What do you consider to be Short Copy?

19 replies
Hi,

How many pages would you consider as being classified "short copy?"

Would the length of the copy have anything to do with the price of the product or service?

Thanks!
#copy #short
  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    Well, the question I'd ask is... Short or Long, relative to what?

    I'm a bit shorter than the average person... but put me next to a dwarf, I'd look like a giant!

    A sales letter is like a bridge.

    If they reduced the size of Brooklyn Bridge by 10 meters, would that make it too short?

    I hope you said Yes... otherwise many cars are going to end up in the water!

    If they extended it by 10 meters, would that be too long?

    So what defined the length of Brooklyn Bridge?

    Surely it was the RIVER it had to span!

    Brooklyn Bridge seems like a long bridge to me. But I don't think any of the cars travelling over it each day want it to be any shorter.

    It's just the right size to do the job.

    Anyway, I know that's not quite what you're asking

    To me, short copy is what they use over at Firebox.com - cool gifts, gadgets and gift ideas to sell their products.

    To me, long copy is anything over about 2 or 3 pages.

    But it's all relative.

    In the world of the dwarves, I am a giant.
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
        Originally Posted by MarkAndrews IMCopywriting View Post

        Better still extend it by 100mtrs with
        a 90 degree turn to starboard and you
        could bash it straight through the WT
        HQ!

        That'd be just about the right length.


        Perhaps there's a good reason bridge builders don't take requests
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Anything beyond one page I would consider long copy. So short
    copy would be a typical landing page.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    What do I consider short copy?

    This.
    LOL! That's funny Ken! p.s. sorry for the long copy!:p

    MissTerraK
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  • Profile picture of the author AlanCarr
    Postcards.




    AC
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  • Profile picture of the author methomas
    Thanks Ray for a straight answer,

    To the clowns, I ask a simply question and get long stupid answers.

    The question was, "How many pages do you consider short or long copy?"

    It requires an answer of, "I consider over X amount of pages to be long copy."

    Simply insert an integer for X.
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  • Profile picture of the author methomas
    Thanks Ray for a straight answer,

    To the clowns, I ask a simply question and get long stupid answers.

    I will rephrase the question.

    "How many pages do you consider short or long copy?"

    It requires an answer of, "I consider over X amount of pages to be long copy."

    Simply insert an integer for X.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jo_Shua
      Originally Posted by methomas View Post

      Thanks Ray for a straight answer,

      To the clowns, I ask a simply question and get long stupid answers.

      I will rephrase the question.

      "How many pages do you consider short or long copy?"

      It requires an answer of, "I consider over X amount of pages to be long copy."

      Simply insert an integer for X.
      It is relative as Paul stated. Sure, you can use math and theories to define that relativity, but you will not get a definite value of X from a forum of copywriters.

      The debate over Short Copy and Long Copy is a Goldilocks complex... The bed is either too hard or too soft. If the copy is too short, then, it does not sell efficiently. If the copy is too long, then, it does not sell efficiently.

      Now, what if you find that 'just right' middle? The bridge is just long enough. The bed is just right. The copy sells it's most efficient. That is how long the copy needs to be, and it is relative to what you are selling and to whom you are selling to.

      Going back to the Goldilocks complex, the hard bed is just right for Papa bear and the soft bed is just right for Mama bear, but it is not right for Goldilocks nor Baby bear.

      So, in order to answer your question properly the others simply stated how it must be relevant to what you are selling and to whom you are selling to.

      Paul mentioned a site. Yes, their copy is short... but relative to what? To an Internet Marketing guy selling a $147 product on how to make money online? Sure, it is WAY shorter than that... however, both copy sells to it's efficient potential for the market they are in and to the customers they are selling to. (Heck, we can find copy shorter than that site Paul recommended... Go to your grocery store. What do you see? Grapes $0.89/lb? That is copy which sells efficiently provided you are in a grocery store buying food.)

      So, should your copy be short or long? Let your market determine that as a river determines how long a bridge needs to be.

      (I know... I fall into that category you refer to in your last post. I, however, was not going to post until you criticized their answers in response to your post. Not all questions can be answered simply by supplying the value of X. If that was so, then, we would not need physicists like Stephen Hawking.)
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  • Profile picture of the author methomas
    Thanks for nothing.

    I understand why so many good guys are leaving this forum or at least this section.

    I am not a newbie as I have been making money and writing my own copy since 1997.

    It is easy to get a smart ass answer here, so thanks for nothing.

    Oh, I remember when I was young, my grandfather advised me, "Don't get in a pissing contest with a skunk, you will come out smelling like the skunk."
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Don't let it get to you - this section seems prone to making egos out of molehills but it's usually good for a laugh (I mean that in a nice way - not a slap to anyone).

      I'm working on a piece of what I'd call short copy now (or I was till I got tired).

      To me it says what it needs to say...once. Tells the benefits...once.

      This one will be about 3/4 of a page when done. If I started bulleting and re-bulleting and repeating and re-repeating to press the points home....it would then be "long".

      I printed out a sales page a year or two ago - forget why I wanted to do that but I was surprised the sales page in print was 17 pages long.

      kay
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by methomas View Post

      I am not a newbie as I have been making money and writing my own copy since 1997.
      And yet, you don't know how long "short" copy is.

      Why, exactly, don't you know that after thirteen years?

      Could it be that the question is difficult, or perhaps even impossible?

      Because that's largely what the response has been. What do you mean by short? Short compared to what? There's not enough information here to answer the question. Indeed, there may never be enough information to answer the question. Some questions, indeed, simply cannot be answered.

      I would hope that "good people" understand this. I certainly wouldn't be so quick to call those who don't understand this "good people."
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    • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
      Originally Posted by methomas View Post

      Thanks for nothing.

      I understand why so many good guys are leaving this forum or at least this section.
      Methomas, methinks you're making a point you don't
      realize that you're making.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    Originally Posted by methomas View Post

    Hi,

    How many pages would you consider as being classified "short copy?"
    < 1 or 2 pages.

    Would the length of the copy have anything to do with the price of the product or service?
    Definitely.

    Better?
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    • Profile picture of the author methomas
      Paul,

      Thanks for a simply answer to a simple question.

      I ask a simply question as to HOW many pages would you consider the break between short and long copy from the professionals.

      I had thought the break came at 4 to 5 pages. I wanted some simply answers to compare my thoughts with.

      Thanks for the two short and simply answers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jo_Shua
    Considering the copy bridges the gap, I would agree 2 pages or less would be considered short copy.

    Most times it will matter on the product and price of that product. It also depends on your market and quality of prospects.

    For instance, the site Paul referred to earlier might have a product priced at $7 or $70 and still have the same amount of copy. However, that site has a client base that is conditioned to seeing that short copy.

    Think eBay.

    Not many items on eBay has copy longer than a page or two which describes the product and justifies the price. Yet, people buy the products. Now, if the product is an expensive product, then, you may see more selling going on (still normally not more than two or three pages). What matters most is the credibility of that seller.

    Buyers on eBay are conditioned to seeing this type of selling and are expected to do research on the product and the seller BEFORE bidding. Thus, there is not much need for 'long' copy on eBay.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
      A copywriter walks into a bar after a hard day of writing.

      The bartender looks at him and asks: "Why the long copy?"

      [ Baa duum tish - (drummer beating out a rimshot) ]

      --------------

      Everyone defines short copy differently. To me it's 2 pages and I base it on The Wall Street Journal letter which has been sent out millions of times and generated billions of dollars.
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  • Profile picture of the author methomas
    Thanks for the civil and helpful comments.

    Yes, I still have some more work to do on this sales page, but I had to finish 2 jobs for a client. I will have it ready for Monday which is the day I start promoting.

    I have actually created 3 different sales pages and may not even use this one.

    I don't claim to be as great as the guy charging $5,000 or more for a sales page but my ad copy has sold over 1500 copies of one of my books for $19.95 in less than 4 months for over $30,000 of clear profit. Not bad copy.

    And I did get a few answers. Thanks!
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