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Short Attention Span…or Just Bored?

Short Attention Spans
Posted on Jan 21, 2015 in Advertising Comments

Whether you are sending out daily, weekly, or monthly emails to your gamblers, you need to get your message across in a succinct fashion. As you read this post, pause for a second to think about your email communications. What's the structure like? Does your content seem to stretch endlessly into the distance? How many times did you have to scroll (from your smartphone) until you reached the end of the email? Chances are your emails are falling on deaf ears, or, perhaps more aptly put, inattentive eyes.

Goldfish Have Longer Attentions than the Average Reader

It’s sad but it’s true, a goldfish has a longer attention span than the average online reader. The average Internet user spends less than eight seconds on a webpage or digital publication; as a point of reference, a goldfish’s attention span is nine seconds.

Recent studies also show that a desktop user will spend an average of 15 seconds on a promotional email before they lose interest. Fifteen seconds may seem like a short amount of time, but it is a millennium when compared to the 41.2 percent of iPad users who will spend three or less seconds scrolling through an email. And so, the question remains: how do you keep a reader's attention and encourage them to read the entire email?

CHANGING UP THE FORMATTING

By this point, you might have noticed a few things about this post.

1. There are bolded headings.

2. Each paragraph varies in length.

3. A wide variety of formatting is used (links, italics, grammatical structures, word length, and sentence length to name a few).

4. Questions are used to encourage "scanning readers" to stop and actually read the content.

These tricks and more will help you to capture your reader's attention. Learning how to properly format an email is the first step towards capturing your reader's full attention. Each promotional email should be formatted so that it adapts to the type of viewing platform. For example, desktop clients will want to see a multi-column format, while a smartphone user will need the email to be a single column for optimal scrolling capacity.

Images

Pictures, graphs, charts, and infographics are a great way to make a reader scroll through the entire email. Why? The answer is simple: in order to understand the meaning behind the image, the reader must know the context; and thus, they are forced to read the surrounding text.

The Actual Email Length

Promotional emails should never be too lengthy. When in doubt, keep it short and simple. Don't use five words where two will do. Finally, you should conduct A/B split tests to learn about the effectiveness of your email length and subsequent campaigns. Set up the tests so that you can learn what types of emails received:

  • Improved click through ratings.
  • Better open rates.
  • Went to spam.
  • Opt-ins to other email campaigns.
  • Opt-outs.
  • User feedback.

Knowing how your emails perform will help you to better target your messages in the future. Your gamblers will appreciate it, your marketing will improve, and your business will grow.

Final Thoughts

Living in the age of decreasing attention spans forces us to be on our toes. Much like a gambler must know the ins and outs of his or her chosen game, we too must know how to appeal to our audience. Appealing to a limited attention span, changing email formatting within the body of the actual email, varying the time of day that the email is sent, adding images, and conducting A/B split tests will help you to receive better marketing results. Remember, the attention span of a goldfish is no longer your target, now it is the fruit fly.

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