In this fast-paced world, it’s rare for marketing materials to be read word-for-word. Here’s how to make this fact work for you by, enabling skim-reading and comprehension. When was last time you read a company’s entire website - It’s very rare to read these things word for word unless you’re really interested in what they’re saying, right?
Your own prospects and customers are no different. Skim-reading is a way of life in the fast-paced, high-tech, competitive world we live in. For your marketing to be effective, you need to acknowledge that, and help facilitate skim-reading principles.
Why it’s a good ploy to encourage skim-reading
Encouraging your prospects to skim-read is essential. Why? By letting their eyes glance at the information in a way that they can absorb it quickly means that your prospects are more likely to retain the knowledge and information. In turn, this means that you’re more likely to make the sale!
How to facilitate skim-reading
5 quick techniques
Here are the five common ways to facilitate skim-reading...
1. Large Headings
An enticing heading is the important first step in making sure that your marketing piece gets read. Asking a question is a great way to engage the reader, and makes them reflect on what's being asked. Don't be afraid to use large readable fonts here.
Meaningful sub-headings help to break down the information on the page, and let the eye navigate the information. Notice how this article uses this technique to break down the information into easy, navigable chunks. Headings and sub-headings should be bolder, larger, or have a different colour to the rest of the content to help them stand out and break up text heavy content into manageable chunks. Don't forget the hierarchy of heading H1 - H6 though, your H1 should stand out the most and should only appear once on each page (this is important for search engines).
Lead-ins are a great way of captivating your audience and guiding them to the rest of your well layed out content; as does a newspaper or magazine article. If you are intrigued by the titles you will read the lead-in, if you are intrigued by the lead-in you will read the content...
4. Bullet points
Do you have a whole list of things to say? Then put them in a bulleted list! This also breaks down the information nicely, and if you put the most important words at the beginning of the sentence, it’ll help the reader pick up the important information even if they don’t read the whole sentence.
5. Use of bold, italics, and hyper-links
Within your textual content, it is important to use bold, italics and to create hyper-links. Readers will often run their eyes down the content and will see these highlighted words and phrases, and often read surrounding textual content. Hyper-links should be underlined as this is what we are accustomed to, and these hyper-links often lead to more relevant information for the reader - they are also good for search engines (mainly internal links).