B2B Writers International

Connect and Convert Using Empathy in B2B Copywriting

4 minute read

Copywriting requires more than a flair for language. You need to understand what makes your audience tick.

One tool you can use to improve your copywriting is empathy.

Empathy can transform your writing from informative to influential. When you write with empathy, you show your audience you understand their perspective.

If you can master empathy, your copy will be more impactful, increase engagement, and boost conversion rates.

Let’s look at how empathy can make you a better copywriter.

Empathy vs. Sympathy in Copywriting

The terms empathy and sympathy are often used interchangeably but represent very different approaches.

Empathy is about stepping into your audience’s shoes, understanding their feelings, and experiencing their world from their perspective.

Sympathy is more about feeling pity or sorrow for someone else’s situation. It maintains a certain distance and often positions the writer as an outsider looking in.

Let’s look at an example from a company specializing in business productivity software.

Sympathetic Copy Example:

“We see many teams struggling with workflow inefficiencies, which can be quite challenging. Missed deadlines and complicated processes really slow things down.

Our product aims to help by offering a streamlined solution, making your team’s job easier and more efficient.”

Empathetic Copy Example:

“Managing a team should feel like conducting a well-orchestrated symphony, not like herding cats. Workflow inefficiencies drain your team’s energy and creativity. And can create:

  • Late nights spent wrestling with clunky processes
  • Missed deadlines
  • Talents stifled by administrative chaos

That’s why our solution isn’t just about streamlining processes. We help reignite your team’s potential and transform your workday from a series of setbacks into a smooth, productive experience.

Imagine a workspace where collaboration flows effortlessly, deadlines are easily met, and your team can focus on what they do best. Let’s make that a reality.”

Notice the difference?

The empathetic copy doesn’t just acknowledge the problem; it immerses itself in the audience’s experience, vividly describing their frustrations and challenges. This approach creates a deeper connection because the reader feels you really understand their problems.

The sympathetic copy expresses an understanding of the difficulties, but it’s detached. It lacks the connection and understanding the empathetic copy offers.

The distinction between empathy and sympathy is crucial. Empathetic writing builds relatability and trust between you and the audience. You want to show the reader you understand their problem. Empathy helps them feel seen and heard.

And since you have demonstrated you understand their challenges and problems, they’ll be more likely to be open to or trust your solutions.

Techniques for Expressing Empathy in Copywriting

Empathy helps you create content that connects, transforms, and inspires your target audience to action.

Try incorporating these four techniques into your copy to improve the quality of your writing and deepen the relationship between your client’s brand and their audience.

1. Conduct Audience Research

The information you get from researching your audience forms the foundation of your writing. If you get this right, you’ll address their problems and offer solutions that resonate with your readers.

Start by gathering insights about your audience. Go beyond basic demographics. You want to understand their day-to-day challenges, motivations, and aspirations.

Use surveys, interviews, and social listening to get a real sense of what your audience cares about and what keeps them up at night.

2. Understand and Connect with the Audience

Empathy in writing often involves mirroring the audience’s feelings and validating their experiences. So, take your time with this step.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Think about their emotional journey. How do they feel now? What do they want to feel? What is the transformation they’ll experience?

Scour reviews, customer emails, and social media posts to find the words your audience uses when describing their problems. Repeat them in your copy to craft messages that sound familiar and comforting to them.

3. Craft Messages that Resonate Emotionally

Your goal is to evoke the reader’s emotions so they feel understood and valued. Your copy should paint a picture that shows you’re fully attuned to their challenges and aspirations.

Use the insights gathered from your research to create narratives that speak directly to your audience’s concerns. When they read your copy, they should nod in agreement and feel like you’re describing their situation precisely.

Incorporate storytelling elements to make your message more relatable and memorable. Talk about your audience’s struggles and triumphs. Whether through customer success stories and case studies, hypothetical scenarios, or analogies that parallel their experiences, your aim is to make your message memorable and touching.

4. Use this shortcut to get started…

In his book Marketing Made Simple, Donald Miller suggests you complete this sentence:

We know what it feels like to ______________________.

  • “We know what it feels like to watch the clock tick away as your to-do list keeps growing.”
  • “We know what it feels like to lie awake at night, wrestling with big decisions and wondering if you’re steering your business in the right direction.”
  • “We know what it feels like to search for balance in a busy world, struggling to prioritize your health and well-being amidst endless responsibilities.”

Try to develop a single statement expressing your empathy for the target audience.

Final Thoughts on Empathy in Writing

And there you have it — the blueprint for empathetic writing and connecting with your audience on a deeper level.

Remember the power of empathy as you begin work on your next copywriting project. Write with understanding and heart. An empathetic approach will elevate your work and create a strong bond with your audience that turns browsers into buyers.