10 Surprising Online Marketing Facts Threatening Your Success in 2017

There are some seemingly crazy online marketing facts that many people do not know. Simply knowing about these facts will open up the opportunity to optimize your marketing efforts and avoid a ton of mistakes!

Check out these 10 surprising facts, I am sure you don’t know all of them:

1. 6 out of 10 people will share a link without reading the content first

I have seen that happen with some of my tweets: The analytics showed more retweets than clicks on a link. When I was a marketing newbie that surprised me – it does not anymore. And studies confirmed that this online behavior is fairly common.

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Social accounts crave for activity and content to share. Many people feel they lack the time to check out the link and the content first. Beware, it can easily hurt your reputation if you share a lot of crappy content with a catchy headline.

This fact also hints at another phenomenon: Some headlines (or post texts) inspire shares, and some inspire clicks. What you are really looking for are headlines that get you both: clicks and shares. Only then has your content the potential to spread.

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Image Source: Upworthy

2. 8 out of 10 read your headline – only 1 out of 10 reads your content

Far too many online marketers do not pay enough attention to the headlines of their online content. The result often is that great content passes by unnoticed because the headline fails to catch attention. And mediocre content may get all the attention because the author spend some time and effort on creating a great headline.

It absolutely pays off to learn the basics about a great headline and then practice, measure and learn from there. Coming up with headlines that have a chance of getting attention can be learned!

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Image Source: Quicksprout

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

David Ogilvy

3. Reading from a screen is 25% slower than from paper

Have you ever had the feeling that reading o screen is slower than reading from a paper? I have. For complicated documents, it took me a while to get comfortable with doing proofreading on screen. I used to print out my scientific work and mark down mistakes and necessary changes on paper.

There is a reason for that: While you can practice being comfortable with reading online, it still takes longer than from paper. In fact, reading online content is 25% slower.

That is one of the reasons your online content needs a lot of structure and the layout of websites is so important! You have to make your content easy to read.

4. People who clicked do not necessarily read your content

Do you think if you get people to click on your links and visit your website, they will also read your content? You are wrong: 55% of people who click on website content will spend less than 15% seconds on that website. So you have only a couple of seconds to catch the attention and keep them interested.

And it means if you are headed for traffic as a valuable metric you should also watch out for the time these website visitors spend on your site. If your visitors do not stay on your website long enough to consume your content something is seriously amiss. In this case, you need to question your targeting – or your headlines may be promising something that your content does not deliver.

Website visitors that instantly leave your site are not what will bring you success.

5. 79% don’t read but scan online content

Only 16% of people on average read online content word for word.

Even though marketers like Neil Patel recommend to write longer, information rich blog posts for various reasons, the sad truth is that your chances of getting your audience to read your full post is higher with shorter posts: on average people read 44% of the words of a piece of content with less than 111 words while this number drops to 28% of words read for an average piece of content (average number of words 593 words).

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Image source: Statistic Brain

6. Content with relevant images gets 94% more views

The hard truth is that many people stop thinking about their content after they created it. And they miss out on some easy tweaks to get so much more out of their content.

I still see far too many pieces of content and social media posts without images.

As said before, the headline can make the difference between success and failure – but the same goes for images. Content with relevant images get almost double as many views as content without relevant images.

Posts with image content compared to posts without. Source: Quicksprout

Posts with image content compared to posts without. Source: Quicksprout

Image Source Quicksprout

According to BuzzSumo adding an image every 75 – 100 words can even help you to get double as many shares for your content than articles with fewer images.

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7. Email will be your highest converting traffic channel

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Images Source: Neil Patel

This statement seems to be a logical conclusion from the fact that a converting audience is an engaged audience. It is one of the main aspects of email marketing that it is in your hands to get in touch and engage with your newsletter subscribers.

And the Neil Patel’s claim can be proven by some statistics! 20% of marketers say their revenues are directly linked to email marketing activities and 69,75 of US internet users claim that email is their preferred method of communicating with a business (Source: Pardot)

8. Email lists are naturally decaying

According to Hubspot this natural decay comes up to 2.1% each month – or 22.5% each year.

You can find more information on list building and list nurturing in Jonathan’s recent article on „understanding email marketing.“

The fact that email lists decay over time means you cannot get the same conversion rates on „old“ email addresses as you can expect from fresh addresses. It also means that you as a business should not be afraid of people unsubscribing from your list: rather get uninterested people to unsubscribe and focus on nurturing interested subscribers than paying for a newsletter tool to send out your updates to millions of „dead“ addresses. And make sure you constantly get new subscribers to sign up for your list.Some online marketing facts come as a surprise. Here are 10 surprising facts you should know to optimize your online marketing efforts.

It also means that when websites gloats with the number of subscribers the big question remains: how old and valuable is this list? And that question is rarely answered.

9. Email is not the only channel with a huge spam problem

Many people percieve some emails as spam. And especially newbie marketers are afraid that their newsletter may be considered spam. But what about spam and social media?

According to Businessweek, 40% of accounts and 8% of messages on social media sites are spam. I recently noticed a rise in friend requests on Facebook from accounts that are clearly from these 40% spam accounts.

This massive amount of spam accounts influences a lot of marketing activities – especially in paid activities like Facebook ads. You do not want to pay for clicks, shares, and likes from spam accounts.

10. Call-To-Actions can make all the difference

Did you know that people are much more likely to take a certain action if you actually ask them to do it? Make it plain and clear what you want people to do and they will!

Tweets with a „Please Retweet“ get x times more retweets.


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Image Source: Buffer

You will also see many more comments if you simply ask people to comment.

According to Hubspot a smart call to action will be 42% more effective. That means a „Share these Twitter tips“ will get many more shares than a unspecific „Share this post“.

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I am sure there are more crazy online marketing facts everybody should know about! Please share the marketing fact that surprised you the most in the comments!