How a UX Mindset Can Boost Health and Beauty Copywriting

As a content and copywriter, I’ve spent a lot of time studying UX writing in 2023. It’s more relevant than ever to understand your buyers and users—especially if your brand’s goal is to be their teammate in better fitness, confidence, or wellness.

This begs the question: How does UX fit into health and beauty copywriting, and what kind of principles should you keep in mind as you create for your brand?

Here are some of the most compelling UX tips I’ve come across in the last several months, along with how you can apply them to enhance your user (and buyer) experience.

A quick look at UX vs. marketing copy

You can find UX copy within the experience of an app or website—helping users seamlessly reach their next step. (Think tooltips, buttons, and activity tracking screens in your favorite fitness app.)

But UX and marketing copy often cross over, and it’s not always possible to separate them completely. In fact, both good UX and marketing copy can benefit from each other’s philosophies.

Both spheres deeply consider the emotions of the user, as well as where they’re at in their journeys. Marketing copy seeks to connect with the right audience’s emotions in a way that helps them move deeper into their buyer’s journey. UX copy typically helps with the app or website experience—ensuring users know what next steps they should take, and how they can get there.

Their similarities

A venn diagram comparing UX and health and beauty copywriting.

In larger companies, UX writers are usually part of the product team, while copywriters are on the marketing team. But in smaller settings, one person often assumes the role of both. And certain forms of copy—like welcome emails, confirmation emails, and onboarding screens—will both be marketing features of a product and creating clarity for the customer.

In a nutshell? These types of copywriting can both help promote your product or service, and they each play a valuable role in delighting your customers.

Balancing out flowery language

Have you ever received a promotional email that was full of fancy words, but you couldn’t actually tell what the product or service was? Or what made it different from the competition?

Sometimes, wellness and beauty copywriting focuses too much on clever language, as opposed to conveying information that your reader actually needs. And this can lead to confusion in the customer journey.

The good news is that shifting into UX-gear while you edit can help you strike a balance between copy that’s clever and clear. (And yes, it’s still possible to convey your unique brand voice while keeping things simple.)

Look out for friction caused by fancy (or irrelevant) wording

I recently received a promotional email from a beauty brand that creates fragrances using biotechnology. But… that’s all I could really gather from the email. It used beautiful language, but I couldn’t actually understand why I should care about the fragrance biotechnology. What does it do, and how does it benefit me?

For me, a more effective approach would’ve been to dial back the industry jargon and focus more on the basics behind the product.

Beautiful copywriting has its place, but it should also be infused with the simplicity and clarity that we know our audiences need to solve a problem or reach their goals.

Of course, every audience is different, and this doesn’t mean that everything you write needs to focus on basic concepts, or that it needs to be at a 6th-grade reading level. But the lesson here is that it’s helpful to occasionally re-shift your focus onto making sure the words are easy to understand for your target audience.

Where your readers are (& where they’re headed)

User journey is a term in UX that refers to where your users are in their interactions with your digital product. A customer journey, on the other hand, encompasses all the touchpoints in the buying process—from the initial awareness stage to making that final purchase. Giving thought to both journeys will help you craft health and beauty copywriting that works for your readers.

This doesn’t always mean you need to spend hours poring over their thought process—but it’s definitely worth jotting down some notes on who you’re targeting and what they already know.

In the case of the email I’d received earlier, I didn’t know anything about this fragrance brand. The copy in their email seemed geared towards someone who was very familiar with the product, which left me feeling left out. It created friction in my journey to potentially buying a product that, given different circumstances, I might’ve loved.

Questions to better understand your audience

  • How much do my users or buyers already know about my product or service?
  • Are they trying to move into the next step—like with a welcome email or checkout sequence? Or is this promotional, focusing solely on announcing a product?
  • What level of detail is appropriate for the users based on how much they know?

Finding friction points

In UX copywriting, friction points happen when a user feels frustrated, unsure, or confused while navigating your app or website. It can cause them to avoid signing up, exit a checkout screen, or drop off your site entirely. But friction points also exist in marketing copywriting, and they can pop up anywhere—from your landing pages to your email sequences and even your homepage.

How do you identify friction points and prevent your audience from disengaging? As the expert writing about your brand, your first step is to step into the shoes of someone who isn’t an expert. You might be surprised at how many friction points jump out at you when you make this perspective shift.

Testing your copy

Beyond empathizing with your readers, user research is another powerful step that can help take the guesswork out of finding friction points.

UserTesting is one service that helps brands of all sizes get more insight into their audience. But for a quick and dirty way to identify friction points, you can run a Google Survey entirely for free.

Nothing beats checking your copy with a sample of your own audience—but if that’s not an option, you can also look for where your target audience hangs out on social media. For example, you could post on subreddits and Facebook groups to test your copy with people who might be interested in a product like yours.

Button copy in health and beauty copywriting

Because UX copywriters often have less space for their content, they’ll tell you to keep your button copy to three words or less. But depending on the project, marketing writers often have more room for creativity, and they can sometimes sneak in up to five words. The key is to find a balance of clarity and brand voice, helping your readers understand what’s next without losing the message in fancy lingo.

Just make sure the button accurately reflects what’s going to happen when clicked. In other words, you don’t want to surprise your audience.

If your email CTA is inviting readers to view your new product release, you’ll want the words you choose to show that. “Shop the line” or “Explore the fragrances” might be better button copy than “Buy now,” since this button would not actually lead to a purchase (yet).

A few best practices to keep in mind

It’s also good practice to ensure your buttons and CTAs are:

  • Action-focused. “Sign Up,” “Download Your Guide,” etc.
  • Specific. Without enough context, vague phrasing like “Learn More” can scare off your users. Try to make it specific while keeping it snappy and succinct.
  • Non-threatening. CTAs that feel like a big commitment can scare readers away, even if the wording is technically correct. For example, “Book Appointment” can seem more intimidating than “Check Availability.”
  • Positive. Ever been guilt-tripped trying to close out of a pop-up? This is called confirmshaming, and it probably didn’t make you any more inclined to buy from the brand, let alone return to their website. We want to avoid making our audience feel bad, so always lean towards positive, empowering messaging in your button copy.

The bottom line

UX copy and marketing copy fall into different buckets, but their goals are largely the same: connect with your readers, inform them, and delight them through their journeys. Marketing copy helps your audience get inspired by what your brand can do for them, while UX helps them more deeply understand the what and the how throughout each step.

Whether you’re a brand owner or writer yourself, stepping into both these mindsets can make your copy more impactful to those who could benefit from your product most.

Build clearer, more vibrant messaging

If you’re looking for help strategizing your health and beauty copywriting, I’d love to work with you! Visit my portfolio or get in touch to learn how we can bring your project to life.

 

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