If your copy isn’t performing the way you’d like, there’s a good chance that it is lacking empathy. In copywriting terms, empathy refers to your ability to understand your readers – to know what they need and what they are thinking – and to build trust based on that fundamental understanding. From identifying customers to understanding what they want, empathy in copywriting is critical.

Is Your Copy Empathetic?

It’s fairly common to find lack of empathy in ordinary copy. For instance, a website may be written from the seller’s perspective rather than the buyer’s point of view. When this happens, you are likely to notice we-centric copy:

At ABC Company, our goal is speedy service.
We pride ourselves on our commitment to our customers.

If you have we-centric copy in your emails, video scripts, brochures, blogs, or across your entire website, it doesn’t mean that you are lacking in empathy for your customers. It does, however, mean that you’re doing a poor job of showing it. Fortunately, the fix is painless and fairly easy when you update stale copy with content that:

  • Builds trust
  • Emphasizes the benefits your customers will get when they purchase from you
  • Acknowledges the needs of your customers

You can also demonstrate your company’s empathy by identifying with potential customers according to their personal preferences by delivering information in several different ways such as how-to videos, in-depth articles, webinars, and short blog posts.

How to Include Empathy in Copywriting in Three Steps

If you’re more of the type to take on a project yourself, you can audit your own content by keeping the following three steps in mind. (For an effortless fix, though, you can always contact me instead!)

Step 1: Compile a list of all of the benefits associated with your service or product.

If it’s easier, write down features first, but make sure you can turn them into benefits by asking yourself, “What’s in it for the customer?” For example, providing “24-hour customer support” may be better expressed as “expert support any time you need.” Your ultimate goal is to replace that bulleted list of features that is often typical of products and services pages with the benefits for which you know your customers are searching.

Step 2: Envision your “ideal customer.”

It’s easier to empathize with someone than it is to empathize with abstract, nondescript groups of customers. Visualize what you believe is your “ideal customer” and write your content directed to that person. Some marketing folks call this process the “creation of buyer personas.” If you can identify more than one ideal customers, write for all of them.

For example, consider a resume writing company that is creating landing pages for each of its ideal customers. The owner will likely want to appeal to a father or mother re-entering the workforce after taking time off for family, a professional seeking work after being let go, and a graduate entering the market for the first time.

Each of these personas has different fears, goals, challenges, and emotions compelling them to seek out a professional resume writer. It makes sense that you should understand them all.

Step 3: Connect to the emotions of your customers.

Finally, write copy that connects your business to your customers’ emotion. For instance, when attempting to implement empathy in copywriting for a new grade, you may wish to appeal to his desire for a new adventure and his sense of pride. However, an employee who was recently let go will need a resume writer who recognizes his need for a smooth and quick transition to a new workplace and his fear of the uncertain.