Lack of empathy is costing you conversions

Have you ever felt excited to click on a "join our newsletter" link and enter your details? Most definitely not. What about free pdf downloads?
02/12/2022 | By Tracey
Lack of empathy is costing you conversions
Summary points:
  • Your product’s value is not obvious and assuming that it is will waste a lot of time and money.
  • Using radical empathy will help you understand and meet the needs of your customers.
  • By actively imagining you are your own customer, you will know how to write and design your platforms for optimal conversion.

Try and remember the last time you jumped at the chance to save a whitepaper after you filled in your first name, last name, role, company name, company industry, company size, monthly revenue, and 6 more fields?

While you’re struggling to recall a single time that happened, here’s another question for you: Have you ever bought a product without knowing what it was?

And finally, have you ever upgraded a SaaS free trial to the paid version, without first having actually spent some time testing out the product?

99% of people will respond no to these questions, yet so many marketers assume that anyone in their right mind would be thrilled to receive whatever they have to offer.

They assume this because marketers spend months, maybe years, in a bubble - working for a company, getting to grips with their unique selling points. They forget that most people have never heard of them, or their products, and have no clue why they should care.

With this incorrect assumption intact, these marketers spend countless hours working on something (e.g. producing that whitepaper). They send it out to the masses and wait for a flood of interest, expecting its value to be obvious.

It’s not.

This misconception costs marketers embarrassing amounts of time and money because, after all their hard work, their conversion rates are low because they still haven’t connected with their audience. Content that lacks empathy for the people on the receiving end is simply unlikeable. Luckily, there’s an easy way around it.

The easy way around it

First and foremost, remember that leads need far more than a CTA to do anything. They need to know clearly what they are getting... and they need to feel a connection with it.

The best way to make sure your audience is compelled to click and sign up to anything is to use - not just regular old empathy - radical empathy. This means that you have to step into your customers shoes and imagine how they would feel if they were presented with your content. Essentially, you are feeling for your audience before they have had the chance to feel anything.

Think of it this way… Entering your world should be like going on a really good first date, where the guy pulls out your chair for you before you even reach the table. You’re thinking for them to make their life a little easier.

So how do you achieve this?

Every part of the world you are presenting to them from here on out - from your landing pages, to your ads, to your CTAs or app UX - should be tailored to the needs and feelings of your audience.

Start by Imagining you are browsing your own website or app and remove any obstacles that could prevent you from converting if you were the customer.

  • What annoying stumbling blocks are in your way? Maybe it’s a confusing layout, maybe there is lots of irrelevant information, maybe there are too many buttons leading to too many long blogs or long forms.
  • Is there enough information? Perhaps you have asked someone to sign up for a webinar that you haven’t fully explained. Fill these gaps with teasers and insights.

Here’s a good example

Substack does this right. They anticipated that a reader would feel more comfortable subscribing to a newsletter if they gave them the option to read a sample first. That way the reader knows what they are getting and decides if they have a connection with the material or not. Substack anticipated the blocker and dealt with it.

That might sound straightforward for lead captures and design, but what about copy? Radical Empathy in copy

Radical empathy can also be used in everything you write - from blog posts to emails to ads - to forge an even stronger connection with your audience.

To do this, once again, you must write with the reader’s perspective in the forefront of your mind. It may help to consider the following questions:

  1. How do you like being spoken to in real life?

You would probably appreciate it if a friend used clear, simple words, rather than complex language. You would also prefer if they explained things fully, rather than hand-wavy slogans that require you to connect the dots yourself.

  1. Who is the person you are trying to communicate with?

Before you write a single word, imagine the person who will be reading your copy. What is stressing them out? What is their life like?

  1. How could you speak directly to them to make them feel heard and understood?

Much like talking to a self-obsessed person in real life, It is a big mistake to talk about how great your product is - without emphasising how it could help your reader. Get over yourself and your product. It’s nothing without the person who uses it.

People do business with the company that understands them the best.

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