Do Long Sales Pages Make You Buy?

62 replies
The majority of the sales pages I see are extremely long... to the point where I couldn't imagine reading 1/4 of it. Some people prefer this type (on the buyer's end) and most say that it converts better (on the seller's end). These people swear by it, though I'm wondering what's your take? And yes I know, there are exceptions - some very short and some very long sales pages are wonderfully written, funny, but assume that these two in comparison are written identically, one simply has an abundance of text compared to the other. Also, take out of the consideration the fact that you may be uninformed of what's included in a product being sold with a shorter sales page - assume perfect, thorough information is provided in both. Thoughts?
#buy #long #make #pages #sales
  • Profile picture of the author john_kennedy
    Usually, I am hitting the back button as soon as I see a squeeze page! Unless, it is something I REALLY want and then I scroll down to the buy button.
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    • Profile picture of the author makingiants
      Originally Posted by john_kennedy View Post

      Usually, I am hitting the back button as soon as I see a squeeze page! Unless, it is something I REALLY want and then I scroll down to the buy button.
      Many potential buyers do the same. If they are interested, the'll scroll
      down to the buy button. A msart marketer said that you should list what
      your buyer will get if they buy, since many don't care to read the entire
      salesletter.

      Look at the infomercials: they do it all the time. "you get...all for
      $39.99, yadda, yadda"...

      Vince aka makingiants
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  • Profile picture of the author Toby Couchman
    I think it depends on the product and the niche. If you show some people a long form sales letter they will just laugh and ask if its a scam or not. To others they will get excited and buy the product right away.

    For myself I mostly scan these sales letters and very rarely even delve into the actual letter part of it.

    Interested to see what others think.
    TC
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    • Profile picture of the author cashp0wer
      For me personally, too long isn't good. I usually scan through most of it and rarely sit and read a very long one. If it is something I am interested in I just scan through it and scroll to the bottom to get to where you can purchase it.
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      • Profile picture of the author stevenfabian
        Originally Posted by cashp0wer View Post

        For me personally, too long isn't good. I usually scan through most of it and rarely sit and read a very long one. If it is something I am interested in I just scan through it and scroll to the bottom to get to where you can purchase it.
        Same here as well. I think most people just scan the headlines and if those can pull them in the sales copy can be considered good. Also, in the WSO section, reviews are much more important than the sales copy itself, so I don't always understand why so many sellers have such long copy. That's up to them, however...
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    • Profile picture of the author mikelukjaniec
      If it's valuable and interesting content then long sales pages work. If they're just ramming a sales pitch down your throat, they don't, unless you've specificly come to that sales page to buy a product, or service!
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  • Profile picture of the author jamesrich1
    If I am really interested in solving a particular problem then a long sales letter would give me all of the details that I needed to make a informed decision. I remember having a specific problem and reading the full sales letter to get all of the details. I got to the bottom and realized I had read the full letter. It did not seem like a lot when I was reading because I was interested in learning everything that would come with this solution. I imagine that is how a great long copy sales letter flows to people desperate to solve their specific problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author damasgate
    To me it's all about reputation at first. If I know this person that I have bought from before and I liked his/her product, I'm probably going to buy their next one without even reading their sales copy.

    If it's someone I don't know, I'm usually attracted by the headline at first and then I skim through the sales copy (ignoring the hype) trying to find what I'll be getting exactly.

    If it's something to do with SEO or traffic, I will usually look for proof as well.

    It seems in I.M that long sales letters have just become expected. As if to say "he was too lazy to make a nice sales page, I bet he was lazy in making the product".
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  • Profile picture of the author Toby Couchman
    It seems in I.M that long sales letters have just become expected. As if to say "he was too lazy to make a nice sales page, I bet he was lazy in making the product".
    I find this really interesting. Do other people feel like this?

    TC
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Cohen
    I found it interesting too, Toby. Well... there may be a really long sales page, but it's poorly written. In that case, I'd prefer a shorter, higher-quality one. I would say if it's short OR long and is low-quality, that the product must be of the same quality... whereas if it's short OR long and of high quality, I wouldn't judge the product to be better or worse in either case.
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    • Profile picture of the author curly sue
      honestly, they turm me off! who reads that length of sales pages. But I suppose its done for the sake of google ranking.
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      • Profile picture of the author chrisg942
        More than a page and I'm out of there.

        Chris
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      • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
        I find the long sales letters that go on and on to be annoying for several reasons.

        I usually have done research on what I want/need before I decide to buy so when I come to your product/service and have to read through all the benefits stated over in various different ways, or facts stated that were really common sense and not necessary, I have a tendancy to think that you think that I'm not that bright and that is a turn off.

        Long sales letters, to me anyway, oft times come off as you begging and then you appear desperate, which leads me to think that you don't have a whole lot of confidence in your product/service, and therefore I question whether I should.

        As many have stated, I usually skim them looking for the key facts, then scroll to the buy button to make the purchase.

        Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author puneetas3
    I believe if it is an ebook type product then you need a long sales page convincing on your points. If it is a product just have a demo video of it at the top and a short sales page at bottom will suffice. Though Guru IMers do A/B testing before they launch things to public.
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  • Profile picture of the author Yogini
    I don't like long sales letters, I prefer reading the table of contents and what is covered to see if it matches my interests. I also don't think paypal screenshots are useful. I'm most interested in seeing what the meat is in the product and want to see what areas are covered.

    I don't buy blind sales copy either as that is too unreliable.

    Debbie
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Anybody would read a 1000 page novel if the subject is you.

      I read many letters and articles if I'm interested in buying
      a product. If the product is not for me, then I don't read
      beyond the headline.

      A high converting online sales letter does around 5% conversion,
      meaning that 95% didn't buy.

      So if 95% of the people didn't read the long sales letter should
      we stop using them?

      If you surveyed the 95% who didn't buy they may cause you
      to lose the 5% who did buy so your conversion would be 0%.

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  • Profile picture of the author PeteTheMonetizer
    Long sales pages have to do with sales psychology.

    They're good for multiple reasons:

    1. When people see how much you can type about that certain issue they feel that you must be very knowledgeable in that field.

    2. When people see a lot of information like that the perceived value of the product goes up.

    3. The internet marketer knows that no one is going to read all of it. They know that 99% of the people are 'skimmers'. Which is precisely why they will use the typical big red letters between all of the information to almost convey a story about the product to the customer.

    Notice the next time you see a sales page you will simply scroll down the page reading the big font sentences in between all of the filler information.

    It's done on purpose.
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    • Profile picture of the author Challendge
      Originally Posted by PeteTheMonetizer View Post

      Long sales pages have to do with sales psychology.

      They're good for multiple reasons:

      1. When people see how much you can type about that certain issue they feel that you must be very knowledgeable in that field.

      2. When people see a lot of information like that the perceived value of the product goes up.

      3. The internet marketer knows that no one is going to read all of it. They know that 99% of the people are 'skimmers'. Which is precisely why they will use the typical big red letters between all of the information to almost convey a story about the product to the customer.

      Notice the next time you see a sales page you will simply scroll down the page reading the big font sentences in between all of the filler information.

      It's done on purpose.
      100 agree! Some will read through it and most will not. It's still short enough to make it easy to skim and look for the juice!
      Also keep in mind that some like words, some like graphics, and some like videos.
      So what's the best type of thread out there? The one with all 3! Some text about the product and how it will benefit the user. Some graphics for the aesthetic appeal and key points. Some bolded, red font for the really juicy content. Just like that, you've made a perfect thread....regardless of what you're selling!
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  • Profile picture of the author Lightlysalted
    Absolutely not. Long sales pages are not at all appealing to me, i tend to switch off. However there is a place for a targetted short sales page in my book
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  • Profile picture of the author HappyLuke
    Very good question to ask.
    I'm surprised this forum doesn't already have 'testing' results to the warrior forum???
    I noticed that most 6 week course have the short video page and buy button. The ebooks and products have the long sales page.

    @PeteTheMonetizer, very good answer and very good points. Like you say, It's done on purpose.

    If you guys find documented results, which should already be available hit me up and let me read them.

    PS- of course you guys switch them off or leave, you know how the sales tactic works and avoid them.

    thank you
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  • Profile picture of the author domainarama
    There are certain things that are unique to the IM world: long sales letters, prices ending in 7, promises you will make odd amounts of money ("make $1235.53 per day" as opposed to "make over $1000 a day"), endorsements by people who just read the sales page and just bought the product (as opposed to people who actually used the product for a period of time) etc etc etc

    Actually these things are very boring. They are indicative of brain sclerosis. They indicate that even people in a young field of endeavor fall into stale habits pretty darn fast. Would someone please wake me when something new happens around here?
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  • Profile picture of the author sonicadam123
    Personally, if they're long enough to deliver the benefits of the product and what you get then that's cool, maybe a bit of other waffle and some social proof.

    But when a sales page goes beyond that and just drags it out then I lose interest.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave90210
    I hate long sales pages, I like short and sweet with graphs and charts and maybe a sales video.
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  • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
    I, too, tend to hate long sales pages. However, I think my problem isn't with the length so much as the tone behind it. It seems like some marketers believe "longer is better" - but aren't sure exactly why they think that and don't have any concrete facts that back it up. They just heard someone say somewhere that long sales pages convert the best. So, they say what they need to say, then realize it should be 2,000 words longer, and - bam! - here comes the hype, the 87 exclamation points, and the fluff.

    I think people should be focused less on a magical word length and more on spelling out features and benefits to their target audience. For some products, it may take a couple thousand words to give people all of the information they need. For other products, it may only take a few hundred words.
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  • Profile picture of the author LP Copywriter
    It depends entirely on the offer.

    Sometimes you simply can't beat a sales letter. I think the responses in this thread are a pretty good reflection of the Internet Marketing... market as a whole. When we see a sales letter, we either click away or skim. Which is exactly why strong headlines and calls to action are so vital to a successful landing page.

    Other times, particularly when dealing with offers that require low commitment from the buyer, squeeze pages and other short form landing pages will suffice. Still, even my long form sales letters are short in comparison to some of the behemoths I see out there.

    I'm afraid I don't have the clear-cut, X > Y answer you were looking for. You'll have to spend some time getting into the heads of your customers to figure out which approach will work best for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
    I think the reason is because it answers every possible question I might have.
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  • Profile picture of the author dv8domainsDotCom
    I think it cannot be long, JUST for the sake of being long. It has to be interesting and add value. Giving me 5 paragraphs of drivel that is just reinforcing the first paragraph of drivel does nothing for me and irritates me. I MIGHT try to speed read past it to get to the next bit of 'value', but I might just hit the back button as well.
    The ONE thing that turns me off EVERY SINGLE TIME, is a forced video with absolutely nothing else on the page. We've probably all been subjected to these. Guess what? I READ about 20x faster than the average person can speak. Your video (the euphemistic 'your', of course) automatically wastes my time. I don't even know what happens at the end of the video (any of them).
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
    Banned
    When I was a buyer, I found that length didn't matter that much to me at all. What was important was whether or not the copy gave me the information I needed to make an informed decision. You would think that longer sales copy would give more information; but personal experience showed that it was more of a 50/50 kind of thing.

    Just give me the information I need in whatever length you need to give it in.
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  • Profile picture of the author codenaam
    Actually, I realized that I am not reading them anymore... Just glance through... but that is also because most of the WSOs don't really mentioned what they are really about...
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    • Profile picture of the author DNY
      Personally i don't like long sales copies, most times i read the first few paragraphs if i like i head right over to the buy button.
      I normally come back a few days later when i have time and read it all though. But they have never contributed to my buying decision.
      My view

      David
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Cohen
    Love all the responses folks! Definitely turned into an informative thread. Looks like the answer is that if it's gonna be long, it better not have filler; if it's gonna be short, it better be "just as sweet as it is short". Appreciate the replies.
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  • Profile picture of the author gojiberryman
    Originally Posted by Ross Cohen View Post

    The majority of the sales pages I see are extremely long... to the point where I couldn't imagine reading 1/4 of it. Some people prefer this type (on the buyer's end) and most say that it converts better (on the seller's end). These people swear by it, though I'm wondering what's your take? And yes I know, there are exceptions - some very short and some very long sales pages are wonderfully written, funny, but assume that these two in comparison are written identically, one simply has an abundance of text compared to the other. Also, take out of the consideration the fact that you may be uninformed of what's included in a product being sold with a shorter sales page - assume perfect, thorough information is provided in both. Thoughts?
    Well my friend the fact is that the shorter and to the point the message is, the more sales or sign-ups you can actually get. You have to keep in mind that people hate too much info. They would rather you get straight to the point because they are in need of a solution asap. I hope this helps.

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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Joe Robinson View Post

      When I was a buyer, I found that length didn't matter that much to me at all. What was important was whether or not the copy gave me the information I needed to make an informed decision. You would think that longer sales copy would give more information; but personal experience showed that it was more of a 50/50 kind of thing.

      Just give me the information I need in whatever length you need to give it in.
      This ^^^^

      I don't buy anything based on the length of the sales presentation, short or long. None of the sales pages of any length "make" me buy. They can only help me decide.

      Truth be told, I don't mind long pages. I detest too long pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author tylamro
    Definitely needs to be short and straight to the point or I am exiting quickly!
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  • Profile picture of the author BeechHill
    I detest any sales page that goes on and on without adding any value to the proposition. A sales page length should be determined by the amount of information necessary to present and clearly define what it is you are exactly marketing and why the perspective customer actually needs it. I think it's important to remember you usually only have seconds to capture the attention of your reader.


    I believe most people get turned off by scads of “me too” testimonials, hyperbolic sales pitches and repetitive calls to the buy action. If you can't define a concise message of what you're selling, you need to go back then and do some more homework. You're only muddying the integrity of the product that you're selling by embedding it in a morass of meaningless bullet points and graphics which extend four feet below the fold.


    Your time and effort should be spent on how few words, pictures and videos it takes to sell, not how many.
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  • Profile picture of the author harrymcclaire
    lol. for me i dont bother reading.

    If its something i want, i find the buy button.
    If its something i dont know about, i will say to myself, SCREW the F*@king fellow.

    Same with video. Some have a 40min plus video with no timeline to fastforward.
    And they go on and on and on about their life and their experience.

    I mean who the heck cares! We just want to know your method if its good and it works.

    I dont care if you were once beggin on the streets and now living in a castle.
    Or the other way around. lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author renukoot
    Until & Unless it's what i am really looking for

    If I get some crap at beginning I just hit the Big X in 0.1 Second
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  • Profile picture of the author dbwebdesignz
    To be honest i have been looking into it myself, personally when i see a page like that i just hit the back button. The only time i will read a product like that and be quiet careful with it is when the product comes recommended to me by a few people in the industry. 85% of those kind of pages are full of crap with so called 'Testimonials'
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  • Profile picture of the author Douggie
    Personally I wouldn't read a really long pitch but they seem to convert so I use them. Alternatively a good video can work too.
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  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    Someone said most of us marketers that say they hate them will use them. I think that's highly inaccurate. I think those of us that hate them won't use them because we are in the minds of the buyers and most buyers want to get the facts and they want them quickly without all the extra hype. We are in a marketing age and the average consumer is a lot smarter than most marketers give them credit for. They are capable of deciding what and if they want to buy quickly.They don't need to read and scroll through 15-20 pages of hype to make that decision.
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    • Profile picture of the author dbwebdesignz
      Originally Posted by KimW View Post

      Someone said most of us marketers that say they hate them will use them. I think that's highly inaccurate. I think those of us that hate them won't use them because we are in the minds of the buyers and most buyers want to get the facts and they want them quickly without all the extra hype. We are in a marketing age and the average consumer is a lot smarter than most marketers give them credit for. They are capable of deciding what and if they want to buy quickly.They don't need to read and scroll through 15-20 pages of hype to make that decision.
      Agreed - I think 95% of us know if we are going to buy the product as soon as we see the page before reading anything on it. Most people will click on an advert to generate the user some Adsense or some kind of affiliate income and not even know they did it
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  • Split test the pages it only meters what works not what we think works.
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  • Profile picture of the author RyanLester
    Here is a good article on why long sales pages are very effective:

    How we made $1 million for SEOmoz
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Young And Opulent View Post

    No. It has the opposite effect. If you can't explain to me in a few brief sentences what makes your product so great, then I take that as you using hype to sell your product.
    What if the sales letter is lengthy because they are going more in depth with their product than a traditional sales letter would?

    It's not always black and white is what I guess I'm trying to say.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    First, a sales letter is as long as it needs to be to be effective. If you're selling something that's fairly common and familiar to most people, it's likely you can make it short. If you're selling a product that is introducing a new concept or something most people don't understand, it has to be longer.

    But a properly formatted sales letter is both long and short. It might need to be long because some people need a lot of information before making a decision. Many of these folks will read every last word.

    And when that long letter is formatted with nice colorful boxes, paragraph headers, bullet points, bold type and other "highlighted" or set off information, the person who likes it short or who likes to skim can go through the letter taking out what he or she needs from the highlighted material without having to read every last word.

    Smart copywriters understand this and create their sales pages accordingly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tadresources
    IMO it really depends on the product being sold and how much pertinent information is being given in the squeeze page. Some products seem to sell better when you give more info while others don't need it. Then of course you have the products that sell themselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author manicmethods
    I think that some vendors think that if they bulk it up A LOT then many buyers will just scroll over it all to the buy button.

    I am, however, looking at completely new ways of creating Squeeze/Sales pages. I'm fed up with these carbon copy clones with BOLD text at the top (often using IMPACT FONT) in bright red. You know the sort. And then all the same old Add to Cart graphics and so on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
    Sales pages can be any length as long as they do one thing: Sell

    A good sales page will sell your product through out the copy.

    If it's long copy you should be answering objections through out the sales page and sum up all the benefits of your product for those prospects that scan the sales page down to the PS.



    Bill Jeffels




    .
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  • Profile picture of the author Danceraaq1
    If I am really interested in the topic, to the point where I am looking for an answer without having to buy anything, I want it to be long so I can try to pick interesting tidbits out of it. Otherwise if I was just browsing as soon as I see it going past 1 page on my screen I hit the back button. In other words it depends on the niche and subject matter.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Ross Cohen View Post

    assume that these two in comparison are written identically, one simply has an abundance of text compared to the other
    Then one of them is the wrong length.

    Either the abundance of text provides relevant information, in which case the short sales letter is not providing that information, or it does not - in which case it is repeating itself without purpose.

    Any given sales letter has a "right" length. If you can say a lot about a product, you should have a long sales letter. If you can't, you should have a short one.

    It's not about the length. It's about what you're saying.
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  • Profile picture of the author smartiewriter
    My thought is that less is better. If you can get the same point across in less words that are more powerful, then go for it. I myself appreciate when people just get to the point!
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  • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
    A long sales letter with information that helps me make an intelligent buying decision presented in an engaging way makes me buy.

    A long sales letter filled with hype and and lot of I's and me's don't.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ian McConnell
    As a marketer you should test, test and test some more.

    A quick split test will tell you if your market prefers long copy or short copy. Never assume anything because what ever I've thought would win in most cases doesn't.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      IMHO, Dan Kennedy says it perfectly. "There's no such thing as too long, only too boring."

      The minute you bore the reader (at least the majority of them) then the salesletter is too long and you will lose a lot of them as potential buyers.

      For some products with a lot of features, reports, or bonuses, you need a lot of space to completely describe what the buyer will be getting.

      For some products or services with a high(er) price point, you need more copy to explain why it's worth the asking price or more.

      I've used long copy salesletters to sell millions of dollars in products and services for my clients and my own businesses. I will continue to use long copy salesletters in a variety of media to sell even more products and services for my clients and my own businesses because it works.

      And for the VSL fans... Even video salesletters for the top-selling ClickBank products are really long salesletters. If you don't believe me then take some time to transcribe one of them yourself. You'll find the majority of them are 10+ page salesletters that are delivered by video instead of static webpages.

      Take care,

      Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author allby
    Honestly No...I hate websites with lot of text on it. I prefer seeing a video with the product in action.
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  • Profile picture of the author JeremiahSay
    It really depends on the product, if he were to promote products I'm interested in, I don't care how long or how short the sales copy is, I'll read it and I'll buy it.. On the other hand, if it's only the product I want, I won't bother about it.. (even if the sales copy is freaky long)

    It depends.. There's no right or wrong

    Jeremiah
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  • Profile picture of the author adrwcav
    I've been gearing many of my sales pages on the shorter side these days. I've taken a lot of fluff out of mine. Conversions have been about the same, maybe just slighter higher now!!
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Most comments about this topic come, and naturally so, from each individual's perspective. Some like video. Some like short copy. Some like to see every last detail. These preferences are all fine.

    A smart copywriter's challenge it to do his or her best to deliver an appeal that speaks, at least to some degree, to ALL of these preferences.

    One thing is for certain, create a page that only appeals to YOUR OWN personal likes and preferences and you will alienate a MASSIVE portion of any market. More directly, do it only your way and you will leave a lot of money on the table.
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  • Profile picture of the author Entrecon
    I have been fighting with mine. I agree that it probably isn't the length as much as how you appeal to the buyer.
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  • Profile picture of the author melleni
    I think it depends on the product but in general I don't like long sales letter's I prefer the sales copy to get to the point same with long sales video's.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Petal
    Interesting question Ross.

    Research has shown that long drawn out sales pages convert better than shorter ones. But I understand your point.

    Apparently longer sales pages show credibility and trust. It shows that the product owner has gone through a lot of research and effort. They contain more call to action buttons, payment buttons and graphics to convert. It's regarded as adding perceived value.
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