Microcopy – Small and Mighty

Microcopy isn’t small unreadable text hidden somewhere in the footer of your site. Microcopy is the tiny, important little bits of text (often shorter than a sentence) located on web applications and many websites. It’s a short sentence, a phrase, a single word. It is small copy with big impact.

These little bits of text can help clarify and explain exactly what is going on to someone when performing (or considering) a task on your website. You’ll find some examples of microcopy below…

Why do I want to sign-up? HSX.com uses two sentences to tell us how great their site is and why we should sign-up.
Should I enter my email? Twitter.com asks new members to provide their email account, but they make sure to let visitors know that the email will not be publicly displayed but can be used to search for them by people who know them.
Will they actually email me or should I just call? This simple blurb at the top of the contact form on EllsworthMedia.com gives visitors the expectation that someone might actually get back to them in a timely fashion.

Other Examples

  • When signing up for a newsletter, say “this low-volume newsletter”
  • When people add their emails, say “we hate spam as much as you do”
  • When subscribing for something free, say “you can always unsubscribe at any time”
  • When selling an paid-for web application, be sure to let people know if you have a free trial.
  • When storing customer’s information, say “You can export your information at any time”
  • If offering optional account creation, say “If you create an account, you’ll be able to track your package”

All of these examples of microcopy above share one thing in common: they help to alleviate concerns of would-be customers by speaking directly to their thoughts. That’s why this copy can be so SMALL AND MIGHTY!