Gone In 8 Seconds or Less – Email Marketing for the Short Attention Span

by Victor Green
3 mins read

You have probably heard it before, but it is true nonetheless. Email marketing is not dead. In fact, it offers a return on investment of more than 40$ for every 1$ spent according to a report by the Direct Marketing Association. This is more than any other form of traditional marketing and stands as a testament to the effectiveness of email marketing for audience engagement.That being said, this does not mean that email marketing is not constantly evolving in response to the changing habits of readers and target audiences. The average attention span is down to just over 8 seconds, which is actually less than the goldfish swimming around in circles in your kid’s bedroom.Audiences are also consistently multi-tasking and more people are reading emails on the go with the rise of the mobile device. This means that people are barely paying attention, while half-eating breakfast and half-reading an email on the subway. This can be a tough environment for the email marketer to thrive in.However, people still love emails. Many people spend hours looking through their inbox and 58% of people admit that the first thing they do in the morning is check their email.With all this in mind, if you want to hold on to reader attention, your email marketing better be of the highest quality possible. Here are a few tips to help your marketing strategy succeed at any fleeting moment.

Compel Audience Engagement

First and foremost, your email marketing content must be interesting to your reader in order to make an impact.“The number-one reason people sign up for emails is because they think they’re going to get something. Sometimes that’s a thing, like a coupon or a white paper and sometimes it’s just a connection to your brand.” says Cynthia Price, contributor to Entrepreneur. “Foster that connection in every email with strong images and copy, that support your brand story.”Accommodate Short Attention Spans with Scannable ContentUnless your target audience is goldfish, then your content needs to be readable and easily understood. People will take more out of an email if it is written and presented in a way that is clear, concise, and can be read at a glance.“Use images that convey or support your message and get strategic about where you place those images, as they’re key to drawing the eye (and moving the scroll bar) down the screen,” recommends Price.

Stick To One Objective

One of the biggest mistakes in email marketing is trying to cram too much information into one email. Effective audience engagement means getting your readers to act, but if the goal is not clear, it is unlikely that anyone will be inspired by your content.“Think about the behavior you want to drive with your email. Are you looking for a purchase, a click or simply a great impression?” says Price. “Clarify your objective, and work your way back from there. Your readers will appreciate it.”Don’t force readers to dig through thick copy or crowded images to find what they are looking for. Present it on clear terms, quickly, and you will be much happier with the results of your email campaigns.

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