EVERYONE in direct marketing knows the following …
THE MORE YOU TELL … THE MORE YOU SELL …
Long copy, provided it’s thoroughly salient and written by a professional direct response copywriter, ALWAYS outperforms short copy. We base the above on decades of actual sales data. In the world of branding advertising, copywriters believe that a couple of photos with a few words of copy will create a flood of new customers. They’re wrong. We know that longer copy will always outperform short copy.
Let me explain why …
• When a prospect is reading copy and they’re genuinely interested in the product or service, they’re often looking for that one benefit or feature they really, really want. Long copy gives me the opportunity to include EVERYTHING … including that one sentence that will motivate the reader to buy. • For each promotion, I like to try to include 40 proof elements. Longer copy provides room for as many proof elements as possible. • When a prospect sees long copy, they subconsciously think, “there must be something to this.” But when they see short copy, they quickly move to the next product or service. • For each promotion, here’s how readership works.
o One third will glance at the copy and make a decision. o One third will look at the headline, the subheads, the photos, the captions, and some of the body copy … then buy. o One third will read every word three times … then buy.
• So … with long copy, you gain sales from all three types of reader. With short copy, you lose the 2/3rds of prospects who are looking for more information. • When someone is genuinely interested in the product or service, you cannot provide them with enough information. It’s especially true when the product or service is expensive. With short copy, the reader will soon leave your message and start to find information elsewhere. Who knows what they will find. There could be a lot of negative reviews on nefarious websites. But with long form copy, it’s much, much easier to control the message and keep the prospect from wandering off. • If you’re competing against another company and you have more information than your competitors, you’re ALWAYS going to win. • Long form copy gives you the ability to charge higher prices more often and get out of the “race to the bottom” price battle. It’s because long-form copy means you can justify the higher price for the superior product you’re offering. • You can overcome objections and this instantly means you will generate more revenue. • I can overcome skepticism in long-form copy. I can’t in short copy.
People who believe copy is too long forget two things.
• People still read … a lot … when they’re genuinely interested in something. • The only metric that really counts … revenue … shows that long-form copy generates more MONEY than short-form copy.
The most successful companies in direct response use long-form copy. It’s a huge part of their success.
Famous copywriter Gary Bencivenga sells a series of DVDs from his retirement seminar. The cost? $5,000. The length of the copy? 30,000 words. When Boardroom sold subscriptions to a newsletter for $39 a year, the copy was 36 pages long.
When I sell a golf training aid that costs around $50, I write at least 4,000 words of copy and the copy generates tens of thousands of dollars … out of thin air. The tactic that always worked the best was … long-form copy written by an experienced direct response copywriter.
How Long is Long Enough?
Famous copywriter Clayton Makepeace says, “the copy needs to be long enough to sell the product.”
In some cases, short copy can get the job done. But in most cases, long copy is going to smash short copy when it comes to actual money generated, short-term and long-term.
In a perfect world, you can test enough to the point where you can determine the perfect length to sell what you’re trying to sell. In almost all cases, the copy that will give you the most revenue will be longer.
When There Isn’t Much Space
There’s only so much I can write in a 2-page letter. There’s only so much I can write on a post card. There’s only so much I can write on a Facebook ad.
So there are plenty of times when I have to write short copy. The fundamentals of direct response copywriting apply. It’s actually more difficult to write short copy because I have to choose what to leave out. In longer copy on a web page, which has no length limit, I can include everything I believe is relevant … everything that will motivate the prospect to try your product or service.
I’ve had plenty of success with shorter copy but when I can write a ton, I’m always the happiest. Why? Because my client is on the road to being very wealthy.