Being exposed to overwhelming amounts of written content is nothing new, especially in this age of digital information. However, we can probably all agree that there are times when less is more – when just a few words are needed to create the maximum impact.
In this article, we are going to talk about the power of microcopy and how you can utilize it to improve your website’s customer experience.
What Is Microcopy?
Before we start our quick “Microcopy The Complete Guide”, allow us to define what it is first. In a nutshell, microcopy refers to the bite-sized copy typically found on websites and mobile applications. It’s actually not a new term, but it seemed to have gained recent interest due to its added benefits in user and customer experience.
These tiny tidbits of content are everywhere. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve been exposed to it for years without even noticing.
It is the call to action of your website’s search bar. It is the quick disclaimer in your email that your information won’t be shared with others. It is a short and witty explanation of why a page is missing.
It is simple, elegant, and almost a form of poetry.
How Microcopy Design Can Build Good Customer Experience?
So how can it improve customer experience? Here are just some ways:
It gets the conversation going
A microcopy can serve as a great conversation starter. Think of your online visitors as guests that you’re inviting to an unfamiliar house. They don’t know where to go and they don’t know what to expect when they open a door. What results is an awkward silence.
So don’t wait for them to get the conversation going. Say hello. Invite them to explore. For instance, the “Try (location)” prompt in the Airbnb search bar is a good example.
It gives your customers confidence
Give your online visitors the reassurance that they’re doing the right thing. This is especially true for online shops and business websites where there are important processes and personal information involved. For instance, instead of just making a button that says “Pay” on your online shop, wouldn’t it be better to say “Get my item shipped.” instead?
In this way, you’re not only telling your customers that they have done all the steps correctly to purchase their items, but you’re also letting them know what’s going to happen next.
It increases transparency
In relation to the previous point, stating a microcopy of what each link or button does will increase the transparency of your website. This, in turn, provides context and will serve to foster customer trust.
It boosts engagement and interest
Aren’t you tired of “Click here”? We sure are. It’s bland, boring, and sounds like a robot. Taking the extra step to make your microcopy special will show your customers the care and effort that went into the creation of your website.
It reduces friction
Finally, we’re living in a fast-paced world. Time is precious. Nothing annoys people the most than long-winding sentences that can actually be reduced to three words. Prevent this type of negative customer experience by writing bite-sized and witty microcopies that will not only save time but can even potentially brighten one’s day.
Why Is Microcopy Design Important?
Aside from improving customer experience, here are other reasons why microcopy is essential:
Microcopy Keep the Customers Glued on Your Website
As mentioned, a good microcopy can break the ice and convince the online visitor to give your website a chance. At the very least, it will make sure that your audience won’t leave your site without any sort of interaction.
Here are a few tips to make your microcopy more engaging:
Communicate in your audience’s language. Words have power, so use it to your advantage. Does your target demographic use particular colloquialism and slang? Then don’t be afraid to include them in your microcopy, especially if they’re short and witty.
Doing so will give you much insight into how your audience thinks. This will allow you to potentially create your own slang later on. Plus points if you can get that word (or group of words) to trend. You can even get your microcopy trademarked at this point if it’s particularly unique and reflective of your brand.
Give quick and clear instructions. Yes, we did say that writing a microcopy is almost a form of poetry. However, this doesn’t mean that you should abandon clarity for the sake of artistry.
In any case, isn’t coming up with the best combination of words to provide information and clarity in the shortest way possible an art form in itself?
Keep the conversation going until the end. Microcopies are great for getting people’s attention due to their length and typical wit. Hence, it’s no wonder why most of us choose to place them at the beginning of the page.
As mentioned, microcopies are great to get the conversation going. However, this doesn’t mean that you should pack all your microcopies at the top of the page. Instead, it is more ideal to spread them out to guide your online audience through the page, from start to finish.
Predict what your audience is going to ask next and propose an answer through a microcopy. Finally, since microcopies are great for providing quick answers, you can also use them to anticipate your online visitor’s needs and address potentially confusing (or questionable) parts of a page.
For instance, suppose you are creating a sign-up form for an online membership and you’re worried that your potential registrants might question why you are asking for their mailing address.
You can place a clickable dropdown toggle stating “Why do you need my address?” and state your reason. You may say that you need it because you want to send them free samples in the future. This is just an example, though. Feel free to apply this tip however you see fit.
Microcopy Direct the Users
Use microcopy to gently nudge your customers towards the direction you want to take them. For instance, suppose you run a POS financing company and an online visitor just happened to stumble upon your blog post about the benefits of offering point-of-sale financing. Placing a linked microcopy that says “Explore POS financing options.” will direct your online customer to the next step of the sales funnel and encourage him to stay a while longer.
Now, we understand how you might be tempted to say “Sign up now” or something similar to shorten the process. You certainly can. Just keep in mind that doing so can potentially scare your online guests away. They might think that clicking on your harmless link will force them to commit to something they’re not fully prepared for just yet.
Example of Good Microcopy
Speaking of gentle nudges that can keep online visitors clicking, here are just a few examples of good microcopy:
- No credit card required. It’s short, straightforward, and it gets the job done. It is not uncommon for online visitors to be wary of signing up for things given the proliferation of cyber threats. Placing this button below your “Sign Up” button will eliminate those worries and motivate them to keep on going.
- You can always change/cancel it later. Let’s say that your customers do have to sign-up or pay for something. Placing this microcopy into your sign-up form will provide your customer some breathing space. They just need to relax. They’re not committing to something written in stone and they don’t have to make all of their decisions right now.
- Why is this needed? One of the leading causes of basket abandonment is checkout forms that require personal information. Same as our previous example, you may place this microcopy as a clickable dropdown toggle that won’t take them away from the page and can serve as a great way to reassure your customers that leaving their personal info is for their own benefit.
- No thanks, I’m good. “I don’t want (your offer here).” is also a good alternative. You can place this microcopy to allow users to close any pop-up along with a discreet X button. You can also place the X button in the right-hand part of the pop-up to make your users either look for it or read through your message. When done right, this microcopy can get your online visitors to take the time to read your message lest they miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime offer.
- BUT WAIT! Small disclaimer. Brands typically place their disclaimers in the form of a fine print. Prove that you have nothing to hide by placing your disclaimers front and center. Keep in mind that this gesture of added transparency is always valued, especially in a world where no one is ignorant of fraudulent activity.
Writing witty and straightforward microcopies and placing them strategically on your website can significantly boost customer engagement. We hope that the tips we have shared with you above can help you use them to your advantage, especially in helping your brand rise above the competition. Good luck!