Why display copy?
Because ‘readers’ don’t read
Your message’s billboard: Reach flippers, skimmers and other nonreaders with display copy.
How to reach flippers, skimmers and other nonreaders with words
They’re not reading: Web visitors read, on average, 20% of the words on the page. So how can you reach these flippers, skimmers and other nonreaders?
Types of display copy
People look at 70% of lists — if you write them right
Check it twice: One test of a good list article: Can skimmers tell without reading what the parts of the list are and what the whole list covers?
Write your message’s ‘movie trailer’
Call me! Use callouts to draw readers into the story, reinforce key ideas — even make your message more persuasive.
Don’t just describe what’s in the picture
Made you look: Captions and cutlines under images get 16% more readership than text. Use that superpower to communicate key ideas.
That second head drives readership, reaches nonreaders
Double decker: Multi-deck headlines get the word out to skimmers and scanners. So don’t drop the deck.
Make the most of the first element readers see
Heads up: Headlines get twice the attention of body copy. Make your headlines clear and compelling.
Grab readers’ attention, help them find their way
Only connect: Good link writing can convince screen readers, users and other visitors to read more or click. And good link text helps nonreaders who are scanning your web page.
Subheads increase scanning and reading
Layer on the subheads: Subheads can change F-shaped eyetracking patterns to Layer-cake patterns. The result: Visitors read further and find what they want more easily.
35% of recipients use them to decide whether to open
Get opened: Along with the sender and the preheader, the subject line helps recipients decide whether to open your email message
More on display copy
Tips, tricks and tools
Polish your mobile messages: Lift your ideas off the small screen with these studies, secrets and expert suggestions.
What writers & others say
“Pages with too many microcontent elements are like a busy intersection with too many road signs.” — Amy Gahran, creator of the weblog Contentious.com