Good copy is good business: The ROI of microcopy, by Yael Ben-David
You want your return to be higher than your investment. There are two ways to do that:
- Increase the return
- Decrease the investment
But if you want microcopy return to be high, you need a fair amount of investment. Good microcopy requires understanding and research, knowing conventions, sometimes it requires engineering, etc.
You have to put a little more in to get a lot more out. But it’s worth it! UX writing makes money.
Example: Google changed hotel searches from “Book a room” to “Check availability” and increased engagement by 17%
UX writing can help to overcome barriers:
- Personalization – communicating a sense of knowing one another (like Starbucks writing your name on your cup)
- Technical barriers – not knowing what to do
- Simplifying – sometimes the best microcopy decision is actually about removing text
- Clarifying – sometimes people hesitate to share information if they don’t know why you need it. Being transparent (through copy or a tool tip) meets them where they are
- Communication – tell someone what you recommend. Microcopy can motivate when someone is hesitating.
How do you write effective microcopy?
- Define your business goals: what makes your company money?
- User research: why aren’t those goals being met (or why aren’t they being met optimally)
- Hypothesis: create an assumption of what you will want to test. e.g. “I think we aren’t meeting the goal because X.”
- Test: specifically, test to see if your hypothesis is correct.
- Repeat: improve the content and go again.
How does it save money?
- It saves on support. Clear microcopy means fewer support calls.
- It saves on engineering. When you explain what’s happening, rather than trying to fix everything through code, it’s a much cheaper solution
- Save on marketing.
How do you make changes happen? Consider your ask:
- Consider all the resources – including time!
- Be as concrete and accurate as possible
- Share your hypothesis and the outcome-driven action