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Jano le Roux

Jano le Roux

Jano le Roux

Jano le Roux

2 months ago

Here's What I Learned After 30 Days Analyzing Apple's Microcopy

Move people with tiny words.

Apple fanboy here.

  • Macs are awesome.

  • Their iPhones rock.

  • $19 cloths are great.

  • $999 stands are amazing.

I love Apple's microcopy even more.

It's like the marketing goddess bit into the Apple logo and blessed the world with microcopy.

I took on a 30-day micro-stalking mission.

Every time I caught myself wasting time on YouTube, I had to visit Apple’s website to learn the secrets of the marketing goddess herself.

We've learned. Golden apples are calling.

Cut the friction

Benefit-first, not commitment-first.

Brands lose customers through friction.

Most brands don't think like customers.

  • Brands want sales.

  • Brands want newsletter signups.

Here's their microcopy:

  • “Buy it now.”

  • “Sign up for our newsletter.”

Both are difficult. They ask for big commitments.

People are simple creatures. Want pleasure without commitment.

Apple nails this.

So, instead of highlighting the commitment, they highlight the benefit of the commitment.

Saving on the latest iPhone sounds easier than buying it. Everyone saves, but not everyone buys.

A subtle change in framing reduces friction.

Apple eliminates customer objections to reduce friction.

Less customer friction means simpler processes.

Apple's copy expertly reassures customers about shipping fees and not being home. Apple assures customers that returning faulty products is easy.

Apple knows that talking to a real person is the best way to reduce friction and improve their copy.

Always rhyme

Learn about fine rhyme.

Poets make things beautiful with rhyme.

Copywriters use rhyme to stand out.

Apple’s copywriters have mastered the art of corporate rhyme.

Two techniques are used.

1. Perfect rhyme

Here, rhymes are identical.

2. Imperfect rhyme

Here, rhyming sounds vary.

Apple prioritizes meaning over rhyme.

Apple never forces rhymes that don't fit.

It fits so well that the copy seems accidental.

Add alliteration

Alliteration always entertains.

Alliteration repeats initial sounds in nearby words.

Apple's copy uses alliteration like no other brand I've seen to create a rhyming effect or make the text more fun to read.

For example, in the sentence "Sam saw seven swans swimming," the initial "s" sound is repeated five times. This creates a pleasing rhythm.

Microcopy overuse is like pouring ketchup on a Michelin-star meal.

Alliteration creates a memorable phrase in copywriting. It's subtler than rhyme, and most people wouldn't notice; it simply resonates.

I love how Apple uses alliteration and contrast between "wonders" and "ease".

Assonance, or repeating vowels, isn't Apple's thing.

You ≠ Hero, Customer = Hero

Your brand shouldn't be the hero.

Because they'll be using your product or service, your customer should be the hero of your copywriting. With your help, they should feel like they can achieve their goals.

I love how Apple emphasizes what you can do with the machine in this microcopy.

It's divine how they position their tools as sidekicks to help below.

This one takes the cake:

Dialogue-style writing

Conversational copy engages.

Excellent copy Like sharing gum with a friend.

This helps build audience trust.

Apple does this by using natural connecting words like "so" and phrases like "But that's not all."

Snowclone-proof

The mother of all microcopy techniques.

A snowclone uses an existing phrase or sentence to create a new one. The new phrase or sentence uses the same structure but different words.

It’s usually a well know saying like:

To be or not to be.

This becomes a formula:

To _ or not to _.

Copywriters fill in the blanks with cause-related words. Example:

To click or not to click.

Apple turns "survival of the fittest" into "arrival of the fittest."

It's unexpected and surprises the reader.


So this was fun.

But my fun has just begun.

Microcopy is 21st-century poetry.

I came as an Apple fanboy.

I leave as an Apple fanatic.

Now I’m off to find an apple tree.

Cause you know how it goes.

(Apples, trees, etc.)


This post is a summary. Original post available here.