How to Use Pain In Your Emails and Sales Copy Without Looking Like A Sadistic Psychopath

When I’m talking to “civilians” (i.e. business owners who aren’t experienced marketers) is:

If I’m not careful I can end up coming across like a complete psychopath.

That’s because I usually start the conversation off by looking for PAIN.

I ask probing questions about what their customers are experiencing in their day-to-day lives.

I’m looking for hints at suffering—for the tell-tale oder of a festering wound.

And when I find it, I can act a little… giddy.

I’ve heard this from other copywriters, too.

It’s not AT ALL the case that I enjoy seeing other people in pain.

I have come to recognize, though, that pain is far and away the most powerful motivator when it comes to getting people to take action—and improve their lives.


It’s one thing to recognize that your audience is in pain, and another thing entirely to harness that pain in a way that motivates your customers to action—without making you look like an exploitative jerk in the process.

That’s the topic of today’s Email Copy Clinic.

Watch it here: