Public perception of long form sales letters?

45 replies
Open Discussion: What Do You Think of Internet Marketers? (aka the long sales page gurus)

According to the comments made on this blog...not good at all.

Here's a few:

Personally every time I come across one of those long sales pages I find them less than credible. The technique is always the same and half the time the photos and testimonials are the same as most of the other long sales pages. I have personally never purchased any of their services, software or products so I can not say anything for their actual validity. I just don't like their sales approach and honestly find it surprising how successful they have actually been.
Nobody I know would ever buy from a sales letter. Thats the end of the matter for me. I have no respect for the format and lose respect for the seller.
i think 99% of internet marketers are scam artist jmho
Daniel-I totally agree with you. Who has time to read all of the hype about the author, his testimonials, and all that before you get to the product and price? Sometimes these sales pages are 16+ pages long. If it's something I might be interested in, I just scroll to the bottom and check the price. If I think it's an acceptable price and a product I need, great - I will read more and purchase. Take a poll amongst your readers, many may feel the same. Keep it simple, keep it shorter and leave out a lot of fluff.
Cheryl
Sometimes to me it seems like a pyramid scheme to get involved with the internet marketing gurus. I've seen their members only areas, with their video tutorials of "how to make millions" and all they do is teach you is basic marketing, how to build a mailing list (by using all kinds of annoying pop ups), setting up a squeeze page, and on top of that they have their "students" buy all of these other services owned by other internet marketing gurus.

I see a lot of these guys are strictly motivated by money and nothing else. Where as, my personal belief is bottom line is to make people happy and then the money will follow. I worked for someone who was being taught by all of these internet gurus and my boss straight up made up the whole story (of course each sales page has one of these) and all of the testimonials. I've even seen one of these internet marketers sell a testimonial generator.

If you can't sell me something in one page, it's most likely your product isn't worth buying.
I really hate (yes I said hate) the long sales pages. I never make it all the way through one and I never start reading one without thinking that it is a scam of one sort or another.

I don't mind people selling on the internet. Heck, I buy things on the internet. But the marketers should try and keep the sleeze factor down.
Live From Las Vegas

The Masked Millionaire
they look like they are snake-oil salesman.
i dont think they sell smart people, i think they sell people who have dollar signs in their eyes and have only recently started playing with web monetization

its reminiscent of the real-estate sales people that are all fluff and no substance

i think most of us wouldnt ever give these people are money - why create one long page when they can breakup that content anyway - no one has time to read all of that!
Thoughts?
#form #letters #long #perception #public #sales
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Public perception is irrelevant.

    Write an eyeball-grabbing headline that captures your prospect's attention. Make the rest of the copy a "greased slide" to the order button. Determine ROI.

    If you had a long form sales letter that returned $2, $3, or more for every $1 spent, would you care about public perception? I doubt it. You'd be looking for ways to ramp up the traffic!

    Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    The only people who don't like a sales letter, long or short, are the ones who are not the market.

    I just visited that page and there are 60 comments on there. Even if all 60 are negative, the public does not total 60 people.

    If the ads did not work, there would be no millionaires on the internet.

    In fact, there would be no businesses on the internet, full stop.

    Take this comment:

    I really hate (yes I said hate) the long sales pages. I never make it all the way through one and I never start reading one without thinking that it is a scam of one sort or another.

    I don't mind people selling on the internet. Heck, I buy things on the internet. But the marketers should try and keep the sleeze factor down.
    Live From Las Vegas

    The Masked Millionaire
    I clicked on his link and it goes nowhere. How successful is he?

    Maybe if he did use the long-form sales letter and let his prospects decide whether or not they like it, instead of making their minds up for them, he might have a site.

    Maybe I'm wrong and he's a multi-millonaire who uses nothing but short sales letters...

    But I doubt it.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Your sampling is hardly scientific. Maybe you only took the negative ones and brought them here. The bottom line is this: Testing shows long copy out sells shorter appeals.

    After going to the blog and reading all that pathetic nonsense I can guarantee that those people all have one thing in common: THEY'RE ALL FREEKIN BROKE.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sean Fry
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      Your sampling is hardly scientific. Maybe you only took the negative ones and brought them here. The bottom line is this: Testing shows long copy out sells shorter appeals.

      After going to the blog and reading all that pathetic nonsense I can guarantee that those people all have one thing in common: THEY'RE ALL FREEKIN BROKE.
      Most of the comments on that blog are negative. It wasn't supposed to be scientific, just trying to get some thoughts here from the group.

      I'm in sales and have been selling for over 10 years. I have an interest in marketing and pursuasion, and long form sales letters have always been "baffling" for me. I've never been able to fully understand how exactly it's been so successful for so many people when so many consumers seem to view it negatively. I personally have always seen long form sales letters as shady pitches by scam artists. Seems like a lot of people out there share the same perception.

      Now, being someone who's got something to sell on my own now, I've taken an interest in long form copy since it seems to be the prefered method of selling information online. I'm trying to wrap my head around it. I've never been able to understand how the "Dear friend" or "From the desk of..." approach could possibly work for anyone. The mile long sales letters are usually annoying, ridiculous, and I've never once ever believed a single testimonial written within one. Testimonials are great - when they aren't being hustled by the very company selling the product being pitched. (This is why yelp and amazon.com reviews are so effective.)

      I've been thinking for some time now that the main reason why any sort of long form copy "works" is mostly based on 2 things. One, the customer is DESPERATE. Two, the niche itself is HOT with a lot of demand. Funny how you always see long form copy in the same niches....weight loss, making money and dating. All hot niches that will probably always be hot niches with lots of demand.

      But what really confuses me though, is the negative perception of long form copy and the fact that it still "works."
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      • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
        Originally Posted by snowtiger View Post

        (This is why yelp and amazon.com reviews are so effective.)
        Be clear, while it's unfortunate, Yelp reviews are tainted as well.

        I meet business owners everyday who have been yelped bombed with undeserved bad reviews. From who, you ask?

        Their competitors down the street.
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        • Profile picture of the author Sean Fry
          Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

          Be clear, while it's unfortunate, Yelp reviews are tainted as well.

          I meet business owners everyday who have been yelped bombed with undeserved bad reviews. From who, you ask?

          Their competitors down the street.
          That's a good point.
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      • Profile picture of the author MontelloMarketing
        Originally Posted by snowtiger View Post

        I've been thinking for some time now that the main reason why any sort of long form copy "works" is mostly based on 2 things. One, the customer is DESPERATE. Two, the niche itself is HOT with a lot of demand. Funny how you always see long form copy in the same niches....weight loss, making money and dating. All hot niches that will probably always be hot niches with lots of demand.
        Sure long letters work in those niches... but also in many other niches that aren't hot. In fact there are very few niches where it doesn't work.
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      • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
        Originally Posted by snowtiger View Post

        I'm in sales and have been selling for over 10 years. I have an interest in marketing and pursuasion, and long form sales letters have always been "baffling" for me.
        SnowTiger,

        Personal, face-to-face selling and selling in print are exactly the same -- EXCEPT for one rather huge detail. With personal selling, if the prospect's interest starts to fade, you can adjust to it.

        For example, if you're selling a car and pushing safety, but the prospect seems more interested in how fast it goes, you can change topics. You can do the same thing if an objection comes up. You can adapt.

        In print, you can't do those things. The only real way around that problem is by giving COMPLETE info. In other words, a complete sales presentation in print. Tell them about how safe it is AND how fast it is. And then try to anticipate and overcome their objections.

        Covering all those bases takes words... typically, lots of them.

        That's why the best sales copy needs to be long.

        Johnny
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        • Profile picture of the author Sean Fry
          Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

          SnowTiger,

          Personal, face-to-face selling and selling in print are exactly the same -- EXCEPT for one rather huge detail. With personal selling, if the prospect's interest starts to fade, you can adjust to it.

          For example, if you're selling a car and pushing safety, but the prospect seems more interested in how fast it goes, you can change topics. You can do the same thing if an objection comes up. You can adapt.

          In print, you can't do those things. The only real way around that problem is by giving COMPLETE info. In other words, a complete sales presentation in print. Tell them about how safe it is AND how fast it is. And then try to anticipate and overcome their objections.

          Covering all those bases takes words... typically, lots of them.

          That's why the best sales copy needs to be long.

          Johnny
          Also good points. I fully understand why copy needs to be long. The part that was throwing me was the seemingly prevalent "negative perception" of long copy and its effectiveness. Then I realized, "Oh yeah. Salesmen in general have a negative perception with the public. And I have to overcome that by being cool, low pressure, etc." I guess it's the same phenomenon with long form copy - the skillful copywriter can overcome a "negative perception" by being honest, writing well, overcoming objections and delivering a very good product.

          Unfortunately, there's a lot of charlatans out there who don't end up delivering good product, which only serves to maintain this negative perception of this type of marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbode
    I would say that many long form sales letters have unnecessary information or they oversell the product with extra hype

    I wouldn't use a long form sales letter to sell anything $47 and under, but for a product that has multiple modules a long form sales letter may be needed... yet it still doesn't need to be really long - just add in all the necessary parts and test it regardless of length
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    • Profile picture of the author Hugh Thyer
      It shows that people hate to be sold to....

      ...but they still like to buy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by jbode View Post

      I would say that many long form sales letters have unnecessary information or they oversell the product with extra hype

      I wouldn't use a long form sales letter to sell anything $47 and under, but for a product that has multiple modules a long form sales letter may be needed... yet it still doesn't need to be really long - just add in all the necessary parts and test it regardless of length
      You don't write a long sales letter just for the sake of it. You write it as long as it needs to be in order to get the message across and get the sale.

      If that means only one side is required, or 50 sides are required, then that's what's required.
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    • Profile picture of the author MontelloMarketing
      Originally Posted by jbode View Post


      I wouldn't use a long form sales letter to sell anything $47 and under, but for a product that has multiple modules a long form sales letter may be needed... yet it still doesn't need to be really long - just add in all the necessary parts and test it regardless of length
      Aaah you young man leave way too much money on the table. I have a client with a $47 ebook that does a quarter million bucks a month with a long sales letter.

      Many of my clients do 6 figure launches with $47 ebooks and longcopy. In fact I've never seen an infoproduct do 6 figures in a day or two without a longcopy sales letter, hybrid longcopy/video letter or longcopy video.
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      • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
        Like anything else, I believe there to be a grain of truth in the OP's comments.

        Let me ask you a question: How many times have we all severely critiqued a sales letter or called someone out on misrepresentation or just threw up our collective hands and said "BS!"?

        I haven't been here that long, but I have seen it all too often. And in the beginning, I was amazed at your all's collective ruthlessness.

        Now I know why. And now I am more respectful and appreciative.

        The bitter pill to swallow is that it is just too easy for the less than competent and unethical marketers to get away with posting up crappy sales letters, overstatement of promises, bogus proof images, and made up credibility claims and testimonials.

        As a result these folks taint public perception of us. With one large, sweeping brush stroke, we as online marketers are all implicated.

        Even the most ethical and professional of us.

        My guess is if we could magically filter out the crappy sales pages, we would be back on track.

        (In Ryan Diess' recent video sales letter promotional video he claims Google is rejecting/canceling adwords campaigns where the user clicks through to a long form sales letter.

        I don't know if that's true or not, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was. All in the name of "a good user experience.")

        We have this kind of quality control with direct mail. Nobody in their right mind continues to mail a losing letter. But driving good traffic to a crappy web page happens everyday online.

        It's kinda sad if you think about it too long, which is why it's probably just best to ignore such comments.

        We already know what works and what doesn't.

        - Rick Duris
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    The fact is, it's easier to write long copy because there's so much information. And the longer the copy the more you can get in.

    If you want to get the same message across in short copy, you'd better be good at editing and keeping the essential points.

    I've written copy where I figured I'd only be able to write about 4-5 sides. By the time I stopped writing the first session I had around 20 sides done.

    And that was just the beginning.

    After that I knew I had my work cut out to keep it at a reasonable length, otherwise I would have had to write about 100 sides just to get all the info in.

    Good short copy is hard work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
    This isn't rocket science. Long copy works best. Period. The debate ended decades ago... and long copy won.

    But that doesn't matter. The important thing to understand is why that's the case.

    The simple answer is that long copy allows a copywriter to give complete buying information.

    Let me prove it to you...

    Do you want to buy my car?

    Well... do you? Come on... I'm waiting. (...tapping foot...)

    OK, time's up. You couldn't possibly make a good decision because you don't have complete info. Am I selling a rusted out Ford Pinto or a Ferrari Enzo? Do I want $1 for it or $1.2 million?

    I didn't tell... you so you couldn't decide. The result? You didn't buy.

    Leave out an important detail or two and your sale goes the way of the dinosaur.

    That's why long copy is best... like I said, this isn't rocket science.

    In addition, the EXACT length of the perfect sales letter is... as long as it takes to give a complete, persuasive sales presentation.

    The thing is... I don't think the real objection people have is actually about how long the sales page is; I think it's more about the "tone" of the copy.

    They're starting to figure out that those "dominate this" and "annihilate that" type sales letters tend to be lacking just a teensy-weensy bit in the credibility department.

    Johnny
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  • Profile picture of the author CurtisN
    The public's perception of TV commercials is generally negative as well. I know people that switch channels as soon as an ad comes on.

    Now tell me: if everyone hates TV ads so much, why do companies keep paying to run them? It's because they work. And why do they work? Because it's a big world out there - much bigger than your little world - and it's full of people who do watch ads and are influenced by them.

    We now return to our scheduled programming...and that's one reason why long form copy still works.

    And another thing. Why be distrustful of sales letters in general? That's like crying "BS" every time you see an ad on TV or in the paper. Using written copy is just another way of selling stuff. We're in the IM business. Our business is generally to sell more stuff or to help others to sell more stuff. Nothing gets bought without something being sold, you know what I mean?

    It's absolutely irrational to hate all long form sales letters. Those who do will fail at this business.

    OP, have you read Cialdini's Influence?

    The book is about 6 "weapons of influence", as he calls them: reciprocity, commitment, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity.

    They're each pretty self-explanatory, so I won't summarize what he says about them here. What I realized after reading this book was that it is very easy to ethically manipulate people if you push the right psychological buttons.

    Copywriting exists because humans are easy to manipulate - it's just how we're wired. If everyone was perfectly rational at all times, well...I have no idea what would happen. I know what would happen to long form sales copy though: it would disappear.

    All we (as product owners) would have to do to get someone to buy our products would be to present, in a few bullets, what the product is/does and the buy now button.

    But it's not that simple, is it? That's why we need copy, and that's why long form sales letters work and will always work.

    Curtis
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    • Profile picture of the author Sean Fry
      Originally Posted by CurtisN View Post

      The public's perception of TV commercials is generally negative as well. I know people that switch channels as soon as an ad comes on.

      Now tell me: if everyone hates TV ads so much, why do companies keep paying to run them? It's because they work. And why do they work? Because it's a big world out there - much bigger than your little world - and it's full of people who do watch ads and are influenced by them.

      We now return to our scheduled programming...and that's one reason why long form copy still works.
      Well said.

      And another thing. Why be distrustful of sales letters in general? That's like crying "BS" every time you see an ad on TV or in the paper. Using written copy is just another way of selling stuff. We're in the IM business. Our business is generally to sell more stuff or to help others to sell more stuff. Nothing gets bought without something being sold, you know what I mean?

      It's absolutely irrational to hate all long form sales letters. Those who do will fail at this business.
      It is irrational, I agree. But - there are people who do. I guess they simply just are not our target market.

      OP, have you read Cialdini's Influence?
      Yes sir, I have.

      The book is about 6 "weapons of influence", as he calls them: reciprocity, commitment, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity.

      They're each pretty self-explanatory, so I won't summarize what he says about them here. What I realized after reading this book was that it is very easy to ethically manipulate people if you push the right psychological buttons.

      Copywriting exists because humans are easy to manipulate - it's just how we're wired. If everyone was perfectly rational at all times, well...I have no idea what would happen. I know what would happen to long form sales copy though: it would disappear.

      All we (as product owners) would have to do to get someone to buy our products would be to present, in a few bullets, what the product is/does and the buy now button.

      But it's not that simple, is it? That's why we need copy, and that's why long form sales letters work and will always work.

      Curtis
      Heh. Very true. One of the comments on that blog was actually saying that all marketers should do is simply present what the product is and it's benefits like you mention and that if it's a good product, then good products essentially sell themselves and that would be enough info for them to buy. That is just not how the buying process works at all for most people - even if they think it is.
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  • Profile picture of the author Laura B
    I was in on an interesting discussion of this on another site recently. My personal opinion as a customer is that I like long sales pages. I want as much information as possible before I part with my money. I don't think long or short makes you legit or scammy/spammy; it's what you say and what your reputation is.

    So now as the merchant behind a sales page, I try to give my potential buyers all the information they could possibly need to make their decision. I did split it up, though, and kept the main sales page considerably shorter than it would have been, though still long, and included a link to a "more-info" additional page for those who aren't quite convinced. Seems to be going well.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hakim
      "Some Thoughts On Sales Effectiveness and Copy Length"
      (aka Long Versus Short Copy)


      In my experience in measuring the effectiveness of hundreds of
      online sales letters, I have found that sales efficiency drops off
      dramatically after 5 to 8 pages of sales copy text.

      I know, some of the "big boys" claim they can ALWAYS outsell a
      "short" letter with their own long copy. Yes, some "magalogs" do
      well, especially for newsletters.

      But I would like to know, for example, if a well known marketer
      actually EVER TESTED his "million dollar day" sales letter at
      50,000 words, at 10,000 words, and at 3,000 words?

      One well known marketer last year offered a "preview" of his
      course --- the preview was a mere 7,000 PAGES LONG! Are these
      people kidding? I didn't read much more than that to get a college
      degree.

      I recently actually read one sales letter that was more than
      55,000 words "long." That's a NOVEL, not a sales letter!

      This situation did get out of hand in my opinion. I have sold more
      than $750,000 worth of a single health-related course --- using
      about 1,280 words on a single sales page.

      A few remarks may serve as "food for thought" for some of the
      newer marketers who are trying to make up their minds on this
      great issue.

      Here's my reasoning on how the "long versus short copy" issue got
      started, and why it is where it is today.

      "In split run tests, long copy invariably outsells short copy." --
      "Ogilvy on Advertising", 1980 or so.

      There is a very famous ad that launched the whole "long copy"
      issue --- it has come to be known as "the Rolls Royce ad".

      David Ogilvy was the one (or his ad agency) who developed that
      first "long copy" campaign. It ran under the now-famous headline:

      "At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce
      comes from the electric clock."

      The ad contains about 580 words. THAT was long copy in those days,
      a full display ad page, either magazine or newspaper. That
      contrasted sharply to what was standard ad copy then. Those days
      most ads were 1) newspaper display ads of around 1/4 page or less;
      2) catalog copy, up to about 50 words.

      So the Ogilvy was indeed a classic; the ad sold out the entire
      U.S. inventory of Rolls Royce automobiles when it ran. That's a
      remarkable feat.

      I agree that in skilled hands, longer copy ads will usually easily
      out pull, say catalog bitlets, classified ads, or quarter-page
      display ads, etc. -- up to around 250 words.

      But it is wrong to claim, as so many "guru" copywriters do today,
      that IN EVERY CASE long copy will out pull short copy.

      Some copywriters even want to make $50,000 and higher "wagers"
      that their "long copy" will beat anyone's short copy. Geez.

      I have written direct mail copy for many very famous clients over
      the past 40 years -- including all of the State Farm insurance
      agent direct mailing pieces for several years (thousands of
      letters sent to many millions of recipients), plus American
      Airlines, Texaco, Caterpillar & many others.

      We did the very first one-million copy catalog mailing in the US,
      back in the 1950s -- the Foster Gallagher Christmas Catalog. At
      the time it was the largest single mailing ever dropped by a
      private mailer. So we did a LOT of testing. I still do.

      My point is that it is simply NOT TRUE that long copy ALWAYS
      outsells short copy. It needs to be defined more precisely to have
      any meaning at all. How short is short? And how long is long? That
      is the question.

      Although I believe copywriters who say they have in fact tested 8,
      12, 24 and 32 page magalog style offers, I do not believe all of
      the people who repeat this mantra actually do test all of the long
      and short permutations.

      If it were true in EVERY CASE that long copy outsells short copy,
      then BMOC, Boardroom, Phillips, Rodale and all the others would
      ONLY send 32 page and larger packages. And of course they do not.

      I know we have ads that repeatedly sell more than a million
      dollars with just under 5,000 or so carefully-crafted words of
      direct sales copy.

      There HAS TO BE some upper limit ... because according to the
      claim ("longer will ALWAYS outsell shorter") --- would mean
      literally that a 14,000 page sales letter would ALWAYS outsell a
      10 page sales letter. Who would even test it? Who would even write
      it!

      I can say for myself that I am terribly WEARY of trying to chop
      through what is best described as truly mediocre copy (most all of
      the copy I encounter these days), to see "if" there is even a
      product there. Or do they only want me to "pre-register? Or sign
      up for teleseminar? Or pre-sign up for a workshop? Or ...
      fuggedaboutit!

      In fact, we recently tested and re-wrote an e-book ad for a
      client. The original ad they were using was about 8,000 words. The
      author objected even to this length, and we reduced it to 5,000
      words. Some more tweaks brought it down to about 3,500 words,
      which produced the best sales numbers.

      At least in this case, "shorter outsold longer." It was tested,
      and proven.

      Today video has entered the copy mix with hurricane-like force. I
      don't think anyone would suggest that a video of 3 1/2 hours of
      yapping (the reading time for a 25,000 word sales page) would
      outsell 20 minutes, as one example of the extremes involved.

      In fact infomercials -- which pretty much define state of the art
      video sales tactics, are fixed at around 2 minutes. Some find more
      complex or expensive items needs up to 10, 20 or even 30 minutes -
      - almost like a full TV "show".

      I can surely agree with another marketer's recent remark to me
      that Makes real sense: "The real key is focusing on what's
      important to your market and giving them the high points." Well
      said.

      Hakim Chishti, Director
      Advanced Marketing Institute
      "Home of the FREE Headline Analyzer"
      http://www.aminstitute.com/headline/index.htm
      "More than 1 million headlines
      tested in the past 12 months"
      =========================
      Permission to reprint happily granted, if you will please
      leave sig intact. Thanks.
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      • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
        Originally Posted by Hakim View Post

        There HAS TO BE some upper limit ... because according to the
        claim ("longer will ALWAYS outsell shorter") --- would mean
        literally that a 14,000 page sales letter would ALWAYS outsell a
        10 page sales letter.
        Yes, you're right! There certainly has to be an upper limit. That's why "long copy" is really a relative term.

        Allow me to clarify my position by expanding on my earlier post...

        "...the EXACT length of the perfect sales letter is... as long as it takes to give a complete, persuasive sales presentation."

        I should have added...

        "...but no more."

        Regards,

        Johnny
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        • Profile picture of the author Hakim
          Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

          "...the EXACT length of the perfect sales letter is... as long as it takes to give a complete, persuasive sales presentation."
          I should have added..."...but no more."
          Utterly brilliant!

          Hakim Chishti
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          • Profile picture of the author MontelloMarketing
            Hakim,

            Nicely put... well written... I certainly will reprint.

            And this comes from a guy who paid off his pretty substantial mortgage thanks to longcopy sales letters.

            I still think online a 20 page letter will almost always sell more product than a 5 pager (if both were written with the same skill)... I certainly agree that no one can say "always."
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      • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
        Originally Posted by Hakim View Post

        My point is that it is simply NOT TRUE that long copy ALWAYS
        outsells short copy. It needs to be defined more precisely to have
        any meaning at all. How short is short? And how long is long? That
        is the question.
        Excellent point.

        I personally consider anything over two sides of A4, typed at 10 point, to be long copy.

        But that's just my personal opinion as I'm quite lazy.
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  • Profile picture of the author nuclear81
    I've been seeing much much high conversion rates when I use video testimonials. I set up just 1 video on my sales page that has 6 or 7 people saying how great my product/service is and it comes out as much more credible. Has anybody else tried this?
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    • Profile picture of the author MontelloMarketing
      Originally Posted by nuclear81 View Post

      I've been seeing much much high conversion rates when I use video testimonials. I set up just 1 video on my sales page that has 6 or 7 people saying how great my product/service is and it comes out as much more credible. Has anybody else tried this?
      The snippit testi video is something I've been using for my clients for over a year now. The way I like em best is when the snippits are very short, almost teasers of longer testimonials used later in the letter.

      I like to see 5-7 testimonials in no more than a minute.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    A decision is made withing 1 or 2 seconds upon visiting a page, IMHO. Is there really a need to convince someone over 3-5 pages long to buy?
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    • Profile picture of the author MontelloMarketing
      Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

      A decision is made withing 1 or 2 seconds upon visiting a page, IMHO. Is there really a need to convince someone over 3-5 pages long to buy?
      Wow... where do you people get some of this drivel? No one makes a decision to buy most products in a couple seconds. In fact I've never heard anything like that.

      Maybe the tidbit you're *******izing is that you have to grab a prospect's attention in the first 7 seconds or you'll lose him.

      But in no world is anyone buying anything other than penny candy based on 2 seconds of visiting a website.

      And yeah... there is certainly a need to convince some people for 2-5... 15... even 25 pages sometimes to buy.

      It amazes me sometimes how people speak about things that make no common sense at all... and do it like it's nothing.

      2 seconds is a joke... Even 7 seconds isn't about deciding to buy it's about deciding whether or not they're going to read any further and maybe buy at some point.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
      1 or 2 seconds.

      Hmm, if that was the case, we would be looking at alot of sales pages with just a headline and alot of empty space :rolleyes:.


      Bill
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    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

      A decision is made withing 1 or 2 seconds upon visiting a page, IMHO. Is there really a need to convince someone over 3-5 pages long to buy?
      By My Sh**!

      Easiest 2 seconds of my life.

      Now I'll just sit back and wait to get rich.

      GeorgR, I expect you'll be my first customer, since you're obviously sold so easily?
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    A decision is made withing 1 or 2 seconds upon visiting a page, IMHO.
    A decision is made within a few seconds whether or not they're going to keep reading. That's a dead horse so that's all I'll say on the long copy debate...

    As for public perception, buyers are liars. We all are.

    When I was in sales, if I had a guy standing outside saying "When you walk in there a sales guy is going to try to convince you to buy something, would you like to talk to him?" Most people would say "no".

    But I talked to and sold to people everyday.

    I can't remember where I heard/read about a survey. But they polled a bunch of people and asked them if they'd buy or have ever bought anything from an infomercial. I don't remember the specifics, but it was a pretty overwhelming "NO"...

    The people being polled where infomercial buyers. So a lot of people where being less than honest.

    Point being, when you ask people specifically what and how they buy, they aren't usually honest.

    Don't get me wrong, I love people. But they can lie. Numbers don't. Go with the numbers over people's opinions every time and you'll be alright.

    -Scott
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    I think one has to distinguish between an INTERESTING long sales letter that CAPTIVATES a person to not only read it - but to wish it was even longer - and the all to common INTERNET MARKETING sales letter.

    The issue in the OP is what do people think of Internet marketers. While there is a parenthetical reference to long-sales copy gurus, the question is about Internet marketers - not the length of sales copy.

    Now, look at those comments again ...

    "scam artist"

    "pyramid scheme"

    "sleeze"

    "hype"

    "snake oil salesman"

    IMHO - those comments are well deserved.

    I don't know how many times I've seen a long sales page, that is just poorly written and a 'me too' page - I've seen it a hundred times. More importantly, after being online so long I can just tell its crap. A scam. I think you know what I'm talking about.

    If there is a consistent theme in my law office about Internet marketers - those who get sued invariably are just scratching it out and not making the big bucks they hype in those cookie-cutter sales letters.

    On the other hand, I'll bet most, if not everyone commenting buys from long sales copy.

    For instance, they may buy after watching a well put together 20 minute video (which is even longer than a sales page because one is forced to watch it all to get to the end). They may buy something related to their hobby.

    But, at the end of the day, they are tired of getting scammed and buying crap products from "Internet marketers" - which usually connotes someone selling a product about making money. We're not talking about buying golf clubs online.

    .
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    One fact we often forget as marketers: If a sales letter does
    a whopping 5% conversion, then 95% DIDN'T buy!

    So if we went by the polls nobody would use long sales letters.

    The question is: Can you live with the profit from the 5% who
    buy?

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author dtendrich
      Those of us who use long copy use it for a reason.

      ...I'm not too into kicking myself in the a$$, so if
      spending hours researching and writing long copy
      didn't pay off I'd probably have stopped it by now.

      I guess I could be a masochist without knowing it
      though. Hope not.

      David
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      • Originally Posted by dtendrich View Post

        Those of us who use long copy use it for a reason.
        Let me play devil's advocate here for a second David...

        I don't think we necessarily use it for a GOOD reason. I think MOST (not all) use it because they've been told that it works best.

        How many people who are "part-time" copywriters (people who write their own copy, beginning copywriters, etc.) actually TEST short copy or long copy broken up into other delivery methods? In my experience most product owners/copywriters haven't even tested two headline variations, let alone whether they copy can be delivered in a better medium.

        Long copy sells. We know that. But does short copy or bite-sized long copy sell better? At this point we don't know. At least, not as a general rule. It may; it may not. It might in some niches and not in others.

        At this point long copy ought to be our control or default. But we ought to be testing the fire out of alternates.
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        • Profile picture of the author pappyy3
          Regardless of whether its a long form sales letter, short form sales letter or Video, it's all about what's in it for the reader.

          If no percieved value is there, then I'm afraid I'm outta there.

          I very rarely read long form sales letters, I find myself skimming through until something captures my attention. I'm not a fan of the overproduced sales hypey video's either.

          If my attention (Features, ie What's in it for me) isn't captured in the first 10 seconds, then I look elsewhere
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        • Profile picture of the author dtendrich
          Originally Posted by Kevin-VirtualProfitCenter View Post

          Let me play devil's advocate here for a second David...

          I don't think we necessarily use it for a GOOD reason. I think MOST (not all) use it because they've been told that it works best.

          How many people who are "part-time" copywriters (people who write their own copy, beginning copywriters, etc.) actually TEST short copy or long copy broken up into other delivery methods? In my experience most product owners/copywriters haven't even tested two headline variations, let alone whether they copy can be delivered in a better medium.

          Long copy sells. We know that. But does short copy or bite-sized long copy sell better? At this point we don't know. At least, not as a general rule. It may; it may not. It might in some niches and not in others.

          At this point long copy ought to be our control or default. But we ought to be testing the fire out of alternates.
          Hey Kevin,

          I'm sorry but as a Christian I cannot respond to a devil's advocate.

          Thanks,
          David

          LOL jus kiddin' man (I'm not actually Christian... And even if I was I would risk hell and respond cause I'm "risky" like that)

          That's an interesting point... And I think you're right about a lot of guys who use long copy just cause it's the "default", without testing.

          I know in my experience, I've found that 9/10 times long copy has pulled better for me than short. Back in the day when I had a guitar lessons business, and I advertised it on Craigslist, the long ads I wrote always got me way more clients...

          While the short ones barely pulled any response at all. And all I was selling was a free lesson.

          I also know in my experience every time I take the time to give potential clients a full pitch (a "long copy" pitch) - I get a new client.

          When I try to give a "diet" pitch - I mostly don't get a client.

          I'm sure you're right though - that some products, and some niches don't need long copy. Actually - Amazon comes to mind. But I think someone would have to be super, super qualified to buy from short copy, and the vendor would have to be extremely well-trusted.

          What do you think?
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          • Originally Posted by dtendrich View Post

            What do you think?
            I think in some cases copy is a small part of the sales equation.

            Take, for example, a product launch. Most people buy not simply because of what the sales materials say (or maybe even in spite of the materials) but because of who is recommending the product.

            Short-copy, long-copy or no-copy many of those people were going to buy.

            Now, that's not true over the long-haul, but many product launches don't have a long-haul. They get pulled after being live for a week or so.

            I also think there are markets where non-parceled, long-copy would likely hurt sales--generic drugs would be one. "I know what I want and I know exactly what you have and I just need a price." And you are right--those folks are pre-sold.

            "Free Beer" is typically a good, concise, workable sales message despite the audience.

            Long-copy for non-readers would be a place I would doubt long copy would work well. Selling an iPhone app? You want a concise sales message that can be instantly grasped and fits on a single screen. They are going to make a fast decision based on very little information or time.

            It probably also needs to be cheap.

            Any market where there is real, extreme scarcity would also be another place where short copy would work wonders.

            But, again, I am talking in generalities. We have to test the specifics to really see what's going to work.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Sanchez
      Originally Posted by Paul Hancox View Post

      I think they should build bridges shorter. They're too long.

      At Last, Here's The Definitive Formula For The Length Of Your Sales Copy! | CopySnips

      That's my final word on the subject.
      Great response!

      Personally long / short....

      I think the debate exists because the general public is exposed to so much bad copy that after seeing so many bad long copy sales pages they've associated :

      Long copy = Crap Sales page.

      The real factor is whether it was good copy which is rarely seen today. When people are exposed to the good stuff, long or short, they barely notice they are even reading a sales copy letter because they don't feel like they are being sold to.

      Those defending long copy understand long sales copy frankly because they are the ones writing the good stuff and see the real results.

      I think the debate is not whether long or short copy works.

      It's whether copy works...and yes it does when it's done right. Long ...short...that's like arguing over the exact size of font...

      ie.Big letters work better than little ones; it's all about context.
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