Eye tracking insights for effective copy

The ability to create effective marketing collateral can be greatly improved with the knowledge of how we scan and perceive typography and copy. Making the right choice of type face, use of colour and layout is a key step to success.

In this post we again take a look at eye tracking research by Professor Siegfried Vogele of the Institute for Direct Marketing in Munich. To see our previous article on eye tracking and the use of imagery view here.

 Typeface readability

Choose your type face wisely so that it enhances the readability and comprehension levels of your collateral or direct marketing piece.


 Font communication

The choice of font styles can make a big difference to how people perceive your service offering. Create trust in a dentist’s abilities with a formal style while a relaxed font can create the perception of freshness.


Put these two styles in reverse and you get a completely different opinion of the product and service offering. Would you put your trust in this dentist?


 Reversing out

When choosing whether to reverse out your body copy consider the following comprehension levels before using colour and moving away from black on white.


Content layout

Here are some basic tips to remember about visual priority when developing your layout and content structure.

Remember that:
1. Short paragraphs over longer paragraphs
2. Short words or lines over long words or lines
3. Copy inside a border over open text
4. Numbers over words

Avoid lines shorter than 20 characters because reading involves vigorous eye movement.
Avoid lines longer than 52 characters because readers will be turned off.

Colin Wheildon’s US research shows that copy which is left and right justified has a comprehension level of 67% while just 38% for left justified and 10% for right justified.

Effective letters for direct marketing

Research by Vogele into how we automatically filter the information in a letter can provide us with a much greater understanding into which elements are viewed first and how to avoid the waste paper basket. You can view this research here

Body copy

Using colour in body copy can have a real negative impact on your readability and comprehension. Give consideration to this when developing you materials.


The use of colour in headlines can also impact on the body copy readability and comprehension rates.


By combining this understanding of typography and copy style with effective use of imagery you have the ability to compete against your rivals and get your message across.