Email Marketing Strategies to Beat the Eight-Second Attention Span (Guest Post)
by Al Gomez
You only have 8 seconds to please your subscriber. The attention span of an average person is down by almost half from 12 seconds. Even a goldfish’s attention span is higher!
Our digital lifestyle is to blame. Many people have turned into multi-taskers to compensate for the shorter attention span. Yet, only 2% of the population can handle multitasking well. As a result, digital users only scan through emails instead of reading.
If you can’t hook them within this handful of seconds, they’ll delete, ignore, or worst, unsubscribe to your emails. That’s why marketers need to be more creative to address this shortening attention span.
Here are 7 strategies to hook your subscriber’s attention within 8 seconds:
Know your audience
The first key to delivering a captivating email is to know who your audience is. Different groups respond differently to communication styles.
This is where segmentation plays a crucial role; which is easy to do with an email marketing automation software.
Hyper-personalize your email
After you’ve learned your audience is, you can start hyper-personalizing your emails. Connecting to your subscribers on a personal level is more likely to grab their attention than to send them generic emails.
Use their name. Give them a special discount coupons on their birthday. Send them emails that meet their needs according to their profession, age, gender, and location.
The email below by ‘Priceline’ is a brilliant example of hyper-personalized email based on customer behavior:
Optimize email content for small mobile screens
47% of all emails are opened via mobile devices, so you’re missing almost half of your email marketing success if you don’t make your content responsive and mobile-screen friendly.
Use these quick pointers to optimize your open rates:
– Use flexible layouts and responsive designs
– Fix the width to 600 pixels
– Use more white space
– Single column is your friend
– Increase your font size
– Optimize load time (reduce image size and weight)
– Use contrasting colors
Test your emails at a glance
Remember that you only have 8 seconds to win your reader. It is best to ask a co-worker to do this test. The reader should be able to absorb the content within the first 8 seconds. If not, you need to cut back on the elements of your email.
Use dynamic visuals
Add compelling visuals to grab your reader’s attention as fast as possible. One research has shown that 65% of its participants are visual learners.
The brain analyzes images 60,000 times faster than it does text, so with your reader’s fleeting attention span, an image is your friend.
Just be careful not to overdo it, using too many visuals can backfire, the pictures should not be cluttered and confusing.
The email below from ‘American Red Cross’ provides an example of powerful visuals. It appeals to the emotion and reinforces the message of the email.
Give a single, simple, compelling and clear CTA
Make it easy for your readers to understand and respond to your message. Since they don’t have enough time, you’re doing them a favor if you make your email straightforward.
One study shows that using just one CTA increases clicks by 46%. If you have a great CTA, the reader can positively respond to your email right away even without reading the rest of your copy.
The email below by ‘Manpacks’ nailed their CTA! It even has an arrow to direct the reader’s attention to it with a social proof to make it more compelling to click on.
Go for a short copy which can be scanned easily.
Long blocks of text in the email is so primitive, nobody has time for that anymore. If it’s really necessary that your subscribers read a long paragraph, place it as a link and not as a direct email content, this way you can lead those who want to read more without turning off those who don’t.
This example by ‘DropBox’ is a great example of a short and effective copy. It’s easy to digest the message in just one glance:
To sum it up, it’s a pleasure to be in your client’s inbox. You are trusted to deliver something of value directly to their personal emails. Prove that you are worthy to be there by catching and holding their attention.
Walk on your clients’ shoes and understand that they have a limited time. Drop the long and fancy talk and make your emails straightforward. Make it easy for your readers to understand your copy in just 8 seconds.
Eight seconds is a generous time if you know how to use it. Keep your emails short, simple, sweet, and beautifully designed.
Kimberly Maceda is a Content Writer forActiveTrail. She writes for some top online marketing sites and blogging advice on email marketing and marketing automation. Activetrail is a leading provider of professional-grade email marketing and automation software for growing businesses.
April 26, 2018
September 17, 2018