We live in a fast world with a high density of information, and as such, our attention spans have adapted to quickly spot and differentiate relevant information. On top of that, statistics show that 64% of users find ads intrusive or annoying, and that 92% of ads go unnoticed. In order to reach your audience through advertising, you have to follow several best practices.
Taking into account the declining attention spans
Attention spans are consistently declining. A study from Microsoft shows that the average attention span was 12 seconds in the year 2000, but only 8 seconds today. A different study by Jampp showed that our attention spans decline every year by about 88%. On top of that, we have sources showing that users are exposed to approximately 5,000 ads daily.
This is why simplicity is very effective. You also have to accept that users will not be persuaded by viewing your ad only once. In advertising, you have a concept called the Rule of Seven, which states that a prospect has to be exposed to your message at least seven times before they’re ready to purchase.
This concept is reinforced by Marketing Metrics, which discovered that the probability of selling to a new prospect is anywhere between 5 to 20 percent, compared to 60 to 70 percent when selling to an existing customer. You will also be 10 times more effective, with a 70% increase in conversion, when targeting prospects who have already visited your website at least once.
The concept of sensory adaptation
Several years ago, a debate was raging about the most effective CTA button color. Hubspot claimed that “Red beats green”, while Unbounce found that orange is more effective. Others have gone to call blue, yellow or green the best color to use.
In reality however, users don’t react to specific colors, but to colors that stand out against the background. This concept is called sensory adaptation, where our brains will ignore most things that blend into their surroundings. It obviously makes sense then, that a green color does not convert well when its placed against a light green background.
This concept can be applied to ads, depending on the platform. If you’re promoting on Twitter, you don’t want to use blue, for example. Always take into account the surrounding color scheme when designing an ad.
Less is more
This concept applies to several areas of marketing. From number of choices to the targeted audience, being selective improves ROI. When it comes to choices, you want to give your audience a relatively few number of options. In a study conducted by Mark Lepper and Sheena Iyengar, the researchers divided participants in two groups. The first group was offered 24 varieties of jams to purchase, and another was offered significantly less options. The second group had 10 times as many sales.
When it comes to targeting, you want to segment and structure your audience, and then use personalized messaging for each group. In a study by Marketing Sherpa, the company sent out two batches of emails. You had a targeted batch, and a non-targeted batch. The targeted batch was 208% more effective at converting the recipients.