have to be prepared to face objections. How easy is it for businesses to adapt? How much time would it take?
Rydoo uses statistics to counter these, and show how it integrates with companies:
Your major (and minor) features and benefits are the key to unlocking more conversions. You need to frame these in a way that speaks to your customers.
You have to understand the features that your audience is looking for, and how they speak about the ideal solution.
Only then can you create a killer website with a high conversion rate.
If you need tips on how to understand your customers and ask the right questions when building your website, check out my email course.
It'll walk you through the entire process of creating an awesome-sauce website: I guarantee you will not regret it!