Why Empathy Matters in Copywriting: Build Trust and Engagement.

Photo by ELEVATE.

There has been a rave about empathy in copywriting. Let’s delve into empathetic copywriting to see if it is worth it.

In this post, we’ll see if it is as effective as the claim, or if it’s just another shiny new toy holding no potency in copywriting.

After all, as copywriters, we try things, test, and see what to keep doing and what not to do.

Walk with me and let’s unravel this together.

What is Empathy?

To understand empathetic copywriting, we must first understand the concept, before anything else.

Empathy is the awareness of other peoples’ feelings, thoughts, and ideas. It is the ability to imagine the state of mind of another person.

According to Greater Good Magazine Emotion researchers, empathy is the ability to sense other people’s emotions and imagine what someone else is thinking or feeling.

Storytelling is the act of telling stories, the process of sharing stories, experiences, and ideas.

Storytelling makes the reader imagine the experiences, thoughts, and ideas of the author.

In reading, you get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals’

Neil Gaiman.

Understanding the Power of Empathy in Copywriting

Empathetic copywriting is the process of infusing empathy in your copy.

It is the act of using empathy to craft your sales copy or your content. Now that we’ve highlighted the meaning of these words, let’s jump right in.

To use empathetic storytelling in your copywriting would imply that you intend to evoke the emotions of your readers.

One indispensable technique that works well in writing is storytelling. Storytelling almost always works when it comes to grabbing attention.

Incorporating empathy and storytelling into a written piece often captivates readers, leading to a deep investment in the content.

When you write your copies by putting yourself in the shoes of the readers or by painting a situation similar to theirs, it’s easy for them to relate to such stories or situations painted.

For instance, if in your copy, you talked about a struggling Beauty Brand that faced challenges in selling, leveraging their community, and establishing a content strategy – this story would resonate with any business owner encountering a similar situation, automatically making the situations relatable.

Your readers will like to know how you helped the Beauty Brand, the result of your help, and how you can help them as well.

It’s easy to connect to a situation or a story that is similar to yours. It’s easy to sell when you show your audience empathy, it means you know how they feel, you know their pain points and difficulty, and you are there to help solve such problems and help make their lives better.

In most situations, emotions often win over logic when making comparisons.

According to Zig Zigler “selling is essentially a transfer of feelings”.

If you master the art of empathetic storytelling, then it’d be easy to connect to your target audience, and by extension, it’d be easy to sell to them as well.

The other day, a prospective client sent me a message. She’d been following my LinkedIn posts for a while now. She doesn’t engage, she doesn’t like or comment. But she loves reading them because she likes my writing style.

Her blog is in her own words “very boring”. She reached out to me and asked if I could help her write.

See what I did there? Got you, didn’t I? Bet you want to see how the story plays out. If anyone reading this has a Beauty Brand and and is facing a similar situation would be more interested in this particular story. They’d want to see how the story plays out. That’s the power of empathetic storytelling in copywriting.

Your audience automatically feels a sense of connection and believes you understand their situation.

If I had simply written, “I excel at blogging, I can craft exceptional posts for your blog,” you would probably lose interest in reading further due to how often you read the same or similar lines.

This particular story, however, is not something you know. I piqued your curiosity and you are eager to learn more.

Photo by Keira Burton

How You Can Use Empathetic Storytelling in Copywriting

You have to keep in mind the goal of your storytelling. Don’t tell an abstract story or one that cannot be related to the goal of your copy. 

Share a compelling story that relates to your copy. The goal is to have your prospects agree with what you say. For instance, if you say “I never got my shade of makeup until I tried the XYZ Brand”.

If your target is for people who have difficulty in getting their shade of makeup, this will immediately resonate with them. Your prospects facing this challenge will quickly say “Yes” to what you said because it’s relatable to their situation.

They are in this situation and they begin to think that you feel what they feel, or you understand their situation. It’d be easier to sell the powder to them this way than by simply saying “Come and get your powder in different shades”.

Things to keep in mind while writing your copy using empathetic storytelling.

  • Know your target audience. Know their wants, needs, problems, and pain points, what could you say that’d get them excited or sad? When you know them, you can tailor your copy to their needs. 

You can only show empathy if you feel something. You need to know your audience to feel their pain.

  • It’s best to follow the Rule of One. The Rule of One implies that you focus on one goal, one problem, and one call to action.

If you try to achieve so many things in one copy, then it won’t be targeted at a specific group of people, and they will become disconnected. 

For instance, you’re talking about a shade of powder, you have people already interested in your solution, and then you start talking about how you can grow their hair if they are suffering hair loss. You’ll lose that connection because they can not relate to you anymore. They may feel that you don’t really have a solution to their problem and you’re just trying to throw them all the products you’re selling.

  • Use simple words, don’t complicate things. Make your copy seem like a regular conversation. You don’t want to sound too smart for your good. 

Don’t make them look dumb by sounding too smart. You need them to know you feel what they feel and you can’t achieve that by being the smartest one in the room, you just need to be smart enough to solve their problem.

  • Create a story relevant to your copy. You don’t want to tell a story about Timbers when trying to sell a cosmetic product. Keep your story relevant to your copy, don’t get carried away.

Your story should show them the benefits of your products/services. Let them know how you can help them.

  • Don’t make tasteless jokes. 

While it’s okay to have a few laughs on some warranted occasions, never make jokes about their situation or make a mockery of it. 

You’d think this goes without saying, right? Wrong. Maybe for you, it does.

Some copies make a mockery of certain pain points and then show up as the savior of the day. This doesn’t show empathy, it is the opposite of empathy.

Your copy isn’t there to hurt, it’s there to heal. If you have a solution to their problem, focus on helping them solve it.

  • Make your copy about your prospects, not about yourself. This is about their needs, remember? Not about how great your product/service is. 

You can help your clients/customers achieve their needs and desires by earning money, saving money, improving health, getting in shape, enhancing beauty, losing weight, etc.

Your product/service is there because you understand their problems, and want to help them solve them.


When you take this approach, your copy becomes one that shows empathy. 

Don’t be afraid to evoke their emotions, your prospects will come to trust you because you feel their pain, you understand their needs, you’re kind to them, and you know just to help them fix it.

Don’t forget that people buy from the people they trust. Make your prospects trust you by showing you care about them, and that you have a solution to their needs.

So, yes friend, empathy in copywriting is worth it and is necessary for building trust. It proves the popular saying “People buy on emotion and justify with logic”.

Leave a Reply