Spring 2013 Marketing Trend Report

Fashion designers get them. Auto shops get them. Economists get them.

Why shouldn’t you get a marketing trend report? We decided you should, so here it is.

Research (as linked to below) shows that new marketing trends this spring are:

Long-Form Content

Chevy ExampleFor a long time, the experts, such as they are, have been saying “shorter emails are better, attention spans are short, KISS.” (And our own test results concur.)

The latest commentary says we’ve taken short-form content too far, and that both styles have a place in your marketing campaign – even on mobile, as Chevrolet found.

“There’s a human hunger for deep information, real examination and the kind of reporting that takes time,” New Yorker editor David Remnick has said.

In Your Emails: Create one version where you explain your topic in full, then another with minimal copy. Test them, of course, to see which your particular readers enjoy more. (Here’s how.)

For Your Business: Don’t be afraid to tell your story when and where it’s appropriate. The more people know you, the more loyal they’ll feel to you – and we support those we’re loyal to.

We Also Recommend: Choosing the longest line at the supermarket and striking up a conversation while you wait. Chatty strangers can blow social media’s isolating effect to smithereens.

Shades Of Green

Shades Of GreenEmerald green is the color of the year, says Pantone. Aloe is Sherwin Williams’ pick.

It makes sense – with shaky economies worldwide and the unsettling effects of newism, we all need a little reassurance.

Psychologically, green implies restoration and harmony, so it should make your readers comfortable.

In Your Emails: You don’t want to throw off your readers by switching design templates completely, so you have two options. First, if your template comes in green and your branding matches, consider switching colors. If not, use green in your images.

For Your Business: Do you have products you can produce in shades of green?

We Also Recommend: Emerald green shoes & ties, as well as viewing Oz The Great And Powerful

The Fresh Twist On Email-Social

If you Tumbl’ or Instagram, this one’s for you.

Monthly, assemble your fave ‘Grammed or Tumbl’d images in an email like Jones Design does here. Explain what they are, but don’t add much else.


It gives your email readers a visual panorama of your life in a moment. (Visual is oh-so-important.)

Since most people won’t follow the same brands on both platforms, you’re not in much danger of double-exposing your pics to the same audience.

In Your Emails: This is easy for you to put together if you already have the pictures. Just drag, drop, adjust size, repeat. (Drag and drop details.)

For Your Business: If your customers are app-savvy and you already use Instagram or Tumblr for personal use, you might want to add an account for your brand.

We Also Recommend: Taking pictures of your products, your process and your team members for posterity, regardless of publishing. They do say it’s the memories that count.

Whitespace In Email

We’ve talked about this already. It’s over here. If you didn’t see it, you’ll want to check it now.

We Have A Question About That First Trend

Current content marketing mostly follows the “shorter is better” rule.

Sales writing experts say the opposite: give reason after reason why someone should buy and eventually, they’ll be eager to accept your offer.

I’m of the opinion that longer is better if it’s image-heavy and light on text.

I want to know your personal opinion. Shorter marketing copy or longer?


  1. Randall Magwood

    4/1/2013 10:21 pm

    I still feel short form email content is best. An email around 250 words long (no more than 300 words) should suffice.

  2. Sonicjar

    4/2/2013 11:35 am

    You are so right with Long Form content. Just bought a Cd from CDbaby and got a big thankyou email from them. Its so interesting to read and its absolutely funny. If its interesting, I would like it to be long.

  3. L A 'Tony' Kovach

    4/2/2013 1:40 pm

    We tend toward longer is better, but mix in some pithy short posts and columns too. We lead our niche market in readership.

  4. Kelly

    4/2/2013 1:50 pm

    Is anyone else freaked out at the idea of EVERYBODY suddenly & simultaneously making their primary color scheme green….? (insert wry-expression emoticon here)

  5. Caroline Cholette

    4/2/2013 2:09 pm

    Like Amanda, I like long copy full of pictures, whitespace and relevant information.
    Have a nice day!

  6. Rob

    4/2/2013 3:00 pm

    I hate overly long sales pitchy content. I skim through it all and quickly recognise the writing style and jump straight to the paragraph with the point.
    Now and then I arrive at a page or newsletter that is one of those ‘reason after reason’ copy efforts – I bounce straight off them because it irritates me to have to read the same thing in so many different ways.

  7. Mike C Smith

    4/2/2013 5:00 pm

    Hi Amanda
    I agree with you, shorter text with image tends to make an e-mail faster reading, and that’s so important in today’s (open the floodgates) communications. We simply don’t have time to study all the emails that flood into our in-boxes, they need to be short and sharp, or you move on to the next one. Always allow for exceptions, one rule does not suite all.

  8. Fred Urban

    4/2/2013 5:13 pm

    Good to know green is in. My web sites will now be up to date. 🙂

  9. Jen White

    4/2/2013 5:45 pm

    Your “Here’s How” of testing long and short emails is a broken link.

    Good information. We’ve been testing the idea of creating shorter newsletter articles that link to “the rest of the story” in a blog posts.

    I appreciate the information on trendy colors and deeper content. 😀

  10. Ray Casey

    4/2/2013 8:58 pm

    I do not bother to read anything much if it is longer than about
    10 half lines, I do not have the time and I hate reading! I Have
    to literally force myself when it comes to blog Posts that interest
    me but even then I skip read.

  11. Amanda Gagnon

    4/3/2013 9:08 am

    Caroline – Good taste!

    Kelly – I’m guessing most people won’t see this post, so you guys have the inside scoop. 😛

    Randall – I’d say it depends on if you’re sending plain text or HTML with a lot of white space. For plain text, I’d say you hit the length right on the nose.

    Tony – I bet the element of surprise causes your readers to pay more attention…hm…I wonder if that would work for us. 😛

    Sonicjar – Copy flies when you’re having fun. The trick is making sure your readers are having as much fun as you are. Sounds like CDBaby got it right.

    Rob – I actually do, too.

    Ray & Mike C – A good reason to use visual elements to accommodate for skimmers – so many are so busy.

    Fred – Welcome! 🙂

    Jen – Thanks! Updated. I’d love to hear what your test results are when you have them!

  12. Evelyn

    4/4/2013 1:59 pm

    Love green – was wondering what color to accent one of my sites with 🙂

    Long content? Has to be really good, prefer bullet points, and lots of images and graphs.

    Great trends article.

  13. Kim

    4/4/2013 2:15 pm

    I loath long sales pages; videos that never get to the point; long, wordy emails, and the such. Mostly, I just don’t have the time and therefore don’t have the patience. I close, stop, and delete all such creations. But I like quick, meaningful snippets that get to the point. They get my attention. So that’s what I strive to create.

  14. Greg

    4/4/2013 8:25 pm

    As usual you guys provide brilliant insight and comment. I know marketers who are making a very good living flogging ‘expert advice’ that is not a scratch on what you guys provide.

    What’s more, they charge me more than you do and they don’t even send my emails out!

    Well done AWeber and well done Amanda Gagnon

  15. Andy Iskandar

    4/5/2013 8:29 am

    People will read as much as they want or need to if it is something that interests or is useful to them.

    Length is irrelevant. It’s all about context.

    That is why books that are as long as ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ (800 pages) can be best-sellers.

  16. Amanda Gagnon

    4/5/2013 8:41 am

    Greg – Thanks very much for sharing that. Glad that we help so much. 🙂

    Andy, Kim and Evelyn – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on length of content! Sounds like you guys all agree that length is only a good thing when the content’s high-value. Harry Potter = brilliant example.

  17. Dr. Travis

    10/9/2013 1:21 pm

    Like Amanda, I like long copy full of pictures, whitespace and relevant information.
    Have a nice day!