Write Now! Persuasive Writing Prompts:
List Your Prospect’s Pain and Pleasure Points

Practice your copywriting skills with this prompt from The Professional Writers’ Alliance (PWA).

Today's Write Now! prompt from Brian Kurtz will challenge your knowledge of your prospect.

When writing direct-response copy, you must know your prospect inside and out. As Brian points out, you must know what keeps him up at night — what pains him — and figure out how your product can give him the relief he desperately needs. (Or read the transcript below.)

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For today's prompt, I want you to just sit down and make a list of all of the pain points in the market that you’re writing into. And be cruel. Push yourself. Make sure that you can — and don’t stop until you have a really solid list of everything that the audience or the market that you’re going to be writing for feels pain about.

And these will be the most important things as you start writing triggers and writing hooks and writing headlines and all of that. But don’t stop until you have a nice long list of pain points. And think the worst. I mean what are these people thinking? What's the conversation in their head about pain? I'm not saying literal pain, but the pain of what they are experiencing.

And if you’re really feeling ambitious this morning, make a second list and start talking about all the pleasure points, all the things that about your client that your copy could deliver that could deliver on some of those pain points. Don’t think about writing the copy. Don’t think about narrative. Don’t think about any structure. But a list of pain points, a list of pleasure.

And then when you have those two lists, go take a break. Have breakfast. And you'll have something to go back to when you start working on copy that will be incredibly powerful for so much of what you're going to do going forward.

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Published: August 9, 2017

4 Responses to “Write Now! Persuasive Writing Prompt: List Your Prospect’s Pain and Pleasure Points [video]”

  1. As I worked on a pet food promotion, this was a very useful exercise. I would recommend it for other health topics as well, since there are some deeply painful issues that pet owners do think about--or could. Pain doesn't have to be visceral. Pain can be shelling out $24.00 for a bag of dog food that makes your dog sick.
    Well, it worked for me.

    Pendleton Lee

  2. Do you mean for example a video doorbell that a company is having a hard time selling because of complaints about not working, not performing as stated, poor instructions and warnings, poor customer service etc? Is this what you mean by pain?


  3. A challenge. still working on pain/pleasure lists. Thought of online services in education & careers.
    Consumer - recent graduate.
    Pain: money; student loan;tight budget; competitive market;living with parents; no car; post-graduate education - how?; two jobs? night classes? time management; how many years?
    Pleasure: better paying jobs; private sector or government; companies that support further education; part-time online work; work from home & online education. Independence.


  4. I'm new at this so I don't know exactly what I'm doing XD

    Anyway these are points just based off of any company ever for any person.

    Pain points:
    Low-quality product Super expensive Not enough customer service Slow time giving customers what they need Bad customer service Unorganized Doesn’t give customers exactly what they need Lacks patience

    Pleasure points:
    Improve the product Lower the cost Get more customer service Quicken the services customers need Train employees to treat customers better Become more organized Listen to customers and know what they need Learn to have patience with customers

    Leslie Loo

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