The secret to good microcopy

January 3, 2018

Microcopy is the little bit of copy — one or two words — that comes at key moments within your customer’s journey.

Microcopy is usually found online — on buttons or error messages, for example. But why stop there? I think it also applies offline too, anywhere there’s an opportunity to communicate — think meeting room names or office signage.

Ignore microcopy at your peril, because it’s a valuable part of your brand and a great opportunity to show who you are in a less formal way. Rather than let it sit there saying ‘Meeting room 1’ why not make it meaningful?

Here are 3 suggestions

Wifi password: My favourite wifi password is Vagabond’s, a self-service wine shop in London’s Spittalfields, which uses ‘Less net more wine’- fun, cheeky and brimming with personality.

Error messages: LinkedIn’s “Oops, it’s not you it’s us. Please give us another try.” Is much friendlier than “Page not found” and shows that they’re taking responsibility for their mistakes.

Buttons: At those crucial ‘get in touch’ moments when your client is hovering over that ‘submit’ button, suddenly ‘submit’ feels a little bit ’50 Shades’…

Why not ‘Go for it’ instead? It’s friendly, encouraging and hints at your company’s wider personality.

The secret? Make sure it’s included as part of your brand DNA somewhere, otherwise it’s going to seem very odd. Work out what’s at the more playful end of your communications spectrum and apply that tone to those microcopy moments.

But make sure you keep it in check, because sometimes it can go too far, and no one wants the microcopy equlivalent of wackaging disrupting your professional flow.

That’s a topic for another day…

January 3, 2018

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