10% of you won’t even read this far.
A number of years back, our VP of Marketing, Keith Winn, wrote an article that no one read. And that was the point. Dubbed The Article No One Will Read, you can look back and see how, even in 2011, people had already tuned out of, well, everything.
Last night, a modern repeat of this tale appeared in my Twitter feed. A writer for Slate wondered the same thing we had so many years ago…is anyone even bothering to read what I write? And when they do, is it to the end, or some arbitrary, “I’m bored” point?
38% of you are now gone.
He worked with a web technology company to see how far people actually scrolled on pages. Turns out, most of the time, even a committed reader doesn’t make it to the bottom. A tiny percentage get to the end, and they’re the least likely to share! Ironically, those who post your content on Facebook, Twitter, or some other service, probably didn’t read to the halfway mark.
You don’t know this yet, but you’re past the halfway point, since I know this cannot keep rambling…I’ve lost more than half of you already!
Take-away lesson: If you want engagement, don’t expect comprehension. If you want comprehension, don’t expect engagement. Weird, I know. If you want people to read everything to the end…sorry, not going to happen.
Essential point (Notice how I waited until the end to mention? Think about how those other people missed out because they couldn’t stick around long enough!): You need to get to your point fast, and I mean faster than a Weeping Angel towards the phone box (Whovians got that, but it probably cost me a few percent more in readers who gave up…oh well).
Point. Quickly. Because people won’t stay focused.
Disclosure: The numbers and style are adapted from the original publication on Slate. But I could say just about anything here, since no one is still reading. Always take a banana to a party. Make it so, Number One. Use the Force. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.