42 replies
I have noticed that a lot of the WSO's sale pages have tons of text on them.
I wonder how many people actually read all of that text? Is that text really needed. IMO, less is more.

Thoughts?
#copy #long #sales
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Originally Posted by NerdyGuy365 View Post

    I have noticed that a lot of the WSO's sale pages have tons of text on them.
    I wonder how many people actually read all of that text? Is that text really needed. IMO, less is more.

    Thoughts?
    Less isn't more and more isn't less and more isn't more and less isn't less.

    What's just right is the least amount of words it takes to
    tell the story EFFECTIVELY. Sometimes that's two paragraphs.
    Sometimes it's ten pages.

    Do you know who reads every word of long copy? The target market, that's who.
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    • Profile picture of the author heavysm
      Copywriting is a whole different beast than what most people realize.

      From blind copy, to video sales letters, everything is done for a purpose and that purpose is to produced results (and for sales copy the only result that matters is $$$).

      Long sales copy is most often story based that appeals to a particular audience. If it didn't work it would have died out a looooong time ago.
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  • Profile picture of the author aminaamerica
    When one see long text, most of the time, he aloof himself from this long text. If he really need, then he may read. I think no need to write more & more unusable content. Every one should write the main points first. Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      In a lot of cases, I'm quite sure the use of text isn't actually based upon a tactic.

      I think that some people just think that the more they waffle on, the better.

      Some people love waffle. Others prefer a cleaner diet.
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  • Profile picture of the author slammer81
    If you take a good look at the spacing and headings within the copy, you'll see the way it is broken down to make it skimmable.

    When i'm reading the long form for something that I am interested in (say working out) i'll see what grabs my interest and read parts here and there on my way down to the buy button - where i'm looking for a guarantee to see if I have a safety net in case of purchase to put my mind at ease.

    So yep - target markets read it, and good long form copy will teach you a few things throughout.
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  • Profile picture of the author trevord92
    Long copy versus short copy is a question that has been around for years - it goes back to the times when print adverts and mail order were prevelant.

    Read Scientific Advertising and you'll know more about how it works.

    Not everyone will read every word (although Google's computers will "read" and interpret your text) but as slammer81 says quite a few will skim it.

    There will also be a section of the market that reads the parts of the sales page that answer their particular questions - likely different parts for different people.

    If you want to know more about long sales copy, take a look at Dan Kennedy's book Ultimate Sales Letter. The principles apply to the web just as much as printed letters.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
    OK for the record...One more time so people who missed it the other 1000 times its been explained somewhere on this forum

    We know people dont read long sales letters from start to finish...

    Here is what they do (and why a good long sales letter works)

    First they scan the headline and the first paragraph (so this should be your strongest reason for buying) Then they scroll down to the price... Which is why your PS: and PPs should be right under the price, and they should reinforce the headline and strongets selling points. (there is room to add a 3rd USP in the PS that wasn't in the top of the fold)

    Then if we still have them (IE they are the prospect we aimed at) then they will go back to the start of the letter and skim it. So the highlighted and boldened parts should be your short form sales copy, by that I mean if the bold parts were taken out and put on a seperate page it would read like a mini message and make perfect sense.

    Now some of those will convert at that point... Still others will have questions

    The rest of the sales letter is designed to answer those questions, and over come any objections

    Different people will have different questions, which is why the long form letter comes into its own, use it to answer any conceivable question your prospect may have. Not all the questions will be relevant to each prospect, but you must cater for everyone so the sales letter ends being long enough to make sure every question or objection that could come up is covered somewhere in the letter.

    For those that just need the bullet points and the price they have them

    For those that need the bullet points the price and a specific question answered they have them

    For those just needing a short form letter they have them in the bolded parts etc etc etc

    Testimonials should be used to reinforce the message in the sales letter... for example if the sales letter says its easy to install any 5 year old can do it... then add a (real) testimonial here from someone who says... "wow im such a clutz with techy stuff and the install was a breeze thank you very much for making it so simple"

    In ofline selling situations the salesman comes armed with a presentation for the prospect, which is pre written in most cases and has to be learnt parrot fashion... this is the short form sales letter. Any fool can be taught to deliver this... and it will result in some sales

    The true selling only starts after the presentation has been delivered...

    The best salesman know that in order to be the best you have to know how to counter the prospects objections...As a sales trainer i have seen new salesman get up from a presentation to leave at the first objection and sit down again as i counter that objection this can go on for minutes. I one case i watched a fledgling salesman get up 5 times to leave

    5 times i countered the objection and in the end the customer (no longer a prospect) bought 7 units

    The real selling starts once the short copy is delivered, remember that phrase...

    The objection countering is the long form sales letter and the reason it exists... And the reason why if you just rely on the presentation that any fool can deliver your going to lose sales hand over fist.

    This is now officially the end of this subject and it should never rear its ugly head again (fat chance)
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  • Direct marketing techniques are employed in online marketing. Hence the lengthy story based sales letters with P.S.'s at the end of them that we see today.

    You right NerdyGuy365, most people only read the P.S. at the end of the sales letter.
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  • Profile picture of the author AntonioSeegars1
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      Anyone who claims they know what people do is one mad mushroom.

      Everyone differs. That's what makes us human.
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      • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
        Originally Posted by Daniel Evans View Post

        Anyone who claims they know what people do is one mad mushroom.

        Everyone differs. That's what makes us human.
        Nothing could be further from reality.
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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
          Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

          Nothing could be further from reality.
          Well the mushroom is one fun guy!
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      • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
        Originally Posted by Daniel Evans View Post

        Anyone who claims they know what people do is one mad mushroom.

        Everyone differs. That's what makes us human.
        While it's easy to largely agree with your sentiment - technology helps us out here.

        Clicktale, CrazyEgg and other behavioral tracking software makes knowing what people do on your website 100% knowable.
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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
          Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post

          While it's easy to largely agree with your sentiment - technology helps us out here.

          Clicktale, CrazyEgg and other behavioral tracking software makes knowing what people do on your website 100% knowable.
          That's the thing Brian.

          The said technology definately isn't 100%. Probably not even close.

          That would be suggestive of brain / eye to computer interface technology......without the interface. We just aren't there yet unfortunately.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    Some use long text copies and others use long video presentations to sell their stuff. For you it may seem too long but these long sales copies do make sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author copywriterco
    I don't really believe in "less is more" or vice versa... It all depends on how the content is presented and the value that one can get out of reading it.

    But in reality, long, very long sales copy is not something that most if not everyone will spend time reading. If you have one of those, just make sure to have a compelling and attention grabber headline that will summarize the entire content of your long ad or sales copy.
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  • Profile picture of the author zdebx
    What matters is the conversion rate.

    No one cares whether you read all of that or not. If the long sales page converts better than the short one, then it naturally makes sense to have a long sales page.

    Simplez.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ethan Chong
    For me, I don't normally read all the big chunks of words in a WSO. I only read what's important to me. Like its features, what can I gain from this WSO for my business, etc.

    -Ethan
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  • Profile picture of the author troy23
    I tend to read the headline, a bit more text and then scroll to the bottom to look at the price,.
    Really don't like long sales copy & the more glossy it is the less I am likely to read or buy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
      Originally Posted by troy23 View Post

      I tend to read the headline, a bit more text and then scroll to the bottom to look at the price,.
      Really don't like long sales copy & the more glossy it is the less I am likely to read or buy.
      Which was exactly my point above if the headline caught your eye and the price point is within your parameters then you start to take a little more notice of the adcopy,

      people read as much of it as they need to make a decision.

      some people need more persuading than others, so they read more of the copy

      Rule no1 in marketing never make business or marketing decisions based on your own preferences, because everyone is different, which is why long copy works. because (done properly) it caters for the majority of people reading it.

      An added thing to think about, price point also has a bearing, a $7 product probably doesn't need long copy, because its an impulse buy and doesn't need much thinking about

      But a high ticket item needs more explanation of why its worth the higher price
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    One factor that is always overlooked in these discussions about how many
    people do what, is CONVERSION.

    A typical sales letter would have, let's say, 3% conversion? This means that
    the other 97% of prospects didn't buy. So if we went along with what the
    majority of the people did we would stop using sales letters altogether.
    In fact, we would stop advertise altogether.

    So let's talk effectiveness and not what the majority of the people does
    because the majority seldom buys our product or service.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      One factor that is always overlooked in these discussions about how many
      people do what, is CONVERSION.

      A typical sales letter would have, let's say, 3% conversion? This means that
      the other 97% of prospects didn't buy. So if we went along with what the
      majority of the people did we would stop using sales letters altogether.
      In fact, we would stop advertise altogether.

      So let's talk effectiveness and not what the majority of the people does
      because the majority seldom buys our product or service.

      -Ray Edwards
      Nail on the noggin'!
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  • Profile picture of the author Slade556
    If you are interested in what the text is all about, I guarantee you that you WILL read it all! It's just like it was mentioned before, the targeted audience will most likely take the time to read it. That doesn't necessarily mean they will also take action though. That's a totally different story.
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  • Profile picture of the author RecessionPROOF
    Long gone is my answer, if it doesn't catch my interest in title, forget about it, who has time to read what is usually a bunch of sales hype and very little substance. Turns me off to see long sales page. Most are all the same as I have learned, never mind how many people use the same template and do not spend the time writing their own copy.

    Success to all,
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  • Profile picture of the author Andre Slater
    I think that if people are interested in something they will read it all.

    Almost like reading a book for those who finish they were into the book, others want cliff notes.

    If your promoting something expensive you may have to go into more details vs if your selling something for a dollar you may not need that many words.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    In "How To Write A Good Advertisement" Victor Schwab masterfully simplifies this entire debate through a story about Max Hart and his ad man George Dwyer.

    Hart and Dyer were arguing about whether or not anyone will read long copy.

    Dyer said, "I'll bet you $10 I can write a newspaper page of solid type and you’d read every word of it.”

    Hart disagreed so Dyer continued,

    "I don’t have to write a line of it to prove my point, I’ll only tell you the headline:

    This Page is All About Max Hart’.”


    Most folks chuckle at the punchline but sail right past the crucial lesson in the story.

    Do you recognize what it is?
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      Apply to those who are directly applicable.
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  • Profile picture of the author chillheart
    ATTENTION NerdyGuy365, while you were busy viewing this thread...

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    Dear NerdyGuy365,

    Sorry, can't say anything else. Because nobody reads anymore.
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    Too many people who comment on copy length are looking at it through THEIR eyes.

    If you're in that specific market the copy is about... it could be 30 pages long and you'll
    read it because it's all about YOU.

    Well, as long as it's not boring as hell.

    If you're not in that market, then even 2 paragraphs is too long for you.

    Long copy works for THOSE it's intended for.... for those who are interested
    in what you're selling.

    Sales copy is simply channeling pre-existing motivation to a particular product
    or service.

    And in most cases... those in that market, who may be interested, want to know
    as much about it as possible.

    Like John Carlton said...the more you tell, the more you sell.

    You're writing to the people you want to talk to... those who are motivated
    to possibly buy what you're selling.

    You're not writing for those who are not interested.

    Golfers will read 30 pages of copy, if it's all about their needs.

    Non-golfers, they won't read 2 pages.

    I had a 38 page sales letter that sold over $2 million bucks of a fitness program.

    I know thousands of other marketers who wrote 5 to 10 pages of copy who didn't
    sell a tiny fraction of that.

    The length should be long enough to make the sale, and that's it.

    But again, it's all about your market... you're writing long copy for them.

    All the rest who you're not targeting? You couldn't care less if they read or not because
    they won't be interested in it, whether it's 2 pages or 10 pages.

    Personally... if I'm in the market for something, as a buyer, I want to know more about
    it than less, so I can tell if it fits my needs.

    The one thing that's helped me most, is to stop looking at things through the eyes
    of me, the marketer, and start looking at things through the eyes of me, the consumer,
    if I want to buy this item... what would I want to know about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author TjarkHartmann
    Does it vary with price?

    If you're giving away something for free, or selling a $5 product, I'd assume the sales letter wouldn't need to be as long.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    We're preaching to the choir now - they've moved the thread from Main Discussion into the CW subforum.
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    • Long copy is still around because it still works...at least it works for the intended audience. It is a fact that not everybody reads everything. Some skim through the text to find out what they need to. Others stop with skimming, and some become interested enough to read the entire thing (and eventually purchase the product).

      Less is usually more, but not with sales copies. They are made long for a reason.
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  • Profile picture of the author affiliolabs
    Depends. Long Sales Letters are really big in IM - mostly because of the "suspicion" involved. Not everybody believes it's a real thing lol. But in other niches, I tend to stray away from long form sales letters.
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Myself and some of the other experienced members on here are working on a device which administers and electric shock every time someone tries to post this dead horse topic again.

    In the meantime,

    Let me google that for you

    ...someone really ought to sticky one of these threads ^. Although, it is interesting to see all the self-proclaimed experts chime in on this. It separates those who speak from experience in this craft from those who simply guess based on their own assumptions about what works.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

      Myself and some of the other experienced members on here are working on a device which administers and electric shock every time someone tries to post this dead horse topic again.
      Is it connected to you?

      Myself and some experienced members will work on a device to post the dead horse topic every 5 minutes.
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      • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
        Originally Posted by Daniel Evans View Post

        Is it connected to you?

        Myself and some experienced members will work on a device to post the dead horse topic every 5 minutes.
        No thanks there buddy, not into that kind of thing.

        Damn, I realize we're talking about length here but there's no need to go 50 Shades of Grey on it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
          I agree.

          I can only assume that a male who's read 50 Shades has endured enough torture.
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          • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
            Originally Posted by Daniel Evans View Post

            I agree.

            I can only assume that a male who's read 50 Shades has endured enough torture.
            Nah, didn't read it. Too long. Just skipped to the end and clicked the "Buy Now" button.
            3 days later a got a package in the mail containing a straight jacket, 2 lightning rods, a case of White Zinfandel and a Sex in the City Box Set.

            Waste of $47.

            Guess I should have read the P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S first.
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  • The point isn't that everyone will read all of it. The point is getting the most sales. A long sales letter grabs the most customers because it offers something to every type of customers. The impatient person can just rush to the bottom; the person who wants to know everything will read everything; the person who has little bit of patience will skim, etc. A short sales page will only get you the impatient buyers, so it cuts off a percentage of your sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author JonMills
    Originally Posted by NerdyGuy365 View Post

    I have noticed that a lot of the WSO's sale pages have tons of text on them.
    I wonder how many people actually read all of that text? Is that text really needed. IMO, less is more.

    Thoughts?

    Depends on several things.

    But in today's fast paced society. Most people SCAN, then decide if they want details.

    If your asking does short copy beat long copy, that is a bootstrapping question.

    Long or short. It don't matter as long as the darn thing convinces them WHY they should take action.
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  • Profile picture of the author splitTest
    Originally Posted by NerdyGuy365 View Post

    I have noticed that a lot of the WSO's sale pages have tons of text on them.
    I wonder how many people actually read all of that text? Is that text really needed. IMO, less is more.

    Thoughts?
    From this very interesting article http://www.slate.com/articles/busine...lick_on.2.html:

    “Research on persuasion shows the more arguments you list in favor of something, regardless of the quality of those arguments, the more that people tend to believe it,” Norton says. “Mainstream ads sometimes use long lists of bullet points—people don’t read them, but it’s persuasive to know there are so many reasons to buy.”

    I think I read the same reasoning in the Adweek Copywriting Handbook...

    Personally, I think length depends on your sales argument and where your prospect is in the buying process... and of course, the medium (ie. no long copy on a highway billboard... )
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  • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
    I like long sales copy a lot.

    Yup,

    -Cam
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