I was on a coaching call last week, getting the lead capture form for my new brand reviewed by Shanna Skidmore. One of the form questions is:
“How did you hear about us? (So glad you did, BTW!)”
When she read it aloud, Shanna gave a little “ha!” of surprise. “I love stuff like that,” she said. “What is that called — when you write those funny little bits of copy?”
It’s called microcopy, and it’s a critical part of the messaging for your creative business — or it should be.
Tiny words. Huge impact. 💪
Microcopy is exactly what you think it is: small snippets of copy on your website, emails, print materials, etc.
Creative businesses use microcopy to:
Whether you realize it or not, you see microcopy everywhere…
…And the list goes on!
While often overlooked, microcopy has a massive effect on your user experience and even your brand recognition.
First, microcopy guides your audience to take the next step in the simplest way possible. By making it easy for users to scan your copy and understand what they’re supposed to do next, you greatly increase their chance of converting. In fact, Nielsen Norman Group found that “Concise text, objective language, and scannable copy improves usability by 124%.”
Plus, microcopy helps you create a connection with your audience. Even a short message can reassure readers and brighten their day. When you use your brand voice to add some friendly flair to your microcopy, you’ve created a subtle branding touch that helps your audience trust you even more.
Curious what microcopy looks like in action? Here are how five creative brands are effectively using microcopy in their online marketing.
Showit knows people are hesitant to create new accounts. That’s why it added some disclaimer microcopy to its sign-up form, reassuring users that the trial really is free for 14 days, and you don’t even have to add your credit card.
Jason and Caroline Zook of Wandering Aimfully are the king and queen of cute microcopy. This unsubscribe option in their email footer is empathetic, direct, and even a little funny.
The Infatuation aims to be the go-to resource for restaurant recommendations. This search-prompt microcopy gives users a fun, helpful idea of what to search for.
As a website designer, Elizabeth McCravy understands the importance of CTA buttons. This example of microcopy is written in an upbeat voice from her ideal client’s perspective, making them more likely to click than if the CTA simply said, “Learn More.”
Homestead Living knows its audience. This 404-page microcopy is humorous and self-aware without being over the top.
Want even more inspiration? Check out microcopy.me for snackable bites of real microcopy from your favorite brands.
Want to maximize your own microcopy?
Consider how the following examples could be improved with a subtle tweak:
Whenever you’re writing microcopy, just remember my three Cs…
Bottom line: Small words can pack a punch. Don’t ignore them!