5 email tips for capturing short attention spans

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I really love long emails – said no one ever. The truth is, everyone hates wordy, rambling emails. And as the average employee sends and receives an average of 121 business emails a day and is exposed to an average of 247 marketing messages daily, you’re looking at a ton of reading. So it’s little wonder then that the attention span of adults today is a measly 8 seconds. That’s even less than that of a goldfish!

So who’s to blame? Well, social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have all contributed in some way to the massive amount of online noise and our decreasing attention spans. That said, while we may lose interest more quickly, it has also made us better, quicker and smarter at separating the digital wheat from the chaff.

Do we still have your attention?

Good! Because we’re going to teach you how to break through all that noise and get your message across in 8 seconds or less. Here are 5 email tips for capturing short attention spans. We really hope you make it to the end.

Cut the bullshit

With the average person receiving a ton of marketing communications every day, they don’t exactly have the time or patience to sit through a lengthy fluff-filled email and try to figure out what you’re trying to say. In a world of short attention spans, short and sweet is the way to go. Remember, you only have 8 seconds or less so put all your important information up front and centre. Cut the bullshit and use bullet points and numbers to keep your content scannable and easy to digest. When it comes to marketing emails, less really is more.

Keep it mobile

It’s freaking 2017. Which means, no matter where you are in the world, chances are, you’ll see 1 (or 10) people with their faces glued to their mobile devices. Given this obsession, it’s really not surprising that 56% of emails are viewed on a mobile device. What this means is, if your marketing emails are not optimised for mobile, you’re in trouble. So get out of the dark ages. It’s time to go mobile.

Pretty it up

Here’s a fun fact. The human brain processes an image in just 13 milliseconds. That’s 60,000 times faster than it does text. It doesn’t a genius to figure out that the use of images and visuals are way more effective than chunks of copy. Plus, no one likes receiving an ugly email that’s filled with just words and nothing else. By incorporating compelling images with your content, you create a visual story that engages and captures the attention of your readers. So start getting creative and pretty up those emails!

Hit them early

The key to a successful marketing email starts right from your subject line. In fact, 33% of email recipients open their emails based on the subject line alone. So if you can’t even capture the attention of your reader from the inbox, your efforts are as good as wasted. To spice up your subject line, consider using emoji or special characters. But be careful that your subject line isn’t so long that it gets truncated. For added peace of mind, always test your subject lines.

It’s all about timing

There are millions of articles out there on what the best time is to send out marketing emails. But at the end of the day, it really all boils down to your target audience. If your readers are mainly white-collar professionals, you don’t want to be sending out emails during office hours when your email will be buried among the 121 emails they’ll already be struggling with. To pinpoint the ideal send time, get to know your target audience and their schedules. Once you’ve found that sweet spot, send away!

If you’re still reading, we hope you’ve enjoyed these 5 email tips for capturing short attention spans. To sum up:

  • keep your content short
  • use loads of visuals
  • have an interesting subject line
  • make sure it’s optimised for mobile
  • know your audience
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Creative Director. Specialises in heroic creative direction and everything related to content.

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