Explore our Email Marketing and Marketing Automation Toolkit

Our attention span is less than Goldfish

Author's avatar By Kim Greenop-Gadsby 22 Nov, 2017
Essential Essential topic

Chart of the Day: However, email attention spans are increasing

Concentrate, my little email geeks

Email Attention Spans are Increasing

First of all, let's give goldfish a bit of credit. It hasĀ been proved that Goldfish do not have a 9-second attention span, it's a complete myth. And yes, they do in fact have a larger attention span than humans. Slightly Awkward.

We are all guilty of it. We have so many distractions in this digital world. In fact, even while writing this, I have got distracted twice already. I'm currently listening to "white noise meditation" music and currently very focused... ooh something shiny!

What about email?

You will be pleased to learn that email is an entirely different kettle of fish (so to speak). The average time spent reading an email has increased to nearly 7% in the past 6 years. In 2016 the average time spent reading an email is 11.1 seconds. In the below graph, you can see that in 2016 clients are spending a lot more time reading their emails instead of just skimming or glancing.

11.1 seconds still isn't a lot of time

No, 11.1 seconds isn't a lot of time. It takes me longer to take a selfie and upload it. The point is, you need to make sure that your emails clearly communicate your point across.

Litmus gave 7 tips for optimizing your email content and I fully agree with all of them.

  1. Optimize your subject line and preview text
  2. Use responsive email design
  3. Use heads, subheads, bullets to communicate quickly
  4. Test rendering correctly so the email displays correctly in email clients
  5. Use "above the fold" wisely
  6. Use compelling images
  7. Pay attention to email load times
  8. Long emails are ok
  9. Do not send an email with broken links

Final thoughts

Remember, for your client to open and get a chance to read your email they have to actually open it. Brand reputation and having the trust of your client is very important. Send quality content and you will get quality email reads.

Attention span for emails

Author's avatar

By Kim Greenop-Gadsby

I get very excited about all things email because I'm just a #EmailGeekUK. I was born and bred in South Africa and have over 16 years experience in web development and digital marketing. When I'm not being an email geek, I spend my time with my husband, two sons and our menagerie of pets.

Recommended Blog Posts