Studies prove that readers, especially on the Web, don’t read all the words. They scan the text for:
- Highlighted words
- Bulleted lists
Scanning is even more prevalent for readers of email newsletters. Thus, you must put out content that is sure to attract the reader’s eyes and stand out from the rest. Standing out is the keyword here, and what better way to stand out than literally popping off the screen with a number, which is sure to attract people’s attention.
Numbers directly reflect into our unconscious mind and say, “this message is important”.
When trying to hook a reader, the promise of something specific is bound to get them bated and thus read your content.
Now remember this, countless humans are disappointed in blogs and newsletters that they subscribe to once, and then when they go to read an article under a title the reader thinks they like, post skimming through the first paragraph, the reader only finds out that the title has nothing to do with the content. Or the content lacked enough substance or structure to conspire any good.
Over time, what has been learned by readers to keep this problem at bay is selecting articles that have titles where they’re guaranteed at least some measure of structure and substance.
Hence when they go on whilst browsing and then they go ahead and choose a headline with a number in it, it thus gives the reader some assurance that even if the author is crazy, you’ll get to see “7 Ways to Be a Better Sous Chef”.
There should be at least one or two steps worth reading even if the others miss the mark, for a reader to be satisfied and not unsubscribe from the newsletter.
Bear in mind this is a worst-case scenario and you should always aim to be the best and give the best results.
The structure is Key, as it Makes reading easier
Organizing content into a numbered list guarantees your readers the post they’re reading will have structure.
Even if you tend to wander when you read, there should be an easy enough path to follow from the beginning to end, thus even if the reader’s thought wanders, there is a way for them to bring the ship back home and thus steer them onto the right path that they need to continue reading.
Bullet points also work as a good guide enabling readers to skim through the article later on and then choose points they would like to go through again.
Organization is Elevated
This is an essential step, crucial for the process of speed reading. Now think of this, when do you read a blog? Is there a fixed time that you read a blog? Is there a set number of hours you devote to reading a blog?
Most people read many blog posts daily, mostly as they are going about or doing other things, like eating breakfast, listening to music, whilst they are being kept on hold with tech support.
So remember this; for a reader, before reading a blog, the numbers allow them to skim the first line of every numbered article, and this way, they can figure out if they want to read an article or if they do not want to do that.
Although we can only read a few hundred words per minute without sacrificing memory, a numbered article entry lets the reader get right to what they’re looking for.
Note, Stick to the Key Points
Many blogs start as one thing and then throughout the blog, the main river of thought breaks out into tributaries that never end up reaching the sea, thus turning the article into something else by the end.
What you have to do when you are in the process of researching marketing for example post, try clubbing together topics to give readers a different perspective from what is already available for them to read.
Feed Readers on Numbers the “Brain Candy”
Our brains are attracted to numbers because they automatically organize information into a logical order.
In the marketing and advertising context, time and time again, this is a strategy that has been reused and overused, what you have to remember is that your headline is an advertisement for your content.
A single, small odd-numbered digit, like 7 for example, is like candy for your organizational mind, making the person want to know what secrets are being split in the article thus, getting you the reader’s attention.
Also, numerical is a great factor that helps enhance the scan-ability of the written content on a website or a blog article.
- A number is better than a word.
- Small numbers are more digestible than large ones.
- Odd numbers are seen as more authentic than even numbers.
In a world of vague promises where words and names are diluted beyond any value, a small number holds the promise of meaning, integrity, and accessibility. Be sure to capitalize on these numbers and be sure to get people attracted to your content and then post skimming through it, trust your content, and know that your audience will give it a read.