It’s impossible to say what our “attention span” is, because the concept is so hard to define, but it is possible to say that it’s decreasing, as you might expect. That’s probably all we need to know in marketing. Get the message over, and get it over quickly. Above all, don’t make reading the document look like it’s going to be a chore.
Tell people what benefit they’re going to get
How do we do this? For a start, don’t “label” stuff at the top. A headline needs to tell people what benefit they’re going to get by reading this web page or email. If the document is about a product, then the headline (or a subheading) needs to tell the reader what makes this product different. Immediately.
Use attractive visuals
And don’t forget that apparently, half of our brain’s capacity is dedicated to vision. I’m not sure what that means, but it does suggest that we should use attractive visuals. Poor quality cutouts lifted from a supplier’s data sheet just won’t do.
I should probably make every article as attractive as this one. The trouble is, I’m as lazy as anyone else. Be better than me.