What is microcopy?! Great, yet another mysterious digital marketing term to figure out. If you’re like most business owners, it might seem like you’re always playing “catch-up” when it comes the lingo of online marketing.

You got the hang of “SEO” – search engine optimization – long ago. Then you needed to figure out CTR (click-through rates), UX design (user experience), CRO (conversion rate optimization), app development, community building, and the list goes on.

But fear not. You already got this one. You already know what is microcopy. You’ve been using it since you added your first “Submit” button to a website.

So why are you hearing so much about it now? As our understanding of how the minds of online customers work, and how we get them to click, we’re all gaining a better appreciation of the crucial role microcopy plays in reaching our DM goals.

What is Microcopy?

In the simplest terms, microcopy is the small bits of text on your digital marketing properties, including websites, apps, emails, ads, and landing pages. It helps to explain, instruct, guide and motivate users at different points in their journey through your message.

Let’s look at a couple of examples to get a better idea of what is microcopy, how it is used and why it’s so important.

Microcopy On a Website

The web team at Amazon are microcopy experts. Always have been. They know there are three major points of concern for customers when they buy clothing online:

  1. How do I know the product is good quality?
  2. How do I know it will fit?
  3. What happens if I want to return it?

Instead of using long stretches of copywriting to describe quality materials, perfect sizing and their shipping policy, Amazon puts microcopy to work to ease customers’ fears and uncertainties about buying.

Microcopy on Amazon product page

 

  1. How do I know the product is good quality? Ratings reassure the visitor that not only is this item well received, but it’s popular too, and you can even get answers to a few questions. And Amazon takes it one step further to let you know that this particular item is “Amazon’s Choice”. The result of this microcopy? You get the feeling you can’t go wrong with this purchase.
  2. How do I know it will fit? Boom, this microcopy lets you know you have a 90% chance of it fitting as expected. Microcopy conquers the fear of an ill-fitting shirt.
  3. What happens if I want to return it? The cost of shipping and/or not clearly mentioning shipping costs are two of the biggest reasons for cart abandonment in e-commerce. Amazon mentions “Free Returns” no less than three times on the page. 

Microcopy In Apps

Microcopy is particularly powerful on mobile apps because of the limited display space. As an example of the many different applications of microcopy, the app below uses it to improve the accuracy of the information in their customer database.

They’ve added microcopy directly in the entry field to make sure there is no doubt in the user’s mind about what information is expected and where to enter it.

microcopy in a mobile app settings window

Microcopy in Calls-to-Action

If there is one place where microcopy may be most powerful, it is in your calls to action. Instead of using CTA copy that is merely an instruction, microcopy can turn the CTA into powerful, click-inducing device.

Neil Patel gives us a great example. Who doesn’t want more traffic to their website?

microcopy in website header

Microcopy in Emails

Even in an email, microcopy on a CTA can trigger higher click-through rates. This one offers two benefits to taking the call: I get to see the new jersey AND my special offer!

microcopy in email calls to action

Now that you have a better idea of what is microcopy, get in touch with the digital marketing team at nvision to learn more.

Originally published on

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