Why You Should Give a Shit About Your Microcopy

Make Microcopy Great Again

WTF is Microcopy?

There are so many aspects that need to come together perfectly to create a great website. If any one of the parts fail, the entire thing crumbles. Everything from the design, the experience, and the words work in concert to bring you a masterpiece. But the tiniest, out of place detail can ruin the whole thing. The detail we’re focusing on today: Microcopy.

The little bits of text that you’d usually not think too hard about. The error messages. The labels. The forms. The disclaimers. These little bits help perfect your user’s experience. And, when your Microcopy is on brand, it helps convert. The little words that could.

This article will give you the parameters to creating effective Microcopy.

Subtlety + Copywriting

What you ask and how you ask it could be the difference between a click-through or a bounce. You don’t want to scare your user off by being too aggressive, but you also want them to do whatever you’re asking. Convincing, without force. It’s a fine balance.

This is where Microcopy comes in.

Microcopy uses the psychology of the visitor and attempts to remove any worries or doubts they might be having. It anticipates them and avoids them. You need to think kittens and cupcakes, not death metal. Soft, enticing. Not scaring or jarring them. Every detail of your website builds trust with the visitor. Your brand or company’s personality needs to stay 💯  the whole time. This is how you convert.  

It’s Just, Like, the Rules of Microcopy

There are actual no rules for Microcopy. Everything we’ve just said, and will say, can be ignored. You don’t want to do that though. If you want good Microcopy, do these things:

Be transparent:

Transparency requires being to-the-point blunt. You don’t have a ton of room to work with, so you need to make everything count. Say your shit in 5 words, not fifty. Commit to your words, and your visitors will too. Go all in on those buttons, forms, or pages and tell people why you want what you want. Get after it. Don’t be shy.

You know what goes hand in hand with transparency? Personality. Microcopy is the place for your brand’s personality to shine through in the most distilled form. Stay true to that, and you’re halfway to good Microcopy already.

Stay regular:

No, we don’t mean getting your full fibre intake. Although, you should be doing that too. What we do mean is sticking with your established tone and personality. The one you were just totally transparent about. Yeah, that one. Always write for your audience, even in error messages. They’re the ones reading it, and having inconsistent wording will create a dissonance in their head that won’t be resolved any time soon.

Get those test results:

Microcopy is an art, not a science. Even art doesn’t always resonate. So, find out if yours does with science and A/B test the shit out of it. Testing means you can adjust. Adjusting means you can see what words impact your audience more. See their pain points. Delve into their user experience. The tiniest word change can increase conversion rates exponentially. “Free Trial” vs. “Try it Now” is vastly different. Find out what your people are into. Test, test, test. Then put it into action.

The Takeaway: Your visitors experience relies on many different things working together. Make sure the details align with your brand’s voice, personality, and objectives. Test your Microcopy so you can make sure those details are helping you get the results, and growth, you’re after. Remember, the devil is in the details.

Want to know what else we give a shit about? Subscribe to our email list. 

elizabeth mcintyre