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| 1 minute read

How to keep your readers - the Weibull Hazard function

What in the world is the Weibull Hazard function and why is it relevant to professional sales and marketing?

The function is an engineering term for when you can expect something to fail. Any part or mechanism is far more likely to fail early in its lifespan than late. It's partially behind why newer appliances are prone to breakdowns yet your grandma has had the same washing machine since 1812. Its a bit counter-intuitive but it makes a lot of sense.

Professionals can learn from this to improve the effectiveness of their writing.

Research from Microsoft showed that the time users spend on a website follows a Weibull pattern almost 99% of the time. The longer a user is reading your content, the less likely they are to leave. Knowing this, we can start to make changes to the way that we write and format posts to be more effective at keeping the readers we attract.

Writing needs to pass a “scan test”, Microsoft’s research showed that the first 30 seconds are the most important. When looking at your next post, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will the reader know what I am writing about and why they should care in 10 seconds?
  • Will they be able to see in the first 30 seconds useful information that will make them better informed?
  • Does this information stand out from other information in the post?

Titles, bold, bullets, short sentences, line breaks and underlines are all ways to make this information stand out. If you’ve taken the time to write a post, a small number of user-friendly changes might be the difference between reaching the right people and missing out.

Negative Aging: Leave Quick or Stay Long The researchers discovered that 99% of web pages have a negative aging effect. In human–computer interaction (HCI) research, it's extremely rare to get this strong a finding, and Liu and colleagues should be credited with discovering a major new insight. Why negative aging? Because web pages are indeed of highly variable quality. Users know this and spend their initial time on a page in ruthless triage to abandon the dross ASAP. It's rare for people to linger on web pages, but when users do decide that a page is valuable, they may stay for a bit.


content marketing, b2b marketing, e2e, authorship, writing, user experience