For those moments when you’re thinking, “I need new business –- and quick!”

Does Long Copy Sell More? 26 January 2007

Filed under: Copywriting,Get Clients Now,Marketing,Promotion,Website marketing — worddocdooley @ 2:22pm

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


6 Responses to “Does Long Copy Sell More?”

  1. I agree – the length of the copy depends on the audience. Sometimes a great tagline or header is all you need (mostly in advertising).

    On the web it can be tricky. I’ve found that in addition to great copywriting, you need to have formatting that flows as well. Do you have bullets where necessary? Have you called out your main points in bold for those “scanners” in the audience?

    I also agree with your point about relevance. One of my favorite quotes on the subject is by Bill Bernbach – “Dullness won’t sell your product, but neither will irrelevant brilliance.”

    Looking forward to future posts…

    Andrea Morris
    Write Ideas Marketing

  2. […] business, entrepreneur, copy, taglines, blogs, stand out Blogger MarketingMoment has a great post about an article from […]

  3. Hey, thanks, Andrea! 🙂

    Yes, writing for website viewers can be tricky. Bullet points, box-outs, emboldened fonts, etc, are all good tools to capture those busy eyes.

    Thanks for the ‘pingback’ – having had my blog up and running for just a few days, I am experiencing a VERY steep learning curve! I’ll try to do the same for you, as soon as I get the hang of it all!



  4. […] Longer copy is by and large not only easier to write (unless you’re writing a 50-page direct mail piece), but it also tends to outsell shorter pieces. See the post entitled “Does Long Copy Sell More?” – […]

  5. Says:

    I agreed on your findings. I am writing a copy for my brother’s business – Aquarium Fish Wholesaling. I would like to use wordpress to act as the engine for my long copy page. Do you think is good?

  6. I always believe a dedicated website, showing the company name in the URL, is a more credible and professional feel for e-commerce.

    With domain names and hosting being so inexpensive these days, most people would expect one to invest in their businesses this way. : )

    You could always use a blog post to link to your brother’s site once it’s up and running. And, yes, I find WordPress a very reliable and easy-to-use blogging medium.

    Hope this hhelps!

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