November 15, 2022

What Are Pain Points? And Why They’re So Important

By Anika Watkins
<img src="what-are-pain-points.png" alt="Red-heart-pain-points">

The recipe for conversion-cranking copy is simple: one scroll-stopping hook, one irresistible offer, and a dash of perfectly on-brand personality! 

. . . Okay so it's a little more complex than that. 

While those ingredients are definitely crucial, they're not the only thing you need to be aware of. Your copy also needs to address your target audience's pain points.

Why's it so important to include pain points in your copy? Easy . . . pain sells!


So, what are pain points?

Simply put, pain points are the ultra-specific problems your prospective clients or customers are facing. If your copy doesn't address your target audience's most pressing challenges head-on – if it doesn't scream "Hey! Here's a solution to the problem that keeps you up at night!" – it's going to fall flat. It's not going to resonate with your ideal customer. And it's not going to bring in those all-important conversions. Ugh! 

So let's make sure that doesn't happen! We all know great copy is your most powerful tool. BUT . . . it’s only as strong as its pain points. As a solopreneur, business owner, or marketing pro, it's your job to identify your prospects' pain points and speak about them in your copy. That's what makes your copy – and your offer! – irresistible.

The 4 types of pain points

Copy that highlights pain points gets inside your reader's head. And that's a good thing. Because when people are experiencing pain, they're much more likely to take action to make that pain go *POOF*. But it's not enough to write about any old pain point and hope it sticks. (We said pain points need to be ultra-specific for a reason.) 

Think about it from your own perspective. If you're in pain, you're going to be searching for a solution – and if you come across a solution that's so specific it makes you think "They really know me!" you're going to want to hit that Buy Now button. 

So what kinds of pain points should you be on the lookout for? Here are the four types of pain points you need to know about: 


Productivity pain points. 

It's no secret people are busy. But are they efficient? A typical office worker spends more than 50% of their day doing "busy work." So it's safe to say a prospect dealing with a productivity pain point does not want to waste any more time. Let's pretend you're a business coach. When they're describing their biggest challenge, your ideal client might sound something like this: "I am so done with being OVERworked and UNDERpaid." Lucky for them, you can help turn things around!

Process pain points.

Okay, sure . . . some people thrive in chaos. But friction, confusion, and complicated procedures are typically not a good thing. That's where process pain points come in. This type of pain point describes user experiences and purchasing processes that are too complicated for their own good. Pretend you run a marketing agency. (And if you already do, you’ll love this analogy!) Your picture-perfect customer might have been burned by an agency that was less-than-forthcoming and hard to get in touch with. So you'll want to convey that your method is convenient, effective, and oh-so-streamlined. (Bonus! 94% of consumers stay loyal to brands they deem transparent.)

Support pain points.

A potential customer who's dealing with a support pain point is frustrated because they can't get answers to their questions, can't figure out how to use the product they purchased, or can't get in touch with customer service in a timely manner. So what's an eComm shop owner supposed to do? Hit 'em with your iron-clad guarantee and easy-peasy return policy to build credibility and trust. 

Financial pain points.

Nobody likes to overspend. If you've ever been frustrated by hidden fees, unnecessarily expensive services, or low-quality products, you're all too familiar with financial pain points. But don't be fooled: no matter what industry you're in, you don't have to offer the cheapest price to get customers to choose you. Focus on demonstrating value. (Psst! Offering payment plans and bulk purchasing options can also help you win the conversion.)   


How to identify your target audience's pain points

Okay so here's the thing: before you even pick up the pencil – or sit down at the computer – to write about your target audience's pain points, you have to be crystal clear on what those pain points actually are. It seems simple enough, but it can be easy for business owners, brands, and marketers to assume their audience's pain points . . . and get them totally wrong. And that leads to sales pages, emails, and ads that just do. not. convert. Or even worse: copy that alienates your prospects. (Trust us, we see this happen to businesses all too often!)

So how exactly do you uncover pain points? 

Glad you asked. Pain points can be tricky to nail down. But lucky for you, there are TONS of ways to go about finding them. Here are our fave 3:

Ask your customers:

Duh, right? Squeezing in a one-on-one conversation with your current clients or customers should always be step one. Ask them what problem your product or service helped them solve. And why they chose your brand over the competition. And don't be afraid to go for the big one: "What would you change about my products or services?" Bonus points if you can pick their brain in person or over the phone. But a sincere, carefully crafted email or survey works too. (Not sure how to collect customer feedback at scale? Check out Pendo! #NotAnAd #JustAFriendlyRecommendation)

Read reviews:

Ready to put on your detective hat? By reading online reviews, you can arm yourself with SO much information that you wouldn't otherwise get from your customers. (Pro tip: Keep the 5-star reviews in your back pocket. You can use them to add credibility to your copy once you get writing.) Don't have reviews or testimonials just yet? Reading your competition's reviews works too. Here's where your detective skills come into play . . . Scour the competition's pages for glowing feedback (because it will tell you what the customer was looking for). And negative feedback, too (because it will reveal the customer's problem and give you insight into how to differentiate your offer). 

Talk to your teams:

If you have a sales team or a customer support team, you're going to want to make 'em your best friend (if they're not already!). These professionals talk to your audience almost every dang day – so they can often provide you with the inside scoop on what problems your customers and potential customers are facing. But wait . . . what if you're a solopreneur? There's no shame in being a solo act! If you don't have anyone’s brain to pick (and even if you do!), we recommend surfing your way through social media comments, online forums, and personal blogs. Because potential customers will often reveal their pain points in those places too. 

Writing about pain points can be . . . pretty painless!  

So there you have it! Now you know what pain points are, why they're essential to the success of your copy, and how the heck you go about identifying them. 


But before we part ways, let’s call out the elephant in the room: Your pain point might be . . . writing about pain points. Because if you're a coach, business owner, or marketer, you've got a long list of other things to do. And if that's the case, we've got your back. Our team of professional copywriters specializes in crafting copy that scratches your audience's pain points – while keeping things motivational and empowering. Take a peek at our on-demand copy shop here! 
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