Engagement Strategy #2: Keep your body copy short and your headlines even shorter. Let your visuals do the talking.


You’re not writing War and Peace, just communicating a single concept or thought, especially when writing landing pages, email or web banners promoting a special offer or contest. A Temple University Professor once told me, “If you communicate more than one idea, you’ve already lost them on the first.” Aside from the obvious lesson of one idea per concept, this was a warning to write to the user’s capacity for attention, not to their ability to remember everything you have to say. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when writing and designing engaging content:

  • One concept or thought per campaign – eliminate confusing messaging that could conflict with the ultimate marketing goal and skew results.
  • Simple headline = higher engagement. Think in 3-words or less. Clever is not always engaging.
  • Always use a Call To Action(CTA) with short time to act before offer expires.
  • What’s in it for me? What makes your offer or contest worth taking time out of my busy day or collecting my personal information?
  • Color and typography makes a message pop. It also has certain psychological impacts on decision making.
  • Personalize your messaging – Include the user’s first name, mention their preferences, or reference a past category they purchased from, especially in email communications. Just don’t get too creepy.
  • Send a follow up “thank you” message through email or social when a user makes a purchase or provides their information.
  • Make sure you have a way for users to forward your message to their friends via email and social media. Word of mouth is a powerful thing!

These are but a few ideas to keep in mind that will help you cut through the noise and engage with clear intent. You’ll see immediate lift in engagement and conversion when taking these simple strategies into consideration. Don’t take my word for it though—A/B split test it and let’s check out the results or if anyone has results from previous campaigns, please share. Contact me if you need creative or messaging help.

Here are some good examples of short, well written emails and landing pages I’ve uncovered over the past several weeks:

Buca de Beppo – This is a great example of an email that uses a simple CTA and animated “shaking” gift box. On click through, it takes you to a simple landing page where you scratch open the gift box to receive a discount. Buca de Beppo used scratch-it.com for this service:


Northern Tools & Equipment – As a holiday email blast, Northern keeps it clean, and uses color that draws your eye to the deal; their message is simple and on point with a clear CTA. They even sweeten the deal with a free gift card on a threshold:


Northern Tools & Equipment landing page follows through on that simple message with clarity of product and savings:


Optics Planet – I appreciate the “focused” photography on the scope and simple category blocks with “Shop Now” button. This is a great example of category promotions without the price hype. (Conversion improvement tip— Although free shipping offers have done well over the years, it’s become expected. Add a threshold with an additional discount or free item.):


Optics Planet carries through the mounted scope photo and product is clear with avg. customer ratings and large red-colored sale prices. I only have 2 complaints or improvement suggestions— #1: There are no “Buy” or “Add to Cart” buttons, and #2: The copy block in the landing page header banner is too wordy. For those of you who cannot make out the small print, it talks about the quality and reliability of name brand products listed on the category page. I would have just included an icon of an award, or create my own branded symbol of quality or guarantee—in the eCommerce space, a warranty can go a long way!:

If you have examples of your own, or would like more information about how I can help launch your next B2B or B2C promotional campaign, just click here to check out my LinkedIn profile with contact info and professional experience. You can also click here to check out my online portfolio website.

Jeff Behrenhauser is an accomplished Creative Director with over 15 years of experience in designing and developing email and web creative marketing strategies. He has held lead creative rolls in agencies and in-house marketing departments with successes in the Pharmaceuticals, Financial Services, Healthcare, Automotive, Energy, Technology, Communications, and Retail Services industries. Click here to find out more about how Jeff’s accomplishments in marketing and advertising can help your business.

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