“Chadd, I’m mad at you!”

I remember those words. I was surprised when Dave told me that because I thought we had done a great job on his new website. Then, he went on to explain, “I had to dance on top of a table in our team meeting, this morning, wearing high heels. And it’s because of you!”

“Me? What do you mean?” I said, perplexed.

Dave said that he had promised his sales team in January that if they’d beat last year’s sales figures, that he’d dance on a table wearing high heels. It was now only 4 months into the year and they had already surpassed the numbers for all of last year, and I was responsible because of the website that we had built.

By that point, I breathed a sigh of relief, and felt proud of our team for the work we had done. But what do I attribute that success to? One thing: Empathy. You see, Dave was in charge of selling youth mission trips to exotic places like Peru but had struggled with his previous marketing messages that positioned the trips as a vacation with a humanitarian slant. We decided to change the message to a personalized, heart-felt, empathetic one where a young Peruvian girl named Pela asked the reader, “What if you were alone?” This single sentence, along with a powerful photo showing the sadness in her eyes caused people to sign up for Dave’s trips like never before. Don’t forget that people want to help, but they need to attach their desire to help with a real, tangible need. Connect your message to one person’s story and you’ll connect your reader to their pain. Hope that helps.

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