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I think ADD has gone mainstream. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I have the attention span of a flea and the sad part is that you do too. And guess what — your customers and prospects are no different. With only 24 hours in a day, we continue to see how many activities we can stuff into a finite amount of time.

That said — the attentions span numbers have changed. I ran into this infographic from qSample that lays out the updated data for the average attention span devoted to all kinds of activities.

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Tips on How to Leverage Shorter Attention Spans

So, let’s take a closer look at each of these elements that qSample reported on and see how you can tweak your marketing to fit the amount of attention your customer is willing to give you.

You have 10 seconds to keep them on your website: If you haven’t noticed, cluttered web sites are OUT — and this is why. But you don’t have to go through a major re-design to grab their attention, all you have to do is tighten up your copy and reduce the amount of irrelevant content.

  • Identify and speak to a single customer: I can’t say this enough, you can’t sell anything to everyone. Pick a specific customer and write your website to them. Imagine a single individual and write to that person. It will pull in your ideal customers and keep them there.
  • Have the core purpose, benefit and description of your site in BIG BOLD words at the top. This is your headline and the ideal length of a headline is no more than six words. Yes, this takes time and brainstorming, but the effort is worth it. Here are a few examples that you can learn from – and why not just go ahead and swipe (adapt) what they’ve done for yourself. Mint.com has always been a favorite — notice that their top headline is only 5 words “Be Good With Your Money”. I also like KISS Metrics blog description: A blog about analytics, marketing and testing. MailChimp got it down to three words “Send better email”. Here’s one of my clients, AFV Natural Gas Fuel Systems. Right under the logo it says “We Make NGV Fuel Line Assemblies Happen”. They are a manufacturer and even they could describe their business in about six words.
  • Focus on the top three things you do for people:?Immediately after your headline – be sure to identify the top three things that people will get or be able to do. Ideally these are the top three things that they are always looking for. My favorite site for this is Digital Marketer Labs – No one does this as well as they do.digital marketer (1) (1)

40% of your visitors will leave your site if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds. This, my friends is a FACT. Speed is so very important and I encourage all of you to test your site speed. Here are a few quick and dirty tools and tips to do just that:

  • Pingdom: This is a quick and dirty test. Just enter your web site url and click on the button. I’d recommend you do it a few times because you’ll get all different kinds of numbers – run it about 5 times and take the average.site speed (1)
  • Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network). A CDN will take copies of your website and store it on servers all over the world. So when people enter your URL, they will get a super fast cache version of your site that’s stored closest to them. You have several choices. DIYMarketers runs on a FREE CloudFlare account. You can also use Amazon’s CloudFront. Also ask your website host if they offer an optimized WordPress hosting package or CDN that you can take advantage of.
  • Reduce the size of your images with Kraken.io: ?This is a super easy trick and will really help your web speed. Images take forever to load, but Kraken has this amazing (free) ability to compress your images without significantly impacting the quality. Every image you see here has been compressed using Kraken.

95% of web visitors don’t fill out forms and less than 20% open your emails – here’s what to do about it.? Wanna know why? ?The next time you hit your email, take a moment and pay attention to which emails you deleted and make a list of why you deleted them. Then make a list of each email you ope and exactly what you opened it. There is your answer.

My list of rejected email reasons looks something like this:

  • I’m not interested
  • They are trying to sell me something
  • I don’t have time to read this
  • What is this person talking about
  • They are asking me to do something and I don’t want to

Here’s my list of reasons for emails I opened:

  • Oh, there’s something good in here – there always is.
  • What trends are hot – I can’t wait to see
  • I think this tool can save me money
  • My peeps will be interested in this

Here’s the secret to getting people to sign up for something and getting them to open your email — Make it about THEM and not you. Focus on a specific customer with a specific need and give them an offer that will fill that need. Give them something super fun, useful and entertaining to download in exchange for their email.

The best people to follow or copy — Hubspot wins almost every time followed again, by the folks at Digital Marketer. Again, these are people who create such stellar content, that I almost always open their stuff. It’s like a stocking stuffer every time. Oh — and did you notice Hubspot’s headline (Inbound Marketing and Sales Software) – yup – I know what that is.

Your’ve got 90 seconds to get your message out in a video: You’ve heard that video is HOT – but it’s not all video, just good video. And you’ve only got 90 seconds to get it done. Before you just throw a bunch of stuff in a video or video a presentation, check out some great explainer videos for inspiration.

Here are 10 awesome explainer videos to look at. I’d recommend Groupon’s, Crazy Egg’s, Litmus Email. All do the trick in about 90 seconds.

Want a quick outline of how to create a great explainer video- here it is, crafted for 90 seconds: Problem, Solution, How it Works and Conclusion (call to action).

What do we have in common with goldfish?

You’ll notice in this infographic that attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. The average attention span of a person is about five minutes, down from 12 minutes! ?Then there’s the elevator pitch which has dropped from 118 seconds down to 30! And then there’s my favorite — the average attention span of an internet user is 8 seconds. The attention span of a goldfish is 9. This is where we are going.

I’m sure that there is some point where this will level out, but for the time being, you have to assume that your customer is spending less and less time thinking about YOU and you need to spend more and more time thinking about them.

Be Ruthless and Rigorous With Your Messaging

Don’t think that because you have a marketing message today, it’s going to work tomorrow. When I say be ruthless, I mean tweak and craft and look for the best, most emotional connecting words. Keep targeting and focusing on a specific ideal customer and keep honing your marketing materials to match their inner voice as much as possible.

Yes – I know it’s hard. But I’ve given you lots of examples of people who are doing it and doing it well. This isn’t stuff reserved for big brands and smart marketers – grabbing your customers’ attention (and business) is reserved for those who take the time to get it right.