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How To Find Out What Keeps Your Customers Up At Night

Do you know exactly what problem your customer is looking to solve?

The human body requires sleep. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends that adults get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If the body isn’t getting that, why might people be losing sleep?

Fear and uncertainty are two of the most powerful emotions. They drive our behavior, often in irrational ways. Your customers are likely experiencing some level of fear or uncertainty. So how do you discover what is keeping them up at night?

Talk To Your Customers
The best research will come from talking directly with your customers. Consult with your customer-facing employees or your sales team. What pain points do customers bring up most often? How do they describe their problems? This is the most obvious method, but also one of the most time consuming and most prone to error (since people often don’t want to admit their fear or uncertainty).
You can also use customer surveys. These can be sent out to your customers via email like this email that Twitter for Business sent me recently:
This email links to a short survey where an advertiser like myself can tell them what is working well, what I’m struggling with, and what features I would like them to develop. There are also vendors such as KissMetrics that allow you to keep tabs on people as they use your website. Thus you see what content they interact with, how long they stay on certain pages, which pages lead them to leave, etc. These methods allow you to find out directly what your customers are thinking/doing and how that relates to their fears & uncertainties.

There are several ways to learn about your customers though research.
Online Research
There are a many ways to research people’s fears and uncertainties through online research. Let’s look at two examples:
Google Autosuggest – When you go to the homepage to perform a search, you’ll notice that as you begin typing your query, you’ll see a few suggested searches appear below the search box. This is Google autosuggest. It is based on Google’s database of previous search queries and attempts to “guess” what you’re looking for based on what other people have looked for. This is a gold mine.

Consider this search for “How to stop”:
These potential queries show some strong emotions, from a child being bullied to a significant other who is losing sleep because of a partner’s snoring (ironic given our topic).

If we continue typing, the suggestions change. Consider this search for “How to stop getting”:
Now the major concerns appear to be about stopping spam and getting too tall.

These queries show you areas that people are concerned about. They are windows into the hearts and minds of your potential customers and offer you opportunities if your product can solve the issue.
Competitor Research – This is the same idea as Google Autosuggest, but we want to look at what other competitors are doing as a proxy. Effectively, it’s as though we’re picking the brains of our competitors.

Consider this search for “grass fed beef” in iSpionage. One area of the results shows us the top ads. Looking at these ads we see a couple of different unique selling propositions (USPs) that infer different needs.
The Blackwing ad emphasizes the beef is tender & delicious. The focus is on the quality of the beef to allay the fear of the beef being overly lean or tough.

TexasGrassFedBeef markets their variety of beef, buffalo, pork, lamb, and seafood (not sure how you grass feed seafood, but who am I to judge). They want to reach customers that might feel limited by a small selection.

Niman Ranch emphasizes that the animals were humanely raised. This appeals to customers who might be worried about the conditions the animals’ experience.

In each case we see the advertiser speaking to a worry, fear, or concern.

How To Help Your Customers Sleep Easier
So what do you do once you know what fears and uncertainties your customers and potential customers are experiencing? I offer the following tips to take this knowledge and put it into practice:
1. Update your website & landing page copy. Look at the fears your customers are feeling and explain how your product/service squashes that fear. Say they’re not sure about how their credit card will be charged. Write a great FAQ page that clearly spells out your policy and then link to it. Then their uncertainty and fear will be replaced with peace of mind and confidence.
2. Communicate more clearly. When you communicate with your customer and potential customers, whether that’s through your social media channels, your regular emails, or in person, speak to their fears and uncertainties. Allay the concerns even before you hear about them. Most likely, for every person that tells you their fears there are more who didn’t tell you and cancelled or left.
3. Reassure, reassure, reassure. Don’t think that you can mitigate a fear once and not have it crop up again. Every time they buy the same concern(s) could come up. Therefore you need to be continuously communicating how your product/services resolve their fear and give them peace of mind.


Robert Brady
Guest Blogger Robert Brady
Robert Brady is the PPC expert at Trafficado, a company that provides PPC management, and conversion rate optimization services for SMBs. He is a Google AdWords Certified Partner and is certified with Marketing Experiments for Online Testing and Landing Page Optimization.

He currently resides in Provo, Utah and can often be found skiing the greatest snow on earth, mountain biking through the Wasatch mountains or playing ultimate Frisbee at the park on a Saturday morning. The best way to say hello is through Twitter, where you can find him @robert_brady You can also reach