What works best in Internet marketing - long copy or short copy?

19 replies
Based upon your own experience just trying to find out wether short or long copy is best. I'm often turned off by long sales pages like those frequently seen on click bank products but am I being too harsh?
#copy #internet #long #marketing #short #works
  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    I wonder if this has ever been discussed here before?

    Let me google that for you
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  • Profile picture of the author entrepreneurjay
    Long is better for seo purposes just make sure you have a high converting video on the very top of the sales page followed by the buy now button so you can have the best of both Worlds
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  • Profile picture of the author Angshuman Dutta
    Originally Posted by Paid Surveys View Post

    Based upon your own experience just trying to find out wether short or long copy is best. I'm often turned off by long sales pages like those frequently seen on click bank products but am I being too harsh?
    If it's long people won't read it, but Google will. Again if its too short and misses out on vital information about the product you will be leaving your readers in the dark.

    You gotta strike a balance. Offer as much info possible in as few words possible and make your USPs stand out in your copy. A short but high converting video can even eliminate the need for too many words actually.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris-
    Long copy is better for some things, short copy for other things. Long copy can sometimes sell well, especially to newbies who believe all the hype and the stories about how the author was starving before he found this magic method etc. Those long videos that give life-stories, pictures of the amazing house and car that the seller now has because of the this "totally unknown secret method" might sell to newbies but a more experienced IMer will not sit through all that BS to get to the one or two sentences that they might learn something actually new-ish, from.

    I was involved in a thread a few years ago on whether videos should include the wording below, and it was a similar answer . . . a newbie will want to sit through an hour of video explaining how to use Google, how to buy a domain etc. but anyone with some experience will not waste their time on that, but if the words area there, would skim through and see if there is anything genuinely new to them.

    Articles used to work well at around 500 words, and there are many methods still recommending that, but some people who actually test such things find that currently 1200 words works better for articles generally.

    There are other areas where long copy will put off the reader and short very focused wordings will work best.

    There are a number of factors, and any overall generalization will be incorrect a lot of the time.

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  • Profile picture of the author newxxx
    personally, when buying, i like short video, ;under 5 minutes, and short but direct sales copy...

    ... and no annoying music
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Holmes
    Long copy if you want someone to buy... short copy if you want someone to click.

    That's the general rule you can work with.

    I prefer website posts, whether or not they are trying to sell anything, of over 1,000 words. I've hit 2,000 or more on a number of posts...

    As long as long posts are broken up into sections - and use bolding and underlining (and other such tactics), you'll do just fine!

    Just my opinion... but it works for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    For one person, long sales page works really well but for another person, it may not.

    You just have to test both ways if you have your own product.
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  • Profile picture of the author affiliatez
    Highly recommend a MEDIUM copy, I mean the content is stopped when you have talked all about the benefits and answer potential question.
    Fapturbo2 introduction version 2014
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      I know in email copy, short and sweet and to the point is advisable But personally I mix it up a little bit because I want to provide some real quality content. And I think just by it's nature very in depth detailed content will require some length.

      - Robert Andrew
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      • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
        This has been discussed to death. Just do a simple search.

        However, the answer is "It depends."

        It depends on the purpose of your copy. Do you just want a click? Do you want a sale? What are you selling? How much is it?

        Getting a sale requires more copy than just getting a click. And the more complex or costly your offer, the more copy you need to explain and sell your product or service. Period.

        I see a LOT of debate about long vs. short copy. And a lot of people complaining about long sales letters, how they all look the same, etc.

        But as Dan Kennedy says: "You wouldn't tell your sales people they're limited to so many words. You'd tell them to say whatever is necessary that's legal and honest to get the sale!"

        The same thing goes for your copy. You are selling. And the higher the price or more complex your product or service, the more copy you need to make the sale.

        And FORGET anyone who tells you people won't read long copy! Most won't, true. BUT: you're not writing for most. You're writing for those who are qualified and interested in what you have to offer.

        Write for them. Tell them what they need to know: all of the details and specs. Tell them about the amazing benefits of what you offer. Tell them about the payment plans you're generously offering. Tell them about your amazing guarantee. Tell them about your amazing service that your competitors don't offer.

        Anyone who is truly interested and qualified WILL want and need to know all of that. They will read all of the info in tiny type if they have to. (Ever see Jeff Paul's "Make Money in Your Underwear from Your Kitchen" ad in Entrepreneur? It was a full page and 3 or 4 columns of tiny, tiny type. But I read the whole thing. Avidly.) No one else matters. Period.

        Beyond that, stop over thinking! Write for your interested, qualified prospect. No one else matters. Shut them out.

        Hope that makes sense!

        "You can't market here. This is a marketing discussion forum!"
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        • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
          I actually summarized all the pro and con arguments on long vs. short copy over the last 10-40 years on one handy page:

          Long Copy vs. Short Copy: The Definitive Guide | Provides the Copywriting Backstory, Convinces Skeptics


          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 BenZhao
            I do agree that both 'long' and 'sharp' serve different purpose.

            For the short one, I could say that make it precise and sharp. The reader can skim and look for some interest stuff fast. Customers have lesser patience nowadays.

            For the long one, the fun story would serve in getting the reader following along till it ends.

            All in all, the idea of rapport establishing could be perceived and seen across the content. The reader-oriented is what in mind when putting the words into sentence.

            Either long or short, if such purpose and the readers are well served, success is on the way.
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  • Profile picture of the author OnTheRun
    I wonder what's more important, that Google reads it or potential buyers... Maybe the best version isn't either long or short, but somewhere in between.
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    • Profile picture of the author WebOutGateway
      Originally Posted by OnTheRun View Post

      I wonder what's more important, that Google reads it or potential buyers... Maybe the best version isn't either long or short, but somewhere in between.
      I agree with this. why not consider that GOOGLE thing while also considering the people aboard-customers.
      Write long copy but make it catchy and the message is there. in short, you can make it, google can take it, customer can understand it!

      Hope i helped.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Sarlo
    Originally Posted by Paid Surveys View Post

    I'm often turned off by long sales pages like those frequently seen on click bank products but am I being too harsh?
    That's probably because the copy sucks not because it's long or you simple aren't interested in the product.

    Long is better to sell products, simple because you can say more to convince them to buy. You can add more benefits, answer their issues/concerns and what not, etc.

    And I don't think Google has anything to do with salesletters. I think if you're going to write to get high rankings you're probably going to screw up.
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  • Profile picture of the author Work1099
    You may consider testing this yourself. In general, however, it seems longer copy will usually out-pull shorter copy as long as it still remains interesting throughout the duration.

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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    So much bad advice... so little incentive to correct it. Thanks to those who've attempted to inject a little common sense and sanity. You've been soundly ignored.

    This thread makes my brain hurt.

    You may now resume advising to consider Google and SEO while writing medium copies.
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    • Profile picture of the author BenZhao
      Yes, I do agree that it depends.

      If it is the story, you may need to make it long. But again, not that too long.
      If it is short, you are expecting the readers to take action fast ie the click. They can just go through the message and action immediately.

      The readers also have their own preference on reading style - either long or short.

      What the readers share in similar is that that they receive many emails from many communities according to the role of relationship they have with.

      For business dealing, you can do it sharp, precise, if these are what the prospects looking for. For personal one, you may make it longer, use some words more personal and with more feeling casually.

      So, to write it long or short, you need to be clear on how do you treat your lists similar to - business members, friends, colleagues etc. I bet you do not treat them as the serious professional (unless you need to provide some data really formal to earn their confidence and faith).

      So, if you need to write it a little bit long, use the words in a relaxing way. You might want them to read thoroughly till the end. Hence, the story must be happy and exciting enough.

      Writing is an artistic skill. Nonetheless, for business purpose, it could lead to the result we are looking for - making sales. So, make it enjoying yet salable. As long as it could serve such purpose, you are a successful business person, regardless whether you are writing a long or short email.
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  • Profile picture of the author tudexo
    Originally Posted by Lightlysalted View Post

    Based upon your own experience just trying to find out wether short or long copy is best. I'm often turned off by long sales pages like those frequently seen on click bank products but am I being too harsh?
    The idea to get them to click the buy now button. You know why clickbank sites have long copy? The first couple of lines along with the graphics and videos etc DO CONVEY THE MESSAGE IN ENTIRETY, but the moment people reach the call to action button and are about to pull out their credit cards all kinds of questions start popping up in their minds even if the answers are clearly available in the first few elements on the page.

    This is when the marketer has to reinforce the info over and over again to rule out any doubts and inspire confidence. This also helps non -believers turn into believers. If you have someone on your site looking for the product already, he won't need a long copy. He would just need the Call to Action button. But, fence sitters would need information to go through before they make a buying decision.

    Ideally small copy gets read more, but small copy alone (sans the marketer's reputation, product price...blah...blah ...blah) won't inspire much buyer confidence as a general rule.

    All of the above is just general rule. A LOT of different factors have to be considered while creating copy.
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