I was reading an interesting debate on Ecademy over long copy versus short copy for sales and marketing (including online) copy.
As a trained copywriter (a ‘closer in print’), I have always been led to believe that long copy will always outperform short copy, with a few exceptions. Research and statistics certainly substantiate this.
However, the consensus on long copy in the debate was that many people believe long copy simply would not get read, especially if that copy is on the ‘fast-paced’ internet, where people don’t have the time or patience “to work past the first few sentences”.
Suspicion surrounding the authenticity of the products/services ‘sold’ or highlighted in these ‘long copy’ form of marketing materials were also brought into question.
The reality is, IF you target your market properly (and know it inside and out), then people WILL read long copy. When it comes to online long copy, then you will generally find that those who are genuinely interested in what you are offering often demand MORE information!
The qualities of good copy – long or short – are: it has to be believable, the copy has to read and flow well, it has to be relevant to your target audience and it has to hold the interest of the reader.
If your copy doesn’t satisfy these basics, then people will NOT read your carefully crafted marketing piece – no matter how long or short it is.
How can you capitalise on this? Test, test, and test. Try your ‘products’ page with long copy, then after several months, try it with short copy. See which one performs the best. Same for all your online, and offline, marketing efforts.
PS I’m keeping this short because it’s a blog post. Doh! But if you wish to swing on over to my website see plenty of long copy examples.
COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley