Most people don’t read copy. Your customers are not “most people.”

TLDR: If you are a web designer who has never listened to sales calls, you likely don’t realize the pain you inflict if you insist that “no one reads the copy.”

If you are a designer, you’ve probably heard other designers say that people don’t read copy. You may have even read stats that people don’t read copy.

It’s true. Most people don’t read what’s on your website. They may scan, or, they’ll bounce off the page without reading anything. All true stuff. But, remember this:

Your customers are not “most people.”

Think about being in your customers’ shoes. Say you want to buy a B2B tool to make your life easier, but it’s not cheap. First, you have to figure out if the tool is even the right one for the task at hand. Then, you have to convince your coworkers, your boss, and possibly procurement or legal. You might even have to convince your boss’s boss, a security team, or a CIO. Would you rather reference a site with

  1. Beautiful design, but almost no information?
  2. Decent design, but very clear and concise information?

Figure out what copy is necessary by listening to sales calls.

If you are a designer who thinks that “people don’t read copy,” do yourself a favor. Start listening to sales calls. You will hear all of the super basic questions that customers often ask when a website does not have clear information. Salespeople do not want to be giving the same pitch over and over. Sales Engineers do not want to repeatedly explain what a product is, just so they can finally dig into a customer’s use case. They’ll be forced to do this if your website copy is not helpful.

People don’t read *useless* or dull copy, which is why it is so necessary to keep things short and scannable. But yes, customers read copy. It is the information they use to make smarter purchasing decisions. If a designer gives a copywriter a comp with lorum ipsums to fill out, he or she is likely not thinking about what information is required to close a sale. That is a liability.

Your press are not “most people” either.

People in the press are busy. Some tech bloggers cover multiple companies in a single day. When they look at your site, are they going to be able to tell what your product is, who should use it, and why your company is different than your competition? Why should your PR firm be tasked to repeatedly explain this? Is that an effective use of their hours?

Neither are potentially great hires or investors.

If you’re not picking up what I’m putting down by now, you probably never will. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Evoke a cardinal rule of programming: Don’t Repeat Yourself

The copy of a website is just a sales pitch that is written down. It is a pitch that prevents salespeople, sales engineers, and PR people from having to deliver the same glut of information over and over. Design is important, but designers should not dismiss the need for good copy.