How to Use Pain Points Ethically and Make Your Copywriting Pop
Updated: Apr 28
For many ethical business owners, the pain point portion of their copy can be especially difficult. The fact is, we are so used to this shame and fear-based, manipulative, and sleazy copywriting, which is particularly heavy in the pain point section.
When pain points are delivered in a way that preys on customer insecurities, social constructs meant to minimize marginalized people, or exploits potential weaknesses to make a sale, it’s truly cringe-worthy.
Ethical businesses rebel against this method because it is… well, awful. Plus, it is becoming less effective on the customer because it has been used for so long, and the customer is becoming more numb and aware of it.
So, what’s a company to do? Following the same old marketing tactics isn’t an option, and removing pain points from the equation isn’t effective. How can you ethically use your pain point section?
Pain Points In Your Copy
Pain points are the section of your copy that note the problem your customer goes through that your product or service helps to solve.
They are a necessary part of your copy because this helps to grab the customers' attention and can be used to create an emotional connection between you and your customers.
When pain points are used to exploit customer fears or insecurities, the copy is no better than your narcissistic ex, who used to gaslight and manipulate you to serve their needs.
You are better than that. And I will show you how to use rebellious marketing to write your pain point section ethically.
How To Write Your Pain Point Section Ethically
There are three nuggets of wisdom that I can share that will help you write your pain point section ethically and effectively, no matter your demographic, product, service, or industry. These tips have an extra bonus because they help you humanize and personalize your copy for your ideal customer and will benefit you throughout your copywriting, branding, and marketing.
Understand Your Customer
Knowing that your customer base is made up of mostly female millennials is great. But it’s only the start. To really understand your customer, you have to learn more about their lives and where you fit into it.
The best way to do this is to interview current customers. If you have regular customers who are repeat buyers, send you referrals, and open all your emails, then reach out to them and ask if you can do a 30-minute interview to learn more about them and how your company can serve them better. An already loyal customer will give you insight into how to find more people like them.
Discussing what attracted them to your company and the transformation they experienced. Interviews provide huge golden nuggets of wisdom to your marketing and can help you evolve your business in so many ways. This is especially beneficial for younger companies who are still getting their sealegs.
Alternatively, you can send out a detailed survey to gain this insight, but if you can do some interviews, you have the ability to dig deeper on an individual level.
Try and learn as much as you can about their life, values, and the struggles they had that your company helped with.
This type of in-depth conversation also helps you understand the language and terminology your customers use, which you can use in your copy to help it land with the right people.
And don’t forget… always reward these customers for taking the time out of their day to help you out!
Get Into Their Mindset
Now that you know more detail about life, values, what struggles brought your customer to your company, and how you helped them, you need to get inside their heads.
We are creatures who make decisions based on emotions. We like to think we are rational, but our rational minds tend to be guided by emotions first.
To write effective and ethical copy, you need to empathize with your customer. Not to be confused with sympathizing. Sympathy is the logical understanding of the emotions someone feels, while empathy is the actual feeling of what someone feels. If you want your copy to be ethical, it has to be compassionate, and you can not have compassion without empathy.
Emotionally and logically understanding your customer helps you explain the benefits of your product or services in a way they can understand.
Having a great product and then telling your reader why it's great is not enough. You have to show them how great your product will be for them based on their needs and values.
Plus, having this empathy and understanding of your customer, their life, and values helps you integrate compassion and connection in your copywriting.
Write Like Youre Talking With Someone You Love
Now that you understand your customer and can empathize with them, it's time to put pen to paper, or rather fingers to keyboard, and write up your copy.
But, instead of writing your copy in a way that talks at your customer, talk with them. As if you are having a discussion with someone you love.
In your pain point section, use some real-life examples from your interviews that can help the customer relate to and feel seen by your copy. This will help them emotionally bond to what you're saying and grab their attention more.
We all want to feel seen and heard, so it’s a good thing you spent the time to see and hear the customers you already have, so you can make some new customers feel the same way.
Be sensitive and compassionate in your writing and ask emotional questions.
“Have you ever felt…”
Give examples of something they may be going through. “Maybe you’ve tried… and feel like…”
Using emotional words and relatable situations in the pain points section of your copy allows your customer to feel connected and understood instead of shameful or fearful. You want your copywriting to build up hope or excitement down the road, and ethical pain points help set the foundation for that and the transformation you provide them.
Writing ethical pain points takes more effort, but it is an effort that pays you back over and over again because understanding and connecting with your audience is a rebellious act of love. An act that you can build on to create a community within your brand verse a quick turnover system that needs constant tending.