Be Brief for Ad Agency New Business

Abraham Lincoln speeches should be brief

Abraham Lincoln demonstrated by his Gettysburg Address that BREVITY is often more memorable, impactful and appealing.

If you want to reach prospective clients through content marketing such as content through blog post articles, email, eNewsletters and eBooks, your writing should generally contain half the word count of conventional printed text.

People read a lot online but studies have shown that their attention span is much shorter than reading print. There are much more distractions and a gluttony of content and email online that you have to compete against.

According to a Nielsen Norman Group study, the most frequent advice participants had for newsletter creators was – “keep it brief.” 

Their research found that 79 percent of their test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16 percent read word-by-word. A newer study found that users read email newsletters even more abruptly than they read websites.

People prefer sites that get to the point and let them get things done quickly

Improve your online writing style by this example provided by Nielsen. Take it from this …

Nebraska is filled with internationally recognized attractions that draw large crowds of people every year, without fail. In 1996, some of the most popular places were Fort Robinson State Park (355,000 visitors), Scotts Bluff National Monument (132,166), Arbor Lodge State Historical Park & Museum (100,000), Carhenge (86,598), Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer (60,002), and Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park (28,446).

… to this. You will greatly increase readability and usefulness.  

In 1996, six of the most-visited places in Nebraska were:

  1. Fort Robinson State Park
  2. Scotts Bluff National Monument
  3. Arbor Lodge State Historical Park & Museum
  4. Carhenge
  5. Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer
  6. Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park

The layout and writing of a eNewsletter will need to focus on usability to survive in the high-pressure environment of a crowded inbox. According to Nielsen, users spend a mere 51 seconds reading the average newsletter.

I highly recommend the Nielsen Norman Group. They are true pioneers in user experience studies that can greatly improve writing for Web. Click here to check out their online publications, white papers and reports:

  • Web Usability
  • Intranet Usability
  • Email Usability
  • Mobile Usability

Additional articles that may be of interest:

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

About Michael Gass

Michael Gass is a Business Development Consultant to Advertising, Digital, Media and PR Agencies | Speaker | Author of Fuel Lines. Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.