ruthless brevity

Are you respecting your clients/prospects time? Are you ruthlessly brief with them?

I was crafting an email today to a person I know is very busy. So I removed everything from my message that was not necessary to get my point across. I know he appreciates that I value his time so much.

But do we do that with clients? Our homepage is at http://www.portentinteractive.com. Our headline is “A Whole-Brain Internet Marketing Agency.” Does that convey enough meaning in few enough words? Is their a better way to communicate that idea very quickly? Read the body text that follows and you get a good idea of what we do in a small space.

On http://www.momagenda.com, our client says this:

“Welcome to momAgenda, the new day planner for moms!

It is my fervent hope that by using this new day planner for moms, you will completely eliminate chaos from your life…you will make it on time to every appointment, eliminate double booking of play dates and activities, plan meals religiously, always remember everything you needed at the grocery store, and you will finally lose those last 5 – 10 pounds of baby weight.”

Now that is a concise, easy-to-understand headline, with a brief-but-complete body to make the point. But if you go to www.momagenda.com, you won’t see it, because it is below the fold- you have to scroll down to see this headline and description.

So ruthless brevity is not just about content, but design and where you place that content. If that same blurb were higher up, say where the Crocodile momAgenda is currently shown, then users would see immediately what the momAgenda was about.

Compare this to Flow Corp:

” Flow International Corp

Flow International Corporation (Flow), the inventor of abrasive waterjet technology, is the world leader in the development and manufacture of ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) waterjet systems. In fact, nearly 60% of all waterjet systems sold in the world are made by Flow. Our UHP technology is used for pure and abrasive waterjet cutting, surface preparation, and food processing applications” which is all above the fold, immediately obvious.

Respect your users: ruthless brevity both in content and design is key on the internet.

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2 Responses to “ruthless brevity”


  1. 1 ian December 29, 2006 at 1:03 pm

    In momAgenda’s defense, that text is secondary to the product because it’s such a photogenic product. Sometimes ruthless brevity means not using words at all.

  2. 2 Andres December 29, 2006 at 4:03 pm

    “Don’t write, telegraph… Don’t sell the stake but the sizzle” – From the book Tested Sentences that Sell.


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I'm now blogging about internet marketing at RedBeardConsulting.com.

Red Beard Consulting

At Red Beard Consulting I work on internet marketing primarily for speakers. I also work with Infusionsoft.

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