Copywriting: Brevity is the soul of marketing


I’ve always loved this quote:

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” – William Shakespeare

To me, its beauty rests in the powerful meaning packed in six simple words. Brevity can also be used as tool to aid your marketing, as I discovered from a recent email experiment.

But first, a little more detail about the experiment.

Background: A global producer of high-quality audio equipment and accessories.

Goal: To increase clickthrough rates in an email.

Research Question: Which email will generate the highest clickthrough rate?

Test Design: A/B multifactor, radical redesign split test




In a preliminary review of the control, the MECLABS research team hypothesized the control was at risk of underperforming and could use some strategic tweaks.




For the treatment, the team removed the stock image that focused on lifestyle to showcase the product using a larger image.

The headline was also changed to “An entirely new way to stream music wirelessly in any room easier than ever before” to help add emphasis on utility.




The treatment saw a 27% increase in clickthrough rate that validated with a 99% statistical level of confidence.


What you need to know

If there is one simple takeaway from this test, from my point of view, it’s that brevity is the heart of relevance and the soul of marketing.

In this case, the customers seemed to agree.

The optimized headline was more concise with the product’s ability to “stream music wirelessly” to “any room.”

Clearly communicating what you can do with a product is likely to generate more relevance and appeal for email recipients over the long run.

But what about the images, you may ask? Clarity also was a driver of delivering meaning and here’s why:

The optimized email removed the stock image of people and focused solely on the product itself.

By telling you what the product can do versus where it fits in your kitchen, the new imagery immediately and clearly connected recipients with the essence of the offer.

If you’re interested in learning more about how this experiment held convert attention into clicks, you can check out the newly released Web clinic, “Converting Opens to Clicks.”


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