When designing any marketing piece from banners to mailers it is absolutely essential we keep this in mind. I know your product or service probably has a ton of special features and there are twenty testimonials you want to bombard your potential clients with BUT DON’T!
If we can’t get your message in three to five seconds, you’ve lost us.
I have seen a ton of highway billboards that I’m sure were made to placate the purchasers because I can’t read a darned thing on it, let alone figure out what the call to action is. Sure, highway reading might be melodramatic since squinting to read the website might cause car wrecks or even death but the point remains:
WE ARE AN ATTENTION DEFICIT SOCIETY.
So what can you do about it? Design for it. Consider it a challenge to distill the ultimate essence of what you are and offer. Figure out when and where you –actually- have to have your disclaimers or all that niggling detail stuff. Minimize, minimize, minimize. When you finally think you have it thinned down enough – cut it in half.
Here are a few guidelines:
- Can you explain your company in eight words?
- Can you explain your top benefit to customers in eight words?
- Can you inspire interest in a single sentence?
- What three words are most important to your potential customers?
- Is your PRIMARY contact point (website or email or phone or address, not all four) in multiple LARGE and obvious places?
- Text should make up less than 40% of a design.
- What can you convey in a photo instead of in text?
- How long does a two-year-old look at your design? If it’s over five to ten seconds you might have a winner.
One last thought about brief messages:
SPELLING is DOUBLY IMPORTANT when you have a tiny number of words. BE ATTENTIVE!