8 seconds. That’s all the all time you have. It’s the average human attention span in the United States and it’s shrinking. In 2000, you had 12 seconds. By 2012 that had been reduced to 8 seconds. How short can it get? No one knows.
So, what can you do to be most effective in this short attention span universe?
Whether it’s your website, your advertising, or in your emails, it is essential that you grab attention in such a way that your readers will give you more than eight seconds.
Think of your communication as a conversation. What’s your opener? Everything flows from those first 8 seconds. Did you grab them? Will they read on? The way you use those 8 seconds will determine that. Here’s five simple ways to do that in a headline or subject line:
- How to. Everyone likes to learn how to do something they are interested in better. If you can offer a how to, feature it in your headline or subject line.
- Testimonial. Do you have someone or multiple someones who will back up your claims? If so, feature them in your copy and use their words in your headline or subject line. Highlight your testimonial by alerting your readers that you are featuring a testimonial simply by using quotation marks.
- Question. If you can start with a question that your readers want answered, they will read on. So, what’s the question that will unlock their curiosity and get them into your copy?
- Ellipsis… Those three dots can be magical… they signal that you will complete a thought… inside an email… or in your body copy… and they draw people in.
- Tips. Like how to, people like tips. 10, 7, 12, the number of tips isn’t as important as your content. Give people a series of useful tips and they’ll gladly read your copy.
So, whether it’s a question, a how to, tips, or something else, if you give people a sufficient reason to read on, chances are a fair number will. What’s a fair number? It depends on how you are attempting to reach them. This much we do know – you have 8 seconds to draw them in.
If you want more ideas on how to maximize the 8 seconds, get my free report 10 Headlines Formulas to Maximize Your Profits here. If you want to kick your headlines to the next, profitable level, click here.