Micro content: Why focusing on the small stuff can pay

Focusing on micro content - small copy elements like button names, calls to action, reassurance text (for example around an online form of payment process) or even where a particular piece of copy is placed on a page - can produce big wins. And small copy fixes are usually even when there's no budget for redesign or technical changes.

 Micro content: Why focusing on the small stuff can pay

Changing micro content can increase conversions, save on customer support time and cost, and boost customer satisfaction.

There are 3 main barriers to conversion that micro content can help address:

  • Ego – how do we persuade a reader that it’s in their interests to carry out a particular task?
  • Inertia – how do we make a customer act now rather than putting it off until later?
  • Fear and cynicism – how do we overcome trust issues?

Here are 10 key techniques for overcoming these barriers...

Demonstrate benefits by modelling outcomes rather than tasks – help the user to imagine the real-world results they’ll get

Be specific about what you’re offering, rather than using vague marketing terms – talk about actual products, not just generalised solutions or offerings

Use peer endorsement, whether it’s in the form of testimonials, reviews or simply ranking content, eg: top 5 downloads.

Appeal to readers’ egos when asking them to carry out a task for you. For example, a link to a reader survey which read Tell us what we can do better performed significantly better than one which read Give us your best ideas.

Be aware of customer issues with trust and adjust copy to address this. For example, simply adding secure to the word checkout can provide the reassurance the customer needs to make a purchase.

Focus on your taglines: are they meaningful? Do they really describe your organisation?

Understand the importance of form copy, and be aware of potential drop-off points, addressing them with targeted reassurance text and incentives.

Offer incentives at crucial stages of customer interaction with your company, for example when they create a profile or sign up for your emails.

Use tone of voice in certain places, such as error messages, to build a relationship with your brand.

Identify areas of your site that demand high effort from your customers and address this with intelligent information design and strategically-placed copy – for example by providing multiple pathways to answers to common questions.