Essential UX and Microcopy Writing Tips to Drive Conversions and Increase SalesOctober 28, 2020 - 12 minutes read
Design and writing tips to increase your sales
When it comes to creating a seamless user experience, many eCommerce brands and retailers overlook the value of copywriting. While design, performance, and aesthetics are vital, so is the way you approach your messaging. In many ways, it’s the glue that binds a web page, landing page, or mobile app.
As an online business owner, investing in your UX and microcopy writing efforts will help you drive more conversions and increase your sales.
Here, we consider the importance of UX and microcopy writing and look at a mix of practical tips that will make your online store or website more engaging and, as a result, more valuable.
Why are user experience (UX) and microcopy important?
Typically, every dollar invested in UX offers in a return of $100—that equates to an ROI of 9,900%.
By taking the right measures to offer your customers a seamless, engaging, and personable online browsing or shopping experience, you will increase your chances of repeat custom.
Considering that 88% of people are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience, you can’t afford not to invest in your UX strategy—and microcopy should be an integral part of your efforts.
Good UX and microcopy writing:
- Is incredibly cost-effective, especially if you know how to do it yourself.
- Offers an excellent ROI.
- Helps develop your unique brand voice and tone.
- Guides potential customers through your online store or website without confusion or friction.
- Sparks engagement and encourages customer loyalty.
Conversion-boosting UX and microcopy writing tips
Now that you understand the value and importance of UX and microcopy writing, let’s look at how to do it effectively.
But before we do, here’s a quick definition of UX and microcopy for your reference:
Microcopy is the term used for all of the smaller, actionable, print-sized written content on a website, landing page, app, or any other form of digital touchpoints. Examples of where you would find or interact with UX and microcopy include CTA buttons, small print, cursor instructions, captions, error messages, thank you pages, social media buttons, etc.
Adopt a design-first mentality
The first rule of good UX and microcopy writing is that you must adopt a design-first mentality.
What this means is that it’s essential that you look at the design of the entire page when you’re writing microcopy. Scan the page as a prospective customer, looking at every design element.
If you’re writing instructional copy to fit under an email address entry box, for example, look at the content above it and consider where the content would fit best to create a natural flow. If there is a header above the email input box along with a little intro content, you could place your instructional microcopy under the box with a short message telling your user what to do and why to do it.
It may look like this:
Enter your email address for access to exclusive news and details.
As you can see, this is direct, actionable, and offers people a real incentive to take action—which brings us to our next point.
Speak it out loud
Effective UX and microcopy must be conversational. If it’s natural, personable, and sounds human, people will respond to it. So, when you’re writing a piece of UX and microcopy, say it out loud.
If your text doesn’t sound natural and conversational, you should go back to the drawing board and make tweaks until it does.
You could use a screen reading tool (an automated voice that reads your text back to you) or get a colleague to read your copy back to you. Doing so will give you the perspective you need to ensure your microcopy is as natural, conversational, and personable as possible.
Deliver the message first
When we say, “deliver the message first,” we mean that you should, by all means, be clever, funny, or witty when possible but never at the expense of what you’re trying to say.
If your copy dilutes the core message, you’re likely to confuse the reader, hindering the user experience and reducing your conversion rates.
For example, if you’re a walking boot retailer and are looking to write engaging UX and microcopy for a newsletter signup loading screen, this will prove confusing:
XX% (**this would be the loading percentage icon**)
We’re just walking up that hill.
Whereas, this will prove informational and engaging:
XX% (**this would be the loading percentage icon**)
The page is loading. We’re walking up that virtual hill, won’t be long.
Don’t write under a CTA box or button
Call to action (CTA) buttons are essential in guiding a customer through your site and encouraging conversions. The copy contained within your CTA buttons should be short, sweet, and tell the reader exactly what to do (we’ll cover more on effective copywriting soon).
That said, unless there’s a particular reason to do so, avoid placing any additional microcopy under your CTA as it will detract from the messaging and cause friction.
Remember: Your CTA button content is the microcopy—anything extra is usually surplus to requirement.
Avoid big text blocks and double negatives
When interacting with a web page or product page, most people scan rather than read everything in depth.
To ensure your UX and microcopy deliver the right message to your users at the right time (and ultimately, increase your sales), you should avoid using big blocks of text.
When you’re writing microcontent, you should always aim to create the biggest impact with the fewest words. Another essential microcopy writing tip is avoiding the use of double negatives.
Double negatives cause people to stop and think to break down a message. When this happens, you hinder the user experience. Doing so will lower your conversion rates and, as a result, your sales.
So, as a working example:
No: I do not want to unsubscribe.
Yes: I want to keep my subscription.
Write consistently and actively
Just as you would with your logo, imagery, and main copy, you must ensure that your UX and microcopy are as consistent as possible. Not only should your microcopy be logical, guiding your users through their journey with ease, but it must also remain in-line with your brand’s style or tone of voice.
While microcopy primarily exists for functional purposes, it’s also a chance to showcase your brand’s personality and keep your website visitors engaged at every twist and turn. So, if a piece of microcopy seems out of place when you’re testing a page, take measures to fix it.
You should also aim to use the active tense (this will prompt positive action and display confidence) wherever possible, being direct while placing the objective at the front of the message.
No: Tap here to get your exclusive 10% discount.
Yes: Get your 10% discount right here.
Provide disclosure to avoid information overload
Particularly when it comes to eCommerce or retail stores or sites, there is a lot of information to deliver in a small space. But cramming too many instructions or too much information into a single web space can cause information overload, which, in turn, will cause people to leave your site and go elsewhere.
With this in mind, sometimes, using your UX and microcopy to create disclosure will yield the best results. For example, if you have a product page with a title, subtitle, product description, and item specs, you could use drop-down boxes to hide pockets of information.
By doing so, you will give the customer the choice to click on the box and engage with the information they feel is relevant, using your microcopy messaging to guide them through the process.
Micro messages like ‘Read the products specs here’ or ‘Find out why you need to buy’ positioned in the right place will make your product page cleaner, more engaging, and easier to navigate without overwhelming the user with information. As a result, you will encourage more conversions and boost your sales.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep.”—Scott Adams
Making your UX and microcopy conversational while delivering clear, concise messaging at the right moment of the customer journey will boost your bottom line while growing your audience over time. Follow these UX and microcopy writing tips, keep it consistent, and you will be successful.
If you’re looking to upgrade your online store and make it more user-friendly, our mobile-optimized and completely customizable online store templates will help you create an engaging digital shopfront that will keep your customers coming back for more.
Contact us for more information, and we’ll be happy to help. We look forward to hearing from you.