Data’s $20B Role in Marketing

Right on cue. My last blog post happened to discuss Europe’s forthcoming “Data Freeze.” Enter a new U.S. study that articulates just how large the use of data for smarter marketing really is stateside — to the tune of $20 billion plus.

Third Party Data Study - Selected Chart
Credit: Data & Marketing Association by Winterberry Group

Right on cue. My last blog post happened to discuss Europe’s forthcoming “Data Freeze.”

Enter a new U.S. study that articulates just how large the use of data for smarter marketing really is stateside — to the tune of $20 billion plus.

The Data & Marketing Association and Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Data Center of Excellence commissioned the “State of Data 2017” study [available as a download], conducted by Winterberry Group. According to the foreword:

“…marketers and publishers looking to become ‘data centric’ have had little choice but to embark on that titanic change effort without the benefit of clear and complete intelligence; the inherent complexity of data and its myriad applications has previously made accurate reporting — on how users are investing in data, putting it to work and evolving their marketing approaches in turn — too challenging to accurately compile.

“This report represents the first industry-wide effort to address that gap. By providing credible, practitioner-informed insight, we hope to demystify how U.S. companies are investing in audience data (and its associated support functions), helping practitioners benchmark their own spending against industry norms and establish a firmer basis for future investments.”

If 2018 will be the year of third-party data quality, this study perhaps underscores why: Third-party audience data spending will top nearly $10.1 billion this year, in omnichannel ($3.5 billion), transactional ($3.0 billion), digital ($2.8 billion), specialty ($0.9 billion) and identity categories ($0.6 billion). Another $10.1 billion will be spent on various data “activation” solutions, from integration, processing and hygiene ($4.3 billion); to hosting and management ($4.2 billion); to analytics, modeling and segmentation ($1.6 billion).

In short, marketers are investing heavily on knowing prospects and customers better — and communicating intelligently with them to meet demands and expectations. For more and more brands and organizations in both consumer and business-to-business markets, third-party data is essential in this process — online, offline and omnichannel. But it’s indeed complex.

The scope of the study includes commercially licensable data and/or audience segments, as well as third-party data solutions that seek to activate or apply any combination of first-, second- or third-party data. It does not include data for “insourced” product development, aggregated data for market research, data for custom audiences that bundled inside “walled gardens” of social media platforms and other publishers, and enterprise data usage not related to advertising, marketing and media.

The study is helpful in providing benchmarks for companies as they evaluate their own third-party data dynamics in advertising, marketing and media planning — but I can’t help appreciate this snapshot on a wider economic basis. Responsible data collection for more relevant engagement with customers is a $20 billion business – a substantial and likely growing slice of all ad and marketing spend. [Early next month, Winterberry Group’s Bruce Biegel will present firsthand a “2018 Media Outlook” for direct, digital and data — and how they compare to overall media spending.]

If CMOs increasingly are judged on business effectiveness, on how advertising and marketing performs in this context, then gaining prowess with data — including third-party data — is fast becoming table stakes. Building out data-driven marketing capabilities will serve them well.

Third-party data and activation is indeed fuel for consumer engagement and business growth. This reality — documented in this study — needs to be understood, recognized and respected far beyond the C-suite. But let’s start with the C-suite.

‘Killing Marketing’ to Save It

The book “Killing Marketing,” the latest from Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose, says this: “We must kill marketing that makes a living from accessing audiences for short bursts of time so they might buy our product.”

Millennial marketing
“BMXr’s,” Creative Commons license. | Credit: Flickr by micadew

The book “Killing Marketing,” the latest from Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose, says this: “We must kill marketing that makes a living from accessing audiences for short bursts of time so they might buy our product.”

It continues: “We must rebirth a new marketing that makes its living from building audiences for long periods of time, so that we might hold their attention through experiences that place us squarely in the initial consideration set when they are looking for a solution.

“This is the marketing of the future. It is achieving a long-term return on the one asset that will save our business: an audience.”

The book is wonderful — I highly recommend it. It’s chock-full of ideas about how to transform the marketing department from a cost center to a profit center. It details multiple ways to pull direct and indirect revenue from marketing, once true engagement with an audience has been established. In their words, it will transform your marketing into something more powerful than “the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you make.”

But specific to the selection quoted above, for me it’s another spark of thought about the downside of personas based on demographics.

If you’re personas are demographic- lead rather than interest-led, then you’re setting yourself up for selling in short bursts of time. You’re not going to be able to establish a long-term relationship with an audience based on who they are and what they truly care about — because you simply won’t know what those things are. And you won’t create experiences that hold an audience’s attention for future consideration.

To truly build audiences for long periods of time, we need to start with interests and preferences rather than demographics.

To employ a far overused example …

Red Bull doesn’t define its audience as “Millennial males who want an energy drink.” The brand understands its audience by defining all of the facets of interests in a lifestyle of adventure — from edge (extreme) sports to music to fashion to travel and so on. And then Red Bull provides that audience with access to that lifestyle, through publications, events, social media content and more … and it sells some energy drinks, as well.

If Red Bull did the former (define a demographic), it would’ve been able to effectively place an ad for an energy drink on channels where Millennial males might be. And the brand would’ve sold some drinks, and perhaps captured some people who would continue to buy Red Bull through the years. But the brand affinity it would’ve created would’ve be thin, at best. And it’d be in a constant cycle of reloading short-term audiences. That’s a losing game.

Instead, Red Bull tilted toward the latter — personas based on interests. But … how did that happen?

Maybe the brand started with an idea like: “We see opportunity to engage the ‘extreme sports lifestyle audience regardless of age, location, etc.’ in a whole new, deeper way.” Or, perhaps Red Bull carefully observed its initial audience — the short-term customer audience it had when it first went to market with the drink — and asked questions like:

  • We see Millennial males are a big part of our initial audience, but what’s behind the demographic?
  • What commonalities does that portion of the audience share with the rest of the audience?
  • What is it that our audience — in aggregate — is telling us they care about most?
  • What information are they craving most?
  • And is anyone else providing that information? Access?

I wasn’t there, so I don’t know. And most of the stories we hear about Red Bull’s content marketing successes don’t focus on the starting point of audience understanding. But I imagine it was more along the lines of not resting on an initial, demographic-lead audience understanding. I imagine the brand had a short-term audience, but decided it didn’t want to have to constantly reload. Good for Red Bull!

Smart marketers will take note and do the same. They’ll dig deep. They won’t rest on the easy, starting answer. They’ll get past the simple, demographic personas, and they’ll start thinking about interests that transcend demographic as the path to building a long-term, engaged audience.

In short: Demographic-led personas lead to decent targeting and short-term sales. Simple ROI. Interest-led personas lead to engagement and brand affinity for the long-term: Simple ROI plus customer lifetime value.

Why Your Website Should Create Conversations

If your website is presenting information rather than creating conversations, you must rethink your approach to online marketing. A website that offers only passive content to be consumed will see analytics showing its audience doesn’t stick around long. Visit durations will be short, and the number of pages consumed each visit will be low.

Build a website that encourages conversations.If your website is presenting information rather than creating conversations, you must rethink your approach to online marketing.

A website that offers only passive content to be consumed will see analytics showing its audience doesn’t stick around long. Visit durations will be short, and the number of pages consumed each visit will be low.

On the other hand, a website that encourages conversations and deeper engagement will see both of those metrics improve. But what exactly do we mean by conversations?

After all, setting aside the chat windows we sometimes see (mostly on B2C sites), the average website isn’t really about two people talking directly to one another. Fortunately, that’s not what we’re talking about. Instead, we’re talking about creating a web presence that encourages back and forth between two parties.

You publish content that your audience engages with. From that engagement, you learn more about what your audience is interested in, both individually and collectively. You then offer additional content that moves the dialog along, accomplishing two things along the way:

  • Educating your audience and providing value to them
  • Creating a relationship with your audience that encourages them to become clients

Here’s how you can make sure your site is creating that kind of conversation.

Point of View

Is the site written from your perspective or that of your prospects? Does it talk about “ours” rather than “theirs?” If so, your prospects are not going to feel that you understand their needs and are talking about their problems. Remember, prospects don’t care about your solutions, they care about their own issues and whether your solutions are a good fit for them.

Structure and Organization

That same perspective carries over into your site’s structure and organization. While it might make perfect sense to you for the sections of your site to mimic your firm’s organizational chart, your prospects won’t care. They want to know everything you have to say about what interests them, no matter how many different company divisions that information may span.

One great way to do this is to create site sections for key audience segments or buyer personas. Diving into their motivation and mindset will help you create sections that are organized to answer their questions and make them comfortable as they navigate their buyer’s journey.

Engagement

Finally, your site has to create opportunities for increased engagement. This can be a tricky proposition in that too many websites try to increase engagement too early. (Meaning, they ask for the sale long before the prospect is ready to buy.)

Gain trust by encouraging actions that requiring less commitment. This is a better approach than going all-in right from the start. Not only is that more likely to match the prospect’s level of trust, but multiple small “asks” gives you the opportunity to showcase the value you offer and the ways you differ from your competition.

These three broad concepts will help you bridge the gap between initial prospect interest and that magic moment when a prospect will invite a salesperson into their buying process. Given how much farther into that process that elusive invitation now typically comes, conversational digital marketing is critical to your overall marketing success.

United Airlines: Securing Customer Loyalty That Money Can’t Buy

It’s not about points or free gifts anymore; it’s about what money can’t buy.

United brand image
(Image via United Airlines)

It’s not about points or free gifts anymore; it’s about what money can’t buy.

This is what Praveen Sharma, VP of loyalty for United Airlines, tells me about what it takes to keep customers loyal to brands in an age where consumers have more power and options than ever before.

MileagePlus, one of the airline industry’s most successful loyalty programs, is built around creating customer experiences — not just free flights, like most frequent flyer programs. According to Sharma, these experiences can include a training day with your favorite pro sports team, or a session in a flight simulator, VIP luxury venues and other experiences that are not for “sale.”

By allowing MileagePlus members to use their points for aspirational experiences that deliver emotional fulfillment vs. just a free airline ticket or upgrade to First Class, United Airlines’ customers remain loyal to a brand, regardless of price. As a result of rewarding customers in unexpected ways, and by allowing members to choose their rewards, MileagePlus is the largest loyalty program in the industry, with more than 100 million members.

So what’s in your loyalty program? Chances are, you’re still offering one free product for every 10 purchased, or points redeemable for a free hotel night, for 10 percent off their next purchase of $200 (not a big deal by the way), and other way-too-common ways for rewarding customers.

Loyalty today is not about price. It’s not about “free” anything. As United Airlines has discovered and proven under Sharma’s leadership and dedication to providing emotional value over monetary value, it’s about the “feelings” you create among the customers you serve. Feelings come from how you are treated, unexpectedly and expectedly.

For example, a friend of mine flies United almost weekly, all over the world for his business. When he had a tight connection at a large airport with terminals far apart, there was a car waiting for him at his gate, ready to take him to the next gate. That kind of attention to individual customers’ issues and acting on imminent needs is what creates brands like United Airlines that last not only for a customers’ lifetime, but for generations of customers over decades of change.

No matter how large or small your brand may be, there are many lessons here for every business for creating loyalty programs that enable your sales, profits and marketing ROI to soar to new heights.

Here’s just a few tips from Sharma and myself:

  • Build an Ecosystem: Build a network of partner brands that reflect your brand’s standards and value, and complement or support your offerings. Align with brands that can provide experiences for your customers beyond your product line, that offer supplemental experiences, services and products, and are as eager as you are to reward each others’ customers with new offerings and ideas.
  • Build Your Data Capabilities for learning and communicating instantly across all channels your customers use: mobile, phone, email, social. Communicate on what matters to customers, not just what matters to you.
  • Use the Rule of Five to send tips, ideas, informational notices, updates on services, products or, in the case of United, changed gates or ETAs. Send five messages about the customer before you send one message about what you have to sell.
  • Create Points of Engagement that enable you to learn. Surveys still work, but so do other tools. Consider creating a loyalty board with a diverse mix of customers to learn firsthand what you need to do to keep loyalty up and growing via evangelism. And insert a one-question survey each week on your website to keep the dialogue and insights flowing.
  • Never Set the Loyalty Trap. Some companies and business models wittingly and unwittingly “trap” customer loyalty with sales models that make it really hard to switch brands. SaaS contracts are an example of how this can happen, because of the upfront time and energy required for most subscription-based services. Once you get clients set up to use your product, trained and “vested” with time and money, it is hard for them to cancel that contract, even though you’ve given them many outs, because they will lose too much time and money to start over. However, these traps, when set intentionally, rarely work. If your onboarding, product functionality, service, support and other aspects do not meet expectations and trigger satisfaction more often than not, customers will make the effort to change and will tell everyone they know to go with them.
  • Reward Loyalty With Experiences, not just product. Consumers define a brand’s value to them by the experience and emotional value delivered more than anything else. Price and customer service can be replicated quickly and easily by just about any competitor. But experiences and feelings of achievement, appreciation, joy and security, not so much. This is why MileagePlus offers experiences of a lifetime that money can’t buy; like the training day with a professional sports team or flight simulator sessions mentioned above.

Takeaway

No matter how big or small your business reach, or how large your customer database is, you can define and deploy strategies and experiences to create loyalty. Think big, think differently, and think about the “emotionally rewarding” value that your brand is uniquely set up to deliver — time and time again.

Are You Meeting Your Customers’ Mobile Needs?

Most of the U.S. population — 61 percent — say they use mobile phones for shopping activities, according to the 2017 Synchrony Financial Digital Study recently completed. But, what would resonate with them in terms of digital marketing and more importantly, what would drive their behavior?

Game Changing TechAs modern marketers, we put a lot of thought and effort into our digital marketing programs. The goals are to promote engagement with our brands, drive traffic to our website or encourage customers to walk into a store. Many times, the goal is all three.

Most of the U.S. population — 61 percent — say they use mobile phones for shopping activities, according to the 2017 Synchrony Financial Digital Study recently completed. But, what would resonate with them in terms of digital marketing and more importantly, what would drive their behavior? Based on the referenced survey, there are specific elements of mobile marketing that consumers tell they are interested in.

Significantly, 50 percent of consumers said if their favorite retailer sent offers to their mobile devices, they would shop there more often. Mobile marketing can include in-app messages, push notifications, beacon / location based offers, SMS messages and voice recognition.

Given this consumer interest, how many companies are investing in mobile technology? The answer is, it depends. According to “The State Of Digital: A Mobile Commerce Perspective: Forrester’s H2 2016 Global Mobile Executive Online Survey” by Forrester, nearly 70 percent of marketers say they are regularly using responsive Web design and mobile optimized websites. It seems that most companies have the basics of mobile user experience down pat. But fewer companies are actively marketing via mobile. Only about 40 percent regularly use SMS messaging or push notifications, and only one in three use in-app messages.

Another element of mobile marketing that consumers express interest in is location-based marketing. Almost half (46 percent) of all consumers said they would like to get relevant offers based on their location. This is overwhelmingly driven by millennials. For instance, 61 percent of those ages 18 to 25 would like location-based offers, steadily declining for each age group (only about a quarter of those 66 or over said this is the case).

But only 37 percent of marketers are using push notifications and an even smaller percentage (only 12 percent) are regularly using beacon/location support on mobile phones, according to the same Forrester study referenced above. There are certainly restrictions on SMS marketing (consult your legal advisor as to the permissions required), but some companies are still planning to implement these programs — about a quarter are planning to pilot/test SMS messaging, and 35 percent are planning to pilot/test push notifications in the future.

Mobile marketing is clearly an imperative for companies with large numbers of millennials in their current or target consumer base. And remember, Gen Z’s, the true mobile natives, are fast approaching behind the millennial population. They may be even more comfortable with mobile marketing than their millennial older siblings. Investments in mobile technology will certainly be crucial for many more marketers as these populations expect more from their favorite brands.

With the constantly evolving field of smartphone technology, people become more and more enamored of using their phone for anything and everything. Digital marketers are challenged to provide “delighters” to attract and engage the population that is most interested in using this technology. Successful digital marketing programs listen to the customer and proactively engage them, whenever and wherever they happen to be.

Note: The views expressed in this blog are those of the blogger and not necessarily of Synchrony Financial. All references to consumers and population refer to the survey respondents from the Synchrony Financial 2017 Digital Study unless otherwise noted.

Is High Content Engagement Worth the Price?

The reaction to my last blog post caught me completely off-guard. As a marketer, I am far from perfect — and like nearly all of my readers, have an opinion or two on most every topic. But I was unprepared for the wrath that some readers heaped on me and my blog last month.

KellyAnne ConwayThe reaction to my last blog post caught me completely off-guard.

As a marketer, I am far from perfect — and like nearly all of my readers, have an opinion or two on most every topic. But I was unprepared for the wrath that some readers heaped on me and my blog last month.

I admit the headline was created as a humorous attempt to compel clicks. And I set the stage for my story with a link to a video that was inadvertently omitted from my post … and that video was a basis for the point I was making.

It probably didn’t help that an editor added their own “commentary” at the beginning of my post, which probably added to the controversial reaction. But all that said, my blog was about the horrible customer service I had received at Samsung … and since customer service is the No. 1 focus for marketers this year, I wanted to share a “what-not-to-do” case study.

For the record, I am not employed by Target Marketing. I am an unpaid guest blogger. So for those of you who demanded I be fired, you’re out of luck.

To be fair, I don’t believe I was on a political soap box … and it was not my intention to make the post political. My assignment, as a blogger, is to share my experiences (good and bad), my 30-plus years of marketing knowledge, and my marketing insights. While some of the comments stung, I am respectful of the opinions of my readers. What felt disingenuous were the attacks by anonymous “bloggeratti.”

The bottom line is, I enjoy the discourse. While we may not always agree, I always enjoy an honest and forthright discussion on marketing challenges, successes and failures.

That said, the engagement level last month was higher than usual — but was it worth it? I’ll get back to you … I’m still licking my wounds.

How to Find a Marketing Tech Edge

One of the challenges of all the marketing tech being developed is simply discovery. The majority of it might not be a fit for your business, but the right few can change the game. How do you learn about enough new technologies to find those needles in the haystack?

All About Marketing Tech LogoOne of the challenges of all the marketing tech being developed is simply discovery. The majority of it might not be a fit for your business, but the right few can change the game. How do you learn about enough new technologies to find those needles in the haystack?

So we’ve been working on a new kind of virtual conference, one that deals directly with marketing technology and will give you a chance to hear 24 new marketing tech firms pitch their bleeding edge products and services to you.

All About Marketing Tech

This is happening at All About Marketing Tech, a brand new virtual conference we’re hosting March 1 with the help of CabinetM.

All About Marketing Tech will have two tracks. The one will have traditional webinar-style presentations on the technologies marketers are using for specific tasks, like lead generation, content marketing and online retail. That track will kick off with a keynote from Travis Wright, the author of Digital Sense, and include sessions from David Raab, Robert Rose, Brian Hansford and more.

The second track is your chance to see new technologies in a way we’ve never done before. It will have three 90-minute TECH Talk sessions where new marketing tech creators will tell you about what they’ve built in 10-minute TED Talk-style presentations.

The three TECH Talk sessions will each focus on a specific area of technology:

  • 11:30 – Through the Funnel: Customer Acquisition and Engagement
  • 1:15 – Emerging Categories: Mobile, ABM, Video
  • 3:00 – Know Your Customer: Analytics/Measurement

You most likely have not yet heard of the companies who’ll be presenting, but that’s the whole point. This is your chance to get an early look at marketing tech that’s still coming to the market — before your competitors even know it exists.

It’s going to be a great chance to expand your knowledge of marketing technology, and identify tools that could make a huge difference for your business.

I hope to see you there! Click here to register.

 

With 140 Characters Comes Great Responsibility

With the introduction of social media came the birth of many new marketing channels, which businesses have fallen over each other trying to leverage and master. But, are they doing so effectively and responsibly?

Social media light bulbHistorically, when a business person speaks “off the cuff,” his or her PR staff quickly steps in to minimize any fall-out. Today, Twitter is the new “off the cuff” megaphone — but in most businesses, tweets are carefully controlled; crafted by someone in PR or marketing and often passed by legal. Despite that structure, there are plenty of instances of irresponsible business messaging (for example, Home Depot’s racist photo) and their typically instant consequences — like the loss of a job.

The world has already been exposed to President-elect Trump’s unfiltered “off-the-cuff” tweets, and his most recent slam of Boeing had an immediate impact on Boeing’s stock price — which leads me to my point.

With the introduction of social media came the birth of many new marketing channels, which businesses have fallen over each other trying to leverage and master. But, are they doing so effectively and responsibly?

Our agency posts daily tweets on behalf of several of our B-to-B clients. To keep them on topic and relevant to their brand and their followers, we are very thoughtful and selective about what we tweet and retweet under their brand name. But this does not seem to be the norm.

When looking at the tweets of those they follow, there are thousands of messages unrelated to the business at hand. During this divisive election year, there were plenty of tweets about one candidate or the other — a topic I would recommend any business shy away from unless they are looking to alienate part of their customer base. Sometimes, they share a cartoon or other form of humor; one business posts the latest stats on the chances of winning the lottery.

Are these important, responsible and relevant posts? Do they help their stakeholders feel more engaged with their brand? Or are they merely checking the box that they’ve tweeted each day?

As our email inboxes continue to fill with unwanted email solicitations, and our personal Facebook pages become overrun with commentary from our friends or family that require us to scroll by and eventually unfriend, I’d like to suggest that any business using Twitter — as a channel to promote and build relationships with their fans and future brand evangelists — should use a filter before they hit the “Tweet” button.

Tweeting is not about volume. It’s about maintaining a dialogue with your followers on relevant topics of mutual interest that serve to enhance your brand. And without applying any sort of personal filter on your efforts, there will be consequences. Just ask the guy who used to work for Home Depot.

Does Blogging Help Build Your Brand?

There is one thing in common about my Target Marketing blog posts. They take an incredible amount of time to conceive and write, but do they provide any value? Do they help improve my personal brand?

I post a Target Marketing blog every 2 weeks — and have done so since April 2012 with fairly steady regularity. That’s over 100 posts on topics that range from educational in nature to commentary on my personal brand interaction experiences to industry news. However, there is one thing in common about my posts. They take an incredible amount of time to conceive and write, but do they provide any value? Do they help improve my personal brand?

Every week I rack my brain to come up with a topic that I think will interest my followers. And, if reader comments are any gauge of my success, the most provocative ones get the most engagement … but not always in a positive way.

As a source of news and information about the business of direct marketing, Target Marketing has long been a trusted source of trustworthy industry intelligence. By associating my brand with the organization, then by extension, it should legitimize my own brand. And, over the years, I can truthfully say that it has helped position me as an industry expert.

While I was always on the speaking circuit, associating myself with Target Marketing has given me additional opportunities to participate in industry webinars, conferences and other venues. And, it certainly looks good on my profile!

But, in speaking with several different clients, I have met those who have found their blog to be a less-than-satisfactory marketing channel. And in every instance, it was because their commentary was so self-serving, that instead of turning them into an industry expert, it became one more way to promote a product or service.

No one wants to read a sales pitch. Period.

Blogs are a way of demonstrating expertise, providing commentary on an industry topic of interest, or educating prospects or customers. They, by definition, create an environment for engagement and debate.

As you begin to wrap up the year and plan for your marketing efforts in 2017, take a critical look at your organizations blogging efforts. Look at the number of reader engagements and the feedback that’s been given. If it seems that no one is engaging, liking, responding or participating, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate.

8 Seconds to Pounce Using the 3 Es of Copywriting

Eight seconds. That’s the average attention span of today’s reader, with those precious seconds representing about the time to ready only 30 to 40 words of copy. Or about HERE (at 35 words).

Eight seconds. That’s the average attention span of today’s reader, with those precious seconds representing about the time to ready only 30 to 40 words of copy. Or about HERE (at 35 words). As recently as in 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds. But when online and mobile use exploded, along with distractions from multiple streams of media, another one-third of our attention span was lopped off.

Attention span, as defined in a new study, is “the amount of concentrated time on a task without becoming distracted.” Commanding concentrated time in just eight seconds is a tall order for marketers.

As I wrote above, those eight seconds only allow reading 30 to 40 words (based on my informal findings). That represents about five to eight words for a headline, followed by a couple of average length sentences, or three or four short sentences. That’s all the time you’ve got to engage your reader to convince them to give you more time.

Consider these stats:

  • Average attention span in 2015:
    8.25 seconds
  • Average attention span in 2000:
    12 seconds
  • Average number of times per hour an office worker checks their email box:
    30 times
  • Average length watched of a single internet video:
    2.7 minutes

There are a few other stats out there that underscore how we, as a culture, don’t pay attention for very long before moving on:

  • Percent of web page views that last less than 4 seconds:
    17 percent
  • Percent of web page views that lasted more than 10 minutes:
    4 percent
  • Percent of words read on web pages with 111 words or less:
    49 percent
  • Percent of words read on an average (593 words) web page:
    28 percent

There’s more: users spend only 4.4 seconds more for each additional 100 words speed reading through web copy.

What does this mean for direct marketers? You must grab your reader using three E’s in copywriting that:

  1. Entertains
  2. Educates
  3. Engages

This doesn’t necessarily mean writing shorter copy.

  • Copy must work smarter to get attention. Use the three E’s in combination.
  • Eliminate “warm up” copy and stimulate emotion fast by introducing fear, uncertainty and doubt in your prospect’s mind.
  • Quickly calm your prospect’s mind with your solution and why your prospect should go beyond eight seconds to learn more about you.

Grab the reader with the three E’s of copywriting and improve your odds they’ll stick with you. But if you hope to make the sale, your copy must quickly get to the point to interest the reader longer than a mere eight seconds.