8 Copywriting Trends You Need to Know in 2016

Smart bizzes stay on top of the trends.

Like how Tinder took advantage of location-based services this year (and started the dating apocalypse).

But if you’re really savvy, you also know which trends to sit out.

That’s why I’ve been tracking the trends for you, from the Webby Awards to MozCon and more.

Here are the top copywriting trends I hope you’ll follow in 2016… and a handful I beg you to ignore.

The good:


Thanks to Apple, minimalism in copy is still hot. And thanks to iPhones, your customers’ attention spans are shorter than ever. So do yourself a big favor in 2016 and embrace clear, simple copy that gets to the point.


Humor done right

I get requests all the time for “fun, witty copy”. Which is cool… except when entertaining your readers is your #1 goal. ‘Cause let’s face it, your business depends on selling products, not entertaining people. If you can do both in your copy, awesome. This year is all about selling with a splash of humor, like HBO GO:


Radical transparency

After watching Blackfish, the Walmart documentary, and the presidential debates, I’m craving a little more truth in advertising this year — aren’t you? Brands like Buffer, Everlane, and Groove are baring everything from traffic stats to company revenue. Even smaller companies like Elle & Co are sharing their stats with us.



Last year, everyone was talking about how AirBnB upset the hotel industry. And I’ve been seeing more tiny startups shaking up big industries. The key? Don’t be afraid to position yourself directly against the “other guy” in your copy, like we did with my client Grand Trunk CrossFit:


Fun 404 pages

Delighting customers was a big trend in 2015, and continues into 2016. Fun 404 pages that turn a bad experience into a good one are a perfect example. Fellow copywriter Joel Klettke lets you play creepy mad libs on his “dead page”. Because, zombies.


The bad:

Mysterious launch pages

It works for some brands, like Hipster. That does not mean it will work for you. Just don’t, OK? Instead, put your value prop front and center and give people a good reason to sign up.



They work. And I still hate them. You’ll see a spike in signups, yes- but you’ll also annoy the hell out of your readers. Let’s make 2016 the year we say goodbye to skeezy popups and find a better way to build a quality email list, shall we? I like the unobtrusive Hello Bar:




They’re notoriously bad for conversions. But sliders just won’t die.

As an alternative, I’m loving this simple choose-your-persona header that Freshbooks is using:


What do you think — did I get it right? Which trends do you want to see stay or go in 2016?


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