Short Messages for Busy People

by | Jun 11, 2014 | Advice | 1 comment

attention spanAttention spans are beyond short.  These days they’re miniscule.

The teenage generation of today doesn’t even use email.  According to the Pew Research Center, only 6% of teens exchange email daily.  They reserve email for “official” communications.

Most are happier with FaceBook Messaging, Kik, Twitter, SnapChat, SMS messaging, and WhatsApp.  140 characters, 100 characters, abbreviations, and sometimes, just one letter.  K?

“Dear John”, and “regards”or “sincerely” don’t have a place in that world.

Like it or not, we’re being affected by that.  When I write a prospective VO client, a repeat client, or a business associate, I keep it as short as possible.  2, 3, maybe four sentences.  There’s a real art to establishing a pleasant salutation, keeping the body direct and to-the-point, and then making a diplomatic exit.  Emoticons help.  Ugh. It may sound harsh, but you know what?…in my busy day, I appreciate it when people do that with email to ME.

In fact, some people have made a study of what are optimal length of every manner of communication online…with research to back it up.

Here are a few of the findings:

  • The ideal length of a tweet is 100 characters
  • The ideal length of a Facebook post is less than 40 characters
  • The ideal length of a Google+ headline is less than 60 characters
  • The ideal length of a headline is 6 words
  • The ideal length of a blog post is 7 minutes, 1,600 words
  • The ideal width of a paragraph is 40-55 characters
  • The ideal length of an email subject line 28-39 characters
  • The ideal length of a presentation is 18 minutes
  • The ideal length of a domain name is 8 characters

But don’t settle for those bullet-points above, get all the research behind it on a wonderfully-written article on Social Media Today, called: The Ideal Length of Everything Online, Backed by Research

I’m actually bucking the trend of the above suggestions.  This blog article is around 320 words (20% of 1,600 words), and the title was 5 words, not 6.  🙂




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1 Comment

  1. Joyce Davis

    Dave, You are so right-been reading about this very thing and see it communicating with my grandchildren. Have I gone on too long?


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