Erik Qualman
Author Erik Qualman

Qualman: Find value in three seconds

Craft a message that captures members’ attention.

February 20, 2019

Do you know how to craft a message that will capture your members’ attention?

The key, says digital leadership expert Erik Qualman, is to make people understand why that nugget of information is important to them.

“Attention spans are shrinking from 12 seconds to seven seconds, which is less than a goldfish,” says Qualman. “The No. 1 thing we need to do—which is hard—is to take the perspective of the recipient, or the viewer.”

Many organizations brag about why they’re great and what they do well.

And while this isn’t necessarily the wrong approach, an era of short attention spans requires companies to craft their message, share its meaning, and present it in a way that shows the end user that the information—or the credit union—can benefit them in their pursuit of financial goals.

“Get out of your own way and ask, ‘What’s the value to the user?’” Qualman says. But how do you determine whether information—regardless of whether it’s in an email, a tweet, or a Facebook post—has value for your members or other stakeholders?

“It only becomes spam in email when it’s not of value to the user,” he continues. “The same holds true on social media. If you’re always providing value, you can post as many times as you want during the day.”

He suggests using the three-second rule when deciding whether to share information: “If it takes more than three seconds to determine whether something is of value to the end user, it’s not. It should be a no-brainer within three seconds.”

Qualman addressed the 2018 CUNA CEO Council Conference. The CUNA CEO Council is a member-led community of credit union CEOs dedicated to providing relevant resources and tools essential for success to its members.

Listen to a CUNA News Podcast interview with Erik Qualman