Short or long copy?

by wartest 23 replies
Hi, I've been led to believe that attention spans for emails, landing pages, etc. are about 8 seconds so shorter is better. But, I've recently received a number of pitches from various markets (particularly fitness, supplements and copywriting) that seem to go on forever. Long emails, long videos, long landing pages--I know I can't get through them.

So, which do you see working? Long or short copy?
#copywriting #copy #long #short
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  • Profile picture of the author mrdeedreid
    IMO, it depends.

    You have to catch people's attention in 8 seconds no matter the length of copy.

    - Landing/squeeze page: use short copy to generate leads
    - Email: use longer copy because... over delivering content to your leads you'll:
    1. weed out the tire kickers
    2. retain those who are more serious about finding a solution to their problem
    3. subsequently, they'll be more likely buy your stuff and...
    4. you'll stand out from other email marketers who are all sending out shorter, potentially less informative and valuable content

    - capture pages - short.
    - emails, videos (content) - long

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  • Profile picture of the author TrueStory
    In all honesty, it really depends on your authority and relationship with the reader. I love reading Jon Morrow (and his long posts) because he's an authoritative figure for me. At one point I bought his course. So my relationship is strong with his company.

    Also, depends on your market and what you write about. What is your topic?
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  • Profile picture of the author outscrape
    One way to get started would be to check your competition - do they use long or short posts? Long or short emails? What parts of the funnel use detailed, long-form sales pages ?

    Talent imitates, genius steals.
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  • Profile picture of the author darkclaw3000
    I've stopped asking this question after learning how writing good copy works.

    Like what mrdeedreid said above, you'll throw out the tirekickers plus others

    When you're writing copy you gotta be clear on who you're targeting. If your target is clear, write your message JUST for that target. He will resonate and relate, and wanna know more about how you can solve his problem.. and he WILL read.

    Just because you've "spoken" to him on a personal level on the headline.

    For eg, if you're writing to someone who wanna lose weight, but always busy, and sometimes lazy.. wants an easy way out, maybe your headline copy will be: "2-Step Method To Eliminate 50lbs of Excess Weight In 7 Days - Without ANY Exercise or Diet Program!"

    (I'm just exaggerating) That someone who wanna lose weight WILL wanna know more. Because it's exactly what they wanted. Now the copy just have to tell them more about it.

    Joe Sugarman said this: "The purpose of the headline does nothing else other than to get the reader to read the next line. The 2nd line does nothing else than to get the reader to read the next line."

    Ok not exactly those words but that's what he said. Lol.

    I've read a lot of copy and usually the BEST copy, the one that really made me whip my card out and spend hundreds on things, are the long ones.

    It's really not about the length, but what you're writing on the copy.

    FREE eBook! Rock Your Conversions TONIGHT!

    Aliz AJ
    Direct-Response CopyRocker
    Let's Get CopyRockin'
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    You can see what the best minds in copywriting have said about this question in the sidebar on this page:

    There's lots more in the main article... but it's kind of long.

    Marcia Yudkin
    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author salmonjames21
    As far as I think there's no such thing short and long as long as it is captive, engaging and right on the dart. For instance people will watch movie for 2 hours even and they will simply scroll down to a video in the facebook too. So in order to win the audience, you need to be creative and you need to come out of the shell.

    Landing page, as you are mentioning one thing. It's imperative that you should be brief and to the point and that's all.
    Whereas in an email marketing you need to tell so you need to be vigilant.
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    I was always taught to think of sales copy like a marriage proposal from or to a partner you've never met.

    If you were going to marry someone and the only thing you had to go on was the copy from their letters you would want those letters to be pretty responsive and very long and descriptive.

    Would you marry someone who is shallow or deep?

    Best regards,

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    • Profile picture of the author markhimeb
      Ozi, the problem is this: Long copies are always repeating themselves. In a long copy you always find parts that appear multiple times, plus they also appear in other copies almost identical.

      So, to use your metaphor, would you marry someone who would make you a marriage proposal and repeat himself/herself 3 or 4 times or would you think he is --at least-- insane?

      Would you marry someone who would urge you to reply in 48 hours?
      Would you say yes if he was referring to Testimonials from his previous marriages?

      I want to say that, although your ideas is really tempting, in many ways a copy is --and should be-- different from marriage proposals.

      If the copy contains 10 times the same thing ("Order now") or is full of arrogant statements ("the best product", "the one you really need to make money", "all you need to get fit"), then it better be short. To reply the initial question, a good copy should be as long as needed to show the prospect that the product promoted contains what he needs to fulfill one of his needs. If this could be done shortly, then there is no reason to make it long.
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