Imagine you’re choosing between holiday parks for your summer break.
Is a flat surface important to you?
Turns out, it’s important to parents who want to keep their buggie wheels from rattling loose, and give their calves a rest, for once.
I never empathised with that until having kids. Actually stepping into the shoes of the customer for my client (nationwide holiday operator).
Still, I could have absorbed insight like that (without committing to parenthood), just by waking up to these simple research techniques:
Call the site managers and ask what their guests say about the park
Pay for an online survey, in which the opening question is something like “Are you a parent who would holiday in the UK?” – followed by questions like “What is the ONE thing you wish holiday providers would pay more attention to?”
Excavate the forums, where mums already share holidaying tips and nightmares
Interview a mum who enjoys camping holidays
When it comes to empathy in copywriting, nothing beats that last one.
Tried it when I served jury duty. Struck up a conversation with a mother-of-two, who happened to own a static home at a holiday park in Somerset.
She mentioned the flat surfaces too.
That kind of truth ALWAYS trumps the desperate stuff, like “Our park comes with the most modern facilities”.
Seek it out, any way you can, and you’re a copywriter with an advantage.
Each technique helps you to empathise with your reader on a level that not only resonates – but lets her know you truly understand what she’s looking for … or what she’s been putting up with.
Bonus: Find someone who fits your customer profile and ask/hire her to sense check your copy before publishing. Reduces the risk of blowing your cover when taking empathy shortcuts like the above.