Our current times are full of surprises, not all of which are necessarily living proof of high culture. News summaries in just a few seconds, millions of short videos with questionable content, headlines with no background, plus TikTok and Instagram are mercilessly captivating. At the cinema, mobile phones are increasingly providing ‘distraction’, and even when talking to friends or partners, people are constantly reaching for their mobile phones.

Many studies now confirm that attention spans have fallen rapidly in recent years. There are many reasons for this, but in this article we would like to highlight important countermeasures for email marketing. So stay focussed and benefit in the future from the remaining attention that you and your emails are offered.

Plan to excite

One of the most serious mistakes that can be made in an email campaign is not responding to the reader’s needs or not responding to them adequately, as this means that interest and attention are immediately lost. The implementation of a campaign should therefore be preceded by detailed planning that defines all measures. Important points include the objectives and the target group. What is to be achieved and who is to be reached? What are the interests and problems of the target group and how can these be addressed?

All these questions and the respective answers should be reflected in the realisation of the campaign, continuously, in order to ensure orientation and ultimately to prevent the reader from becoming bored.

The captivating subject line

The subject line is the first point of contact with the recipient and determines whether the email is opened at all. Concise, appealing and not too long…60 characters should not be exceeded so that the whole line remains readable in the email application. Attention-grabbing words generate curiosity and increase the open rate.

Clear and concise email content

To the point! Long, rambling texts should be avoided, instead, the most important information should be presented in short, easy-to-understand paragraphs. Bullet points or numbered lists are important tools for increasing readability and keeping the reader’s attention.

Visual Elements

Images, graphics and videos reinforce the message and can help to convey complex information quickly and clearly. You can also inspire with skilfully used visuals. All visual elements should definitely be mobile-friendly, as the majority of emails are now read on smartphones. We have already dedicated a special blog article to this topic.

Personalisation and Segmentation

The personalisation of emails can be an additional trigger to make sensible use of the short attention span and, at best, to extend it. The recipient is addressed directly and the relevance of the message is significantly increased.

With a perfectly segmented recipient list, another important foundation stone is laid, as this is the only way to actually create relevant content for a target group. Targeted and customised content is undoubtedly better received by the target audience.

CTAs (Calls to action)

Every email should clearly contain a call to action so that the recipient can carry out the desired action. However, it is important that the position of the CTA is clearly and quickly visible. In addition, the CTA should not be inserted at the end of the email, as there is a risk that the reader will not be persistent enough to scroll to the end of the email.

A/B testing and analysis

The A/B test should always be a good friend of every email marketer, as it makes it possible to test what actually works in real life. Theory and practice are often two different worlds and with countless influencing factors in email marketing, it is always advisable to test extensively.

Of course, this also applies to attention spans. For example, you could test a longer version of an email against a short, condensed version that focuses on the key messages and is clearly laid out using bullet points.

Optimisation for mobile devices

Nothing is worse than an email design that is difficult for the reader to recognise. Font sizes and graphics need to be optimised for the best user experience – otherwise frustration sets in and the email goes straight to the trash. This is especially true for mobile devices and a significant number of emails sent today are opened on mobile devices, and the trend is rising.

The small amount of attention is immediately wasted if there are problems with it displaying. Optimised output on different screen sizes as described in detail in our guide must therefore be ensured when creating campaigns.


The examples above clearly show that there is enormous potential to counter the danger of low attention spans. Win over recipients with captivating subject lines, clear and concise content and visual elements! Make everything easily digestible and easy to understand, a smooth user experience is more than important and guarantees the success of your campaigns.