Pain points in copywriting


Selling shouldn’t be painful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enhance your sell case with a little discomfort.

When it comes to selling to your customers, it’s important to remember they must need your product or service before you can sell it to them.

They are not going to wake up one morning, see your ad/email/letter/website (delete as appropriate) and think wow, I’ve got to get me one of those!

The only way that is going to happen is if they need what you’re selling. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to buy from you unless you can create a compelling case.

Identifying their pain

Your customers are in pain.

They have a problem that’s niggling away at them, and they’re looking for a solution – your solution.

Show them you can take their discomfort away by identifying their pain point, lancing it with some carefully worded content, and showing them that by buying from you their problem will disappear.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing for a B2B or B2C market, businesses and consumers all have problems they want solving.

That doesn’t mean giving them a list of features. They don’t care about that stuff; all they want to know is that you understand what they’re going through and you will make their life better.

Pain equals motivation

Pain is a great motivator. After all, if you burn your hand on an iron, you’ll be swiftly motivated to remove your hand to stop the physical pain you’re feeling.

It’s the same in sales. Let’s take the business market as an example. There are all sorts of pain points here:

  • Inadvertently breaking rules
  • Being rejected
  • Having your secrets stolen by a disgruntled employee
  • Losing money
  • High error rates

Your content has to show your customers that you can put right what they’re getting wrong so they’ll benefit from compliance, success, greater security, smoother and more efficient processes, and lower error rates.

Getting the balance right

The one thing you don’t want to do is concentrate continually on the downside. Just a mention is enough; otherwise, you’re going to depress your reader further.

State their problem and show them how you can make it go away – get that balance right and they’ll snap your hand off because they know you’re the ‘special one’ they’ve been looking for; you’re the one that’s going to make everything OK.

A great way to start is with a headline along the lines of:

Have you ever wished that…?

This is a gentle lead-in and shows them that you understand the problem (pain point) they are experiencing.

Then, as you get into the real meat of your copy, you can continue with:

Well, now you can with our …

Swiftly followed by an outline of what your offering will do for them.

Within a few seconds, you’ve shown you understand their issues by highlighting the problem they’re facing and how you can make that problem disappear.

That’s pretty powerful stuff.


Sally Ormond, is the international copywriter who has been taking the pain away from audiences around the world for over a decade.