Tag Lines: How to Present Yours for Best Impact

A great tag line is like biting into a flavor-packed appetizer.

It presents an idea so compact you can almost taste it.

A good tagline delivers a distinctly welcome benefit to your target audience on impact.

An effective tag line says: You’ve found the right place to get what you’re hungry for.

It’s small, but hard working.  So, easy reading gives it best impact at a glance.

How you capitalize your tag line makes a big difference for speed-reading.

Which example is easier to read?

Leave Your Competition in the Dust

or

Leave your competition in the dust

The difference?

The first uses Title Case — every major word capitalized.

The second uses sentence case —  only the first word is capitalized

The second one is easier to read fast because there are less ups-and-downs to navigate across the top of the letters.

for taglines, sentence case makes for easier reading

For taglines, sentence case makes for easier reading

You might be uncomfortable doing this.  A tag line might look like a subtitle.  You might be tempted to capitalize every major word in the tagline so it looks “correct.”

Resist this temptation.

It is very important to use correct grammar and capitalization. But to be effective, websites must also meet a speed-reading requirement.  This means that *some* traditional grammar rules get trumped by usability rules for the web.  Making text easier to read is a priority, especially for tag lines.

Web writing has a few of its own rules.

For example, speed reading is an absolute requirement, especially for the first few words on your page.

Jacob Nielsen takes a scientific look at how people really read on the web.  His work shows

On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely. Source: How Little Do Users Read?

How much time do you have to make that first impression?  Probably less than a minute.

According to a 2010 NielsenWire report, average time a person in the US spends viewing a web page is about 55 seconds.

Your tagline — your whole site header — needs to be a fast-acting message injector.  Make your first words as easy as possible to bite into. Because it so smooth to swallow — I recommend using lower case as much as possible in your tag line.

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