How to successfully use UX writing & microcopy

Part 2: See what short text can do for your website!

Christa Schwandtner | © punkt & komma
Christa Schwandtner
Content management & editor

In our first article on UX writing and microcopy, we explained the basics of this type of web copy. In the second part of our blog series, it’s time to show you how you can use it in clever ways! Plus, we have some practical examples to inspire you for your own microcopy.

What is microcopy?

In a nutshell:

UX writing and microcopy are perfect for getting the message across to users with as few words as possible. Just think of CTAs (calls to action) or tips! What all types of “mini text” have in common: They are friendly and direct. After all, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!

To be able to write microcopy text that appeals to your target audience, you have to know your personas like the back of your hand. Plus, always keep in mind the four principles of motivation:

  • It’s all about the added value, not the method!
  • Wow your audience!
  • Invite them to visit your website!
  • Social proof: being part of an imaginary group

Would you like to (re)read our other blog articles on UX writing and microcopy?

The three golden rules

How to use UX writing and microcopy

You’re not quite sure how to use microcopy in a productive way? We have four practical examples for you! And remember: No matter where you use short text, it always has the same goal – to speak to your users. The structure of short text is usually similar:

  1. an inviting title
  2. presenting the benefits
  3. dispelling doubts

Our tip: Sometimes you only need two of these three elements for your short text, for instance for placeholders in forms that are solely intended to dispel user doubts.

Invite people who are interested in your product!

Use the title to speak to people in a friendly and direct manner. Use inviting phrases, for example, “Nice to meet you” instead of “Create new user”. It’s also a nice idea to include humour in your short text, for instance in your error messages and 404 pages.

“Oh, this didn’t turn out quite the way we expected! While we find some fresh content for this page, why not have a look at our magazine?”

Now that sounds a lot nicer than your standard 404 error message, doesn’t it?

Important: This doesn’t mean that you should substitute terms like “registration”, “career” or “shopping basket” in your navigation or on your home page. Users expect to find these terms and tend to be confused if they’re not there.

Present the benefits!

Use short sentences or bullet points to describe the benefits users get by performing a certain action. For example, this could be …

  • … a simplified purchasing process after creating an account.
  • … exclusive offers after signing up for your newsletter.
  • … useful information after downloading a whitepaper.

Dispel doubts!

Remember that your users might have doubts before or during a certain action. This causes many of them to abort the process and look for similar offers elsewhere. For instance, your users may have doubts concerning hidden costs, complicated forms or personal data.

And make sure to keep your promise – because your users are sure to remember it!

Four practical examples

We think that the following examples greatly benefit from UX writing and microcopy. They can help you to improve your click rates, downloads, registrations numbers and purchases. Let’s have a look!

Example #1

Sign up, log in and reset password

Signing up for something takes time – time that many users don’t have. That’s why you have to convince them of the benefits of registration – in a precise, friendly and direct way.

There are four ways of including microtext in a (registration) form. We’ll tell you all about which one to use when in the third part of our blog series (our whitepaper) on UX writing and microcopy.

If you have successfully convinced your users to register for your service, it’s all about trying to retain them. Make them feel welcome the next time they log into your website or app. Don’t treat them like anonymous users – rather welcome them as regulars. Creating personas can help you to do that.

It’s frustrating if a log-in fails. That’s why you should keep your text short and make it as easy as possible for users to reset their password. For instance, how about “Forgot your password? No problem, we’ll send you a link to set up a new one.” Or “Congratulations, the link to your new password is on the way to your inbox!”. Both are simple yet personal ways of telling your users what to do.

Examples for signing up, logging in and resetting your password:

  • Sign up now and start to create your content!
  • Not a club member yet? Become one now!
  • Hello again! See what’s been happening since your last log-in!
  • Alex, great to see you again!
  • Oh no! Forgot your password? No problem, we’ll help you!
Example #2

Newsletter registration

It can be a bit tricky to convince people to sign up for a newsletter. The exact time the newsletter pop-up appears is just as important as the way it is phrased. To motivate your website users to sign up for your newsletter, you have to offer them some kind of added value – which you should explain in a short text with bullet points.

Important: Remember to dispel your users’ doubts about getting spammed. Tell them how often they will be receiving your newsletter!

Examples of a newsletter registration

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Example #3

The power of buttons

Have you experienced the following? You read a great piece of content, and then the button at the end keeps you from completing the desired action. Why is that? Because for users, a button means “work”. For instance, “Sign up now!” translates to your users as “Oh no, I’ll have to complete a complicated registration form” (see example #1).

See your buttons as the last nudge in the right direction! They motivate users to complete the process. That’s why you should remind them of the benefits they get.

Examples of motivating buttons

  • Get your ticket for our workshop!
  • Get a free persona template!
  • Yes, I want to be a member of the Content Club!
  • Let your creativity run wild!

Important: There are two types of buttons. First, there are the ones that offer added value by generating leads and conversions. They should be phrased in an appealing and motivating way and fit your company’s tone of voice. And then there are standard buttons with important functionalities that users are familiar with. The standard buttons have to be clear and unambiguous, for instance, “More”, “Save” or “Add to basket”.

Example #4

Time to get in touch!

A vital objective of any website should be to reach potential customers and to encourage them to get in touch. That’s why the contact form is an integral part of your website. If your users have made it as far as this form, it only takes one last nudge.

And it should be more than just a simple “Contact us” together with a standard contact form! The three basic rules also apply here: Directly address your users and describe the benefits of getting in touch. Assure them that you will take their message seriously and will respond as soon as possible. Encourage them to contact you – just like you would by handing them your business card.

Examples of contact forms

  • You’re into content creation? 
    Then come to our creative workshop! We will help you create your personal hero’s journey. Or how about if we do all the work for you? Just let us know!
  • Three-day rule? Not with us!
    Send us a message right away – we can’t wait to hear from you! 
  • Let’s write stories with a wow!
    Meet our team of: 
    • experienced editors and copywriters who will bring your story to paper
    • strategy experts who will help you draw up your custom road map
    • content creators with a fine eye for detail


In addition to these four examples, there is plenty of other web copy you can spruce up by using UX writing and microcopy, including 404 pages, purchase processes and empty states.

You’re not quite sure if your CTAs are in need of an update? We’re happy to have a look at them and provide you with microcopy that fits your brand as well as your target group. All you have to do: Send us a message right away – we can’t wait to hear from you!😉

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