When we talk to a potential customer for the first time it can be easy to bombard them with too much information they’ll only forget. To get around this you can simplify your message to convey your offering clearly and memorably. A basic understanding of memory and recall can offer a huge boost to your marketing strategy.

Long-term vs short-term memory

Talking about our favourite topics is easy because we’ve spent years obsessing over them and can instantly call up the details we need from our long-term memory. But for somebody who is hearing something for the first time the challenge is to commit the most important parts of the message to their short-term memory.

The 7-9 word limit

Short-term memory has very limited capacity, so on average people can only remember seven to nine words at a time. Furthermore this storage is very fragile, which means that the information can quickly become lost due to distraction or the passage of time. This means that the way we take in information and encode it to our memory strongly affects how much we remember of it.

If the message hitting our short term memory is short we’re more likely to remember it. Ditto if it’s linked to something we’re already familiar with.

So if someone is trying to get their head around the gist of what your business does, the name, and the location, this can already be stretching the limits of short-term memory. This is why people sometimes glaze over when you reach the point of telling them a domain name, especially if you’re talking over the phone or have a complicated name that you need to explain phonetically.

Get shorty

Internet Psychologist Graham Jones has been at the forefront of the way our brains interface with the web for nearly 20 years.

“If you are going to use the domain name in ‘word of mouth’ situations, such as when you are talking with potential visitors or mentioning your domain name in a business presentation, then you need a short and memorable name,” Graham says.

The benefits stretch beyond word-of-mouth and into the media.

“Short names help when it comes to public relations,” says Graham. “Newspapers will not print long domain names as they break up over narrow columns.”

Capitalising on memory

When people are thinking of looking up your website, it means they’re already on the way to becoming your customer. They’ve likely already imprinted your name and location into their memory. It’s easy to help them out here; just combine these into a domain name using a new Top-Level Domain (TLD) like .melbourne or .sydney.

In many cases a domain name like www.yourbusiness.com may not be available, so many people think that they’re forced to choose long, unwieldy domain names and add in additional words to find one they can register. With new city-based TLDs you can put your location right into your name, so www.yourbusiness.sydney or www.yourbusiness.melbourne.

Your short, punchy new name will be easy to remember, and will reinforce both the name and location of your business to provide greater meaning to your domain name.