Little Pain for Big Gain

8 June 2022
Reading: 6 min

In marketing one hears a lot about the so-called pain points and that marketers are supposed to know and use them well to be successful. Does this mean that our audience is actually suffering? In a manner of speaking, they are. Pain points is a term that relates to the issues or problems your target users might experience which can be solved or covered by the product or service you promote. In short, pain points describe what the users are lacking to make them happy.

Little Pain for Big Gain

Why do pain points matter?

By knowing and using pain points to talk to your audience, you and your offer become much more relevant. You can offer exactly what they need, and say what they want to hear. You are touching an aching nerve, so to speak, and they can’t stay indifferent.

Pain points are rooted in human psychology, and they trigger emotions, which in their turn provoke the target action. This means that you need to study your audience really well, maybe even create customer profiles to create pain-specific copy and creatives.

All kinds of pain

Well, pain points can be as diverse and individual as one user differs from another. But, if we play science, we can categorize them into several groups. Let’s take a closer look at those most relevant for ad campaigns and check out some examples.

Little Pain for Big Gain


Not surprisingly, financial pain is a very strong motivation of consumer behavior. On your part, this pool of reasons includes such elements as price, value, USP, potential economy, product’s durability, customer support, and insurance. Your solution is not only making things look like your offer is the cheapest around, but making sure that it has a good value for money vibe.

The pain: financial vulnerability, lack of savings, spending too much, not earning enough

Examples: Save X dollars on subscription. Free shipping. Buy 2 — get 3rd free.

Productivity and Process

These pain points have everything to do with how people spend their time and whether they think they spend it on something worthwhile. You need to make sure that the product/service you promote is accessible, time-saving, and they won’t have to wait long for it to arrive. It also means that you must make your campaign flows easy, not too many steps, clicking around, and filling forms. Users tend to abandon offers that seem too strenuous.

The pain: wasting time, lack of time-management, much effort brings poor results, fatigue, work overload

Examples: Pay in one click. X does this task for you. Tired of doing X? Still using X? We know how to do it 10 times better.


It’s no use telling people about positive thinking and staying true to ones’ nature. It’s in human nature to compare yourself and your achievement with those around you, it has been especially prominent since the rise of social networks. Beauty standards and all sorts of lifehacks and challenges with a peer pressure to follow and conform. 

The pain: unsatisfactory body image, loneliness, lack of human interaction (that is often attributed to unsatisfactory body image)

Examples: Change your life with X. Dreaming of a long-term relationship? Make your skin shine.


This may be the only real pain in the literal meaning of the word. This pain point is mostly relevant for (surprise!) nutra offers, or health&beauty products. The best approaches will highlight such results as pain relief, some cosmetic improvement, or better self-care. 

The pain: lack of self-care, health issues, desire for better quality of life, 

Examples: Never feel the pain again. Scientifically attested. 9 out of 10 doctors prefer X. Longer and healthier life with X.

Customer profiling

So, how exactly do you get your hands on your audience’s pain points? Well, usually you run a research or simply ask.

Little Pain for Big Gain

Businessman holding product and service evaluation sheet. Customer satisfaction concept.

Customer research — polls and surveys to find out what they are thinking of. This approach works great for email marketing campaigns for an existing active database. Also, a short poll or quiz will do well on an interactive landing page and can become a valuable asset for data-driven optimization.

Sales research — find out what products are in demand with your audience, what feedback they get. Statistics from other ad campaigns or the stats data you can source online, also reviews and testimonials from customers. Monitoring social media and forums is a great way of doing that.

Integrating pain points in your campaigns

Pain points go beyond clickbait-y headlines and ugly creatives. You need to incorporate them into your marketing strategy so that the delivery of information, ad placements, length of copy, content of your landers — so that all conforms with the pain point you have identified.

Trigger emotions

In many cases, emotion is stronger than reason. People are prone to compulsive decisions when they feel worried and stressed, or on the contrary, extremely happy. Once you have identified the relevant pain point — offer the desired solution. Feel tired — here’s an all-inclusive tour to the Maldives, feel ugly — here’s a celebrity-acclaimed beauty knick-knack that will turn you into a fairy.

Use pain points to form keywords

This has everything to do with copy, headlines, and targeted search ads. Research a volume of texts dedicated to that pain or problem and identify the keys with the biggest ranking potential. Tools like Ahrefs and Google Trends will also come in handy.

When it comes to paid search, make sure to mention the top keywords that cover the customers’ pain. Finance — free trial, process — fast and easy, support — tested and reliable.

Little Pain for Big Gain

Optimize your copy

Fill it with necessary keywords, make it shorter or longer depending on what your audience wants to see. Make sure to address the pain in your texts and offer an explicit solution. For instance, when people are lonely, they are looking for an easily-accessible dating opportunity, not a “how to bear solitude” long read.


Every purchase is motivated by a need, in marketing this need is called a pain point. If you learn to identify them for your audience and integrate them at every level of your ad campaign, you will see much higher conversion rates because your content and offer will feel relatable, in other words, make them think: “feels like it was made just for me”. Make your audience feel special by calling out to their needs and thoughts. However, you should also remember to pick one pain point per campaign, because we all know that magic pills that solve all issues do not exist.

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