Some words can increase or hinder your Marketing and Sales results; know everything about microcopy and understand how to apply it
Microcopy is a small piece of text that is intended to instruct, convince and alleviate the reader’s concern. In this way, it reduces friction and makes it easier to perform the expected action. Microcopy is widely used in buttons, forms and instruction fields.
Have you ever heard of microcopy? It is a short piece of text that is intended to convince, instruct, and alleviate the reader’s worry (reduce friction). This small text is present in buttons, error messages, links, form fields and instructional messages.
In conversion optimization, microcopy has the function of motivating the reader to click and also providing guidelines to leave no room for possible fears and objections. The lack of this care can discourage the reader from taking the next step.
What is copywriting
Before delving into microcopy, let’s take a step back and talk a little bit about copywriting.
Copywriting is used in the production of texts for Email Marketing, websites, Landing Pages, advertisement and sales letters, for example. The professional responsible for the development of the text (also called “copy”) is known as a copywriter.
The persuasive technique of copywriting aims to convert readers into consumers of a particular product or service.
Through writing, structures and triggers, copywriting fulfills the function of holding the reader and making him want to read line after line. And, at the end, follow the instructions you indicated, such as downloading material or purchasing a product or service.
Microcopy is essential in copywriter work, because after creating your persuasive text, you will need to ensure that you choose the best word for the Call-to-Action button , for example.
Examples of microcopy
Next, for you to have a better view, I bring some very clear examples of microcopy. This is what using microcopy to reduce reader worry (friction) looks like:
In the example above, taken from the RD Station product page , the microcopy says “You don’t need to register a credit card”. This answers a very important question that potential buyers have: “Do I need to register a credit card to test?”
This action significantly reduces the friction, which would prevent the person from proceeding for fear of having to register the credit card and keep receiving future charges.
Next, let’s go to another example.
“Make sure you enter the same billing address associated with your credit card”
In the second example, the billing address text was a solution to a problem: many people were getting error messages when trying to purchase because they were adding an address that was not linked to their credit card. That little sentence significantly reduced the number of people who got it wrong.
These little phrases or sentences can have a lot of impact. When analyzing the examples above, you will notice the main one: microcopy is extremely contextual. That’s why it’s so valuable. He answers people’s specific questions and addresses their concerns – right away. If the person generated a concern in the mind, it was answered and reduced right there in the context.
Microcopy in Digital Marketing
What is Digital Marketing
First of all, you may want to have a clear definition of what Digital Marketing is. So let’s get to it, taken from our epic page on the topic .
Digital Marketing is a set of information and actions that can be done in various digital media with the aim of promoting companies and products.
Visibility, breaking the geographic barrier, greater reach of the public and less cost are some of the benefits that we can cite.
As for the possibilities of applications, they are multiple, but there are some strategies and techniques that are mostly used by the vast majority of businesses. This is because they consistently bring positive results. Are they:
- Content Marketing ;
- Email Marketing ;
- Social Networks ;
- Conversion Optimization ;
- Search Marketing .
The role of microcopy in Digital Marketing
Imagine that to attract more customers, you decided to launch a campaign offering an eBook with great tips related to your service or product. You created your Landing Page to capture contacts , described all the benefits of the free eBook and waited for the result.
The next day, the bad surprise: no one downloaded! “But how so? The content is great and free.”
This is more common than we think! Let’s analyze some elements: did you write in a visible place that your eBook is free? (yes, many people forget to tell) What did you write on the Call-to-Action button?
Let’s take a real example:
Here we see part of a Landing Page that offers a live. The event is free, but that wasn’t written anywhere on the Landing Page. Finally, as we can see, the Call-to-Action button contains the word “Submit”.
We will see throughout the article that “Submit” does not encourage the user to click. Also, what are you going to send? Where? And then?
We have to be extremely specific and intentional in our offerings – and especially in Call-to-Action, which is the call to action.
But then, what should I write on the button for my target audience to click? Before delving into the tips and techniques, let’s show you an example here from Digital Results
Do A/B tests
In addition to knowledge, what counts a lot in choosing the best word are A/B tests, which must be done constantly. In one of our Landing Pages.
To increase conversions, every word matters. According to Marketing Entrepreneur Eban Pagan, “Changes in titles, words, and headlines can increase results by 10x”.
With clarity on the importance and best practices of microcopy, you will have a much bigger picture of what to test on your next offerings. You will also be able to increase your conversion rates and, consequently, opportunities and sales. So, on to microcopy best practices and more detailed examples.
Microcopy best practices – and where to start
Now that we know what microcopy is, let’s delve into the main functions, applications, tips and examples. I guarantee that from now on, you will never look at micro texts on pages, forms and buttons the same way again.
Keep these microcopy rules in mind at all times
Microcopy provides clarity, direction and instruction. And it is responsible for conveying security to user expectations and decisions. Always keep these factors in mind when writing yours.
Microcopy: general website tips
Small changes, when done well, are capable of improving the page’s interface, making it easier to understand and providing a feeling of quality. Let’s look at some concepts and examples:
Write to a person in the singular
Not recommended: People who came this far have reached the end of the course!
Recommended: You have reached the end of the course, congratulations!
write as you speak
Not recommended: The products you want to buy
Recommended: Your shopping list
Use the active voice, not the passive
Not recommended: How would you like to pay?
Recommended: Select your preferred payment method
Keep the phrase connectors
Not recommended: Order details
Recommended: Your order details
Emphasize the benefit of the action, not the process
Not recommended: A variety of functions to control your company’s business process
Recommended: Control your business process
Beware of Slang, Regionalism, and Abbreviation
Not recommended: wpp
On forms, place labels on the front
Not recommended: Fields must contain “name (first)”
Recommended: Fields should contain “first name”
Use as few words as possible, cut out what’s not crucial
Not recommended: Just fill in your favorite email below and you’ll have instant access to the first class.
Recommended: Enter your email to access the first class
Microcopy: error messages
There are many different error messages. The important thing is to communicate “what went wrong and how to fix it”.
The experience is frustrating when you use a website for the first time and you can see what you want to do (e.g. clicking “complete purchase”), but for some reason the button is faded (unclickable, disabled) and not has an explanation why. This is the worst version of a bug. “You can’t do this, but we won’t say why.”
Each error message needs to say what happened or what cannot happen, and then give an explanation: “what to do to make it disappear”.
Don’t be authoritative and say exactly what the person needs to do
Not recommended: This field is required
Recommended: You cannot continue, the fields below are incomplete
Do not use the term “error” (or variants and synonyms)
Not recommended: Error in one or more fields
Recommended: Your request failed. Please review the fields and try again
Microcopy testing Landing Pages and CTAs in RD Station Marketing for free
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Should I use a playful or serious tone when reporting error messages?
Whatever. In terms of tone of language, different people achieve different things. Twitter tends to be pretty cute about it. The same goes for Gmail and Chrome. They use things like “Oops, our page crashed” and put on a sad face. This is branded guidance, and does not affect the effectiveness of error messages.
The bottom line, what most people want to know is, “if this doesn’t work, tell me what to do now.”
This is a fundamental principle in the customer experience. Imagine if you tried to have dinner at a restaurant and they just said “no” but didn’t explain why. It would be very frustrating, wouldn’t it? On the internet it’s the same thing, if something didn’t happen, the user wants to know why and how to fix it.
The tone of voice you will choose to communicate is the positioning of your brand who will say.
Microcopy: confirmation messages
The confirmation message provides responses and appropriate information to inform the results of an action taken. It can be a text that says “Oops, your purchase is confirmed. Your order will arrive in 5 business days”, one that says “Thank you! We sent you an email confirming your registration” or something like “We are processing the information, this may take a few minutes”. Anyway, any other message relevant to the context.
Confirmation messages are intended to:
The message confirms to the user that the action completed successfully and that everything is fine.
The message informs the user about the next step or mandatory step.
Oh, and don’t write like a robot, be kind
Not recommended: Confirmed purchase
Recommended: Thanks for the purchase and have a good show
Microcopy: messages for buttons
The word you are going to put on your website, email and landing page buttons must be carefully chosen and tested.
A button with a poorly chosen word can end all the impeccable work you did in convincing your offer. The small text of a button is capable of blocking and discouraging the action that you had already managed to convince the user to do.
A practical example is when you are searching for a product, you enter a website and right away there is a “buy here”. You haven’t browsed the site yet, you don’t know if you found what you were looking for, you don’t know what’s behind the “buy here”. Some people report the same thought: “I won’t click, they have my card details somehow and generate a charge.”
Think about your consumer’s journey, if you’re still going to show what your product does, use words like: “check out the advantages” “know the benefits”, and leave the “buy here” for the appropriate page.
And of course, do A/B testing and confirm what works best for your business. Let’s see some examples and best practices:
Saving is not the same as sending.
Do not use “ok” and “cancel”
Say exactly what these buttons do.
don’t be wordy
The buttons should say “Continue”, not “Click to continue”.
Motivate the user to click
Generic words like “Download”, “Search”, and “Submit” do not encourage users to make decisions.
Microcopy checklist for buttons
Here’s a checklist you should use:
- Motivate the visitor to click
- reduce anxiety
- Make it clear about what will happen when you click
- start with a verb
- focus on benefit
- Make expectations clear
Examples of microcopy
I have separated 5 examples of using microcopy for you to understand better: newsletter subscription, software registration, free shipping, project management tool and becoming a premium member.
People are about to sign up, but stop to ask themselves: how many emails will I get? Can I stop receiving when I no longer want it?
Both concerns were addressed with microcopy:
“Email once a week. Unsubscribe anytime with just one click.”
Can I change the link name later? Will everyone see my age?
“You can change this at any time after signing up.
In settings you can make this private.”
I’m in a hurry, can I put any name and change it later? Can I give space between words?
“Choose your Flickr name. You can change it later. Spaces are accepted. “
Free shipping from how much? The answer is right there: $125.
“Free shipping on orders over $125”
Project management tool
How much? Do you require a credit card?
“Prices start at just $20/month. Go to the price list. No credit card required.”
Becoming a Premium Member
Do you have loyalty? Can I cancel if I want?
“Note: You can cancel your subscription upgrade at any time.”
The microcopy group on Flickr , created by Joshua Porter, offers a ton of great examples to learn from.
Now that you know the importance of optimizations, how about putting the learnings into practice?
And there? Interested in learning more about microcopy and conversion optimization? We hope that these tips will be useful for your campaigns and that you will increase your results from the very first optimization.
If you want to know some other elements and see examples of Landing Pages that convinced 67%, 73% and 96% of visitors to leave their contacts, we suggest our eBook The Secrets of Landing Pages that Convert a lot
You will learn about the strategies used by companies from different segments. And you can feel free to get inspired and test your campaigns.