Direct Response Copywriter on Making Copy Readable

I’m a big fan of long-form direct response copy. No surprise there – I’m a direct response copywriter. In tests, long-form direct response copy performs better than short copy … especially when selling expensive items.

A couple of long-time truths about long-form copy.

  1. The more you tell, the more you sell.
  2. Copy needs to be as long as it needs to be.

Direct marketing copywriters must be given the width to write as much as they need to write. It’s not always possible with direct mail – especially when someone has a budget. But online, there’s no limit … just testing.

One (usually) forgotten key to success with a long-form sales page is making it readable for the scanner.

When I come across a sales page for a product I might want to buy, I start by scanning. So … key points must be made through:

  • Photos with captions
  • Pull quotes
  • Subheads
  • Videos
  • Testimonials
  • Other proof elements

These elements tell me what’s going on as I’m scanning. After scanning, if I’m interested in the product or service, I will read every word, especially if the product is expensive.

There’s nothing wrong with direct response copywriters writing a lot of somewhat dense copy. But the reader must be able to figure out what’s going on just by scanning.

When you need guidance, look at newspapers, magazines, and news-oriented websites. These are generally brilliant at making copy readable for the scanner.


I'm a direct response copywriter. I write direct response copy for clients around the world. Enter your information to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting Copy. Or contact me here if you have a project you'd like me to quote.

I'm also a Dan Kennedy Certified Copywriter for Info-Marketers.


Disclaimer for the above.

The Dan Kennedy Copywriter for Info-Marketers Certification is awarded to professional copywriters who have successfully completed a course of study of preparation for such copywriting. This Certification has not been provided by an accredited education institution. It does not constitute endorsement of or liability for any individual copywriter by Mr. Kennedy or any companies or organizations affiliated with Mr. Kennedy. The client's relationship is solely with the individual copywriter retained via any agreement.