Your guide to marketing to a goldfish

Marketing isn’t like fishing with dynamite, especially when the average consumer attention span is worse than a goldfish – standing at just 8.25 seconds! So, the question is: how on earth do we market to them?

As a nation, we’re always in a hurry. We give ourselves too many tasks and often get side-tracked. One minute we’re surfing the net for a handyman, the next we’re buying ourselves tickets to watch Ed Sheeran!

In a recent infographic produced by Wyzowl, they illustrated that our attention span has markedly decreased in just 15 years, dropping from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8.25 seconds in 2015.

This probably explains why a typical person will leave a web page in just 10-20 seconds and will only read about 28% of the words.

These characteristics pose a real threat for any business trying to improve conversions. So, when it comes to marketing to your audience, how do you produce content compelling enough to keep your audience engaged and interested in your services?

How to create goldfish-friendly content

According to Nielsen research, content with a clear value proposition is able to hold people’s attention for much longer. (If you’re reading this, it means I still have your attention – boom!)

You should:

  • Be clear in your messaging
  • Tell stories that’ll appeal to consumer desires
  • Keep your messaging concise and to the point

The key point here is length. Hubspot recently pointed out that the most effective sales emails consist of around 50 to 125 words. This sort of length achieved the best response rates at just above 50%. However, is email marketing really the best platform to use for sending goldfish-friendly content? Not always.

If an average consumer has an attention span of just 8.25 seconds, why spend hours crafting hundreds of words on a weekly email which, on average, will only be opened (let alone fluently read) by 22.87%?

Don’t get me wrong, detailed content is required on websites, blogs and landing pages. It gives you a chance to go into more detail about the product or service.

But when it comes to getting customers to take action, business SMS holds the key. You can put together short and concise SMS marketing campaigns and send them out in minutes. It even helped one business achieve a 4,000% ROI and beat the likes of John Lewis and Audi to win two national awards.

Give the goldfish what they want

Still with me? Good! It’s clear that a goldfish consumer just wants to skim read the important bits. That’s why a well thought out offer-led bulk SMS campaign can get your message across without all the fluff. Especially when 98% of your business text messages will be read!

To demonstrate this, I’ve used Jordan Belfort’s famous ‘sell me this pen’ task from The Wolf of Wall Street, to write you a typical email description and a business SMS.


This email example paints a picture and gives the audience the finer details of the pen. However, to a goldfish reader, you probably would have lost them by the end of the first sentence.

Although the business SMS doesn’t describe every detail of the pen, it’s direct, punchy and is extremely digestible to a goldfish reader. This example even demonstrates how you can effectively send MMS pictures as well.

If a customer then wants more details, they can click the link and go to your website or landing page. The business SMS also draws attention to the deadline and the offer itself. So, if a customer likes the sound of the deal and is interested in a new pen, they will know they must act now.

You see, marketing doesn’t always require reams of text to achieve results. SMS works, and it was made for goldfish consumers. So, if you want your content to be effective, start by using the right platform.

open rate

Over 98% of the text messages sent from our SMS tool are opened and read. That’s unmatched communication power for your business. Try it for yourself.